October Garden Update

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Looking down at the fall vegetable garden on October 29, 2014. I love fall's palette of colors.

Looking down at the fall vegetable garden on October 29, 2014. I love fall’s palette of colors.

Forgive me. My more recent posts have been so focused on sharing my gardening tips and recipes with you, that sometimes I forget to share my garden. Oops!

Indeed, the entire summer went by without one garden update (but if you follow me on Facebook, you’ve got the inside scoop). I might catch up with a summer blog post at a later time, but let’s just start with the present, shall we?

In the photos that follow, you’ll notice that there are a lot of weeds and overgrown cover crops both within and between the garden beds. I haven’t been intentionally neglectful; our late summer and early fall have been so WET, that I haven’t dare stepped out much in the garden much at all. My soil is precious to me, and I choose not to walk on it, dig in it, or even weed it when wet. Record rainfalls (our wettest October on record) have been hard on the garden in other ways — for the first time since I’ve gone to a terraced bed system on our hillside, some portions of the beds have washed out in heavy rains (the kind of rain that caused a city nearby to us to flood for the first time in recent memory). And not just one washout. Three. But you’ve got to just keep growing on, right?

And looking upwards. There's over 70 varieties of vegetables and herbs packed in here!

Looking upwards. There’s over 70 varieties of vegetables and herbs packed in here!

 

I love the textures and colors in this "Mild and Wild" Brassica seed mix from Osborne Seed Company.

I love the textures and colors in this “Mild and Wild” Brassica seed mix from Osborne Seed Company.

Kohlrabi, invaded by sweet potato vines that have spreaded from 8 feet away.

Kohlrabi, invaded by sweet potato vines that have spreaded from 8 feet away.

This fennel is starting to form beautiful bulbs at it's base. Not much longer!

This fennel is starting to form beautiful bulbs at it’s base. Not much longer!

We're growing 4 varieties of cabbage this year... many of them are starting to head up nicely.

We’re growing 4 varieties of cabbage this year… many of them are starting to head up nicely.

There are 3 varieties of endive pictured here. I'm waiting on frost to temper them so I can thin and eat some of these tightly-packed plants.

There are 3 varieties of endive pictured here. I’m waiting on frost to temper them so I can thin and eat some of these tightly-packed plants.

A July sowing of delicata squash allowed enough time for these beautiful delicata squash to form. Mature patisson panache jaune et vert squash at bottom.

A July sowing of delicata squash allowed enough time for these beautiful delicata squash to form. Mature patisson panache jaune et vert squash at bottom.

A late-sowing of Asian greens. These grow so quickly, they will make nice stir-fry greens for winter meals.

A late-sowing of Asian greens. These grow so quickly, they will make nice stir-fry greens for winter meals.

Lots of parsley left over from last year's winter garden (it's a great cut-and-come-again plant). One of them has decided to go to seed.

Lots of parsley left over from last year’s winter garden (it’s a great cut-and-come-again plant). One of them has decided to go to seed.

 

A colorful salad of lettuces, romaines, radicchio, salad burnet, strawberries, nasturtium, hyssop, dill, and parsley.

A colorful salad of lettuces, romaines, radicchio, salad burnet, strawberries, nasturtium, hyssop, dill, and parsley.

 

These Tristan everbearing strawberries have caught a second wind, thanks to cooler temperatures and abundant rain.

These Tristan everbearing strawberries have caught a second wind, thanks to cooler temperatures and abundant rain.

Palla rossa radicchio is forming nice heads that should be ready soon.

Palla Rossa radicchio is forming nice heads that should be ready soon.

Spigariello, aka leaf broccoli, is a new favorite green to us; it's great raw in salads, or cooked. Ruby Streaks mustard offers a nice contrast to it (foreground).

Spigariello, aka leaf broccoli, is a new favorite green to us; it’s great raw in salads, or cooked. Ruby Streaks mustard offers a nice contrast to it (foreground).

Fall cabbage is so beautiful -- very few of the cabbage worms and harlequin bugs that plague it in spring.

Fall cabbage is so beautiful — very few of the cabbage worms and harlequin bugs that plague it in spring.

Little Bo Peep loves watching the cabbage develop, and just being out in the garden, generally.

Little Bo Peep loves watching the cabbage develop, and just being out in the garden, generally.

I'm loving this new-to-me kale called Russian Frills (from Adaptive Seeds) -- a really, really, really Ragged Jack.

I’m loving this new-to-me kale called Russian Frills (from Adaptive Seeds) — a really, really, really Ragged Jack.

Lots of beautiful lettuce this fall -- here's one of 12 varieties that are mature at the moment.

Lots of beautiful lettuce this fall — here’s one of 12 varieties that are mature at the moment.

I was late planting my sweet potatoes this year -- not until the first week of July! I couldn't resist checking them on October 2nd, and was pleased to find them nicely sized after only 90 days of growth in an unusually cool, wet summer.

I was late planting my sweet potatoes this year — not until the first week of July! I couldn’t resist checking them on October 2nd, and was pleased to find them nicely sized after only 90 days of growth in an unusually cool, wet summer.

Not a bad harvest for such a late planting and poor weather year for sweet potato growth.

Not a bad harvest for such a late planting and poor weather year for sweet potato growth.

Cosmos and zinnias are still producing like crazy.

Cosmos and zinnias are still producing like crazy.

Inchelium Red and Chesnok Red garlic. Love that blush!

Inchelium Red and Chesnok Red garlic. Love that blush!

This is how we get the beds ready when rotary tillage isn’t necessary — broadforks are great tools for aerating the soil, while preserving soil structure and organisms.

 

Once the sweet potatoes and squash came out, garlic was planted. Here, my "intern," Christin, gives me a hand.

Once the sweet potatoes and squash came out, garlic was planted. Here, my “intern,” Christin, gives me a hand.

This delphinium started from seed struggled all summer, but we finally got some flowers in late October -- not their usual flowering time, but the cool, wet weather made them happy.

This delphinium started from seed struggled all summer, but we finally got some flowers in late October — not their usual flowering time, but the cool, wet weather made them happy.

 

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Yvonne

    October 30, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Would you please share your seed source for the flat-leaf form of spigariella/leaf broccoli? That looks much more appealing than the curly form I have seen. Thx!

    • Cathy

      October 30, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks for reminding me to add the links to my seed sources — I’ve updated the post. Click on the links in the body of the post (these aren’t affiliate links, btw)… just there for your convenience. Enjoy!

  2. Ann

    October 30, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    How beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing this. How many square feet of rows are shown in these pictures? Also, do you have problems with deer or other four-legged friends and if so, how do you deal with them?

  3. Lee @ Lady Lee's Home

    October 30, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    How beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kimberly

    November 1, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Your blog is so inspiring. I immediately ordered Elliot Colemans book and hope to get some lettuce and swiss chard in the ground today. I have read every post here and just love the pictures of your family. I too am limited to what I eat so gardening is very necessary besides a pleasure.

    • Cathy

      November 1, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Thank you so much, Kimberly. Glad to have you here. 🙂