Welcome to my Western Pennsylvania garden. Join me on a "Walk Down the Garden Path".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Veggie Garden Update ~ October 2008

I had all the good intentions in the world to get this posted yesterday, to coincide with other veggie garden updates, such as those posted by Tina at In the Garden and Frances at Faire Garden. However, it was probably the last nice and relatively warm day we are going to have here in Western Pennsylvania for a while and much time was spent outside finishing up some tasks, some of which were necessary for this post, by the way. In fact, the rain has started and it is not to get out of the 50's degree wise here for the next several days. And yes, we have had our first frost and it did a great job at killing almost everything that was left in the garden. Although a few things close to the house did survive and there are still plants in the garage waiting transport to their winter homes in the basement. They won't have to wait long because the low of 27 degrees F tonight will force their journey today, rain or no rain.

So in my day of tidying up, first was to pull all the carrots and beets. Not that there were many and not that they were big. The deer had munched the tops so often this summer I was surprised to find anything grew. But there is a small amount which will be used quickly and enjoyed none the less. Lillian was very helpful with this task, as she loves to dig in the dirt, although she also likes just wandering about in the garden picking up bits of sticks and leaves.

The parsley did survive the frost and I will probably cut some of that today to bring inside. I don't know if it will survive the low we expect tonight and it looks so good right now.

Other things which were harvested a few days ago included the rest of the eggplants (this there were a lot of) and a few little peppers. I see some fried eggplant sandwiches and some eggplant parmesan in my future, yum.

On the inside, there is one lone kumquat ripening nicely. Not that one can do much with one kumquat other than gobble it up and wish there were more :) But wait, what is this growing in the kumquat pot, is that a pepper plant ? with a pepper on it ? The deer didn't find this one! Since you are probably wondering why there is a pepper growing with my citrus, let me explain. The kumquat came to us from my husband's parents when they returned home from Florida in April. Apparently the seed was in the dirt and grew and we just let it. We are going to be transplanting the kumquat soon and will split the pepper off and try to winter it inside and see if we get more peppers during the winter. Unlikely with our lack of good sun, but maybe it will be a good start for next year's crop.

So that is it for the harvest. Time was spent removing tomato cages, stakes, fences and posts meant to deter the deer which didn't work, and rototilling the gardens. Thoughts of next year are already bouncing around through our heads. For one thing, we will win the battle with the deer next year. I am tired of lousy yields after all my efforts. I have already bought Liquid Fence which is supposed to work. I haven't opened it yet but it is said to really stink. After it dries, humans can't smell it but the deer still can and they don't like it. I'll be letting you know how that works out for us.


Anonymous said...

Wow you have quite a harvest there! Thanks for the link love too. ;-> We fully understand that you must actually GARDEN instead of just writing about gardening! Or else there would be nothing to write about. I love the pepper in the kumquat, the sign of a true gardener.


Anonymous said...

Nice harvest Cindy! It's better late than never....:)

Rose said...

Eggplant parmesan sounds yummy! Your pepper plant with the kumquat is pretty funny; it reminds me of several volunteer tomato plants I have in strange places, no doubt from the compost I spread.
Wow, a frost already! I'd better get busy before it hits here.

tina said...

Ditto everyone else! What a harvest! A TON of eggplant. I agree with Rose, eggplant parmesan sounds yummy! So sad the first frost came and took it but now we can dream of next year's garden harvest and how we can 'improve' upon everything. It looks super. Thanks for posting your veggies. I love seeing them all. That kumquat is most interesting-even with the pepper. I don't think I have ever eaten a kumquat and now want to rush out and buy some to eat. What do they taste like? I am betting Lillian loves to eat them too. ttyl

Cindy said...

Frances - You are very welcome! Yes to actually garden must take precedence over just writing about it :)

PGL - Yes, it was long in coming but better than no harvest at all.

Rose - yes frost already. But I guess I'm ready for this year's outside work to be over so I can plan for next year.

Tina - There are lots of plans for next year :) And as gardeners we're always looking for ways to improve! As for the kumquat, you eat it skin and all and it's a unique kind of taste, kind of sour, but not like a lemon. Lillian's so cautious, it would probably take two weeks of giving it to her before she would put it in her mouth. Sticks, leaves, those she puts in her mouth right away, food takes a while, until she is used to it. Funny little girl.

Gail said...


A fantastic harvest~~ the eggplant is beautiful. It will make a very nice eggplant parmesan! I have had volunteer orange but getting it to survive inside all winter was impossible! It needed a cooler spot then a dry den! That is so cool that your kumquat fruited.


Anonymous said...

What do you like to do with the beets? I'm growing beets for the first time and really don't know how to grow them.

Cindy said...

Hi Gail - yes the citrus and all the tropical things suffer so much in the winter inside. Ours drop leaves like crazy and they are so prone to spider mites and scale, it's so disheartening, but they always perk up again once summer comes and they can go back outside!

Hi Fern - I replied about the beets on your site. I have so few this year I will probably just boil them to eat in salad or perhaps see if Lillian will eat them. She likes pickled beets. I will probably give her the Chiogga beets though, they don't bleed like the other ones do.

TC said...

I'm glad you were able to get your last harvest in Cindy. We're done here too. We've not had much luck with carrots, I think they need lots of organic compost to have nice big shoulders. Fresh garden carrots are so good, one of my favorite root crops.

We usually don't have any problems with deer, but it could happen. I hope the Liquid Fence works. If you build a real fence, I heard they have to be at least nine feet tall, otherwise deer jump right over them.

joey said...

Sounds like we are all scurrying around like squirrels gathering nuts ... such a busy time ... appreciate your timely post. (I love your eggplant!)

Cindy said...

Hi TC - I think with carrots it depends on the variety as well. I don't necessarily like the big shouldered ones but prefer the more uniform ones. There is nothing like the taste of a fresh carrot.

Joey - It is that time of year isn't it. Never enough daylight or warm days to do everything.

Liisa said...

Your eggplant looks delicious!! You have quite the harvest, despite troubles with deer. For some strange reason, the deer haven't bothered our garden (keeping fingers crossed), despite the deer bedding area in the woods behind our house.

Cindy said...

Liisa ~ Oh, I hope the deer stay out of your garden. Our deer would bed down right next to the garden. I guess it was easy access for breakfast.