Edibles · Garden · Homeschool

Changing of the Seasons in the Garden

Brrrr…A cold spell came in Halloween night! It finally feels like autumn. We’ll be breaking through to the 80’s this weekend but that’s as high as we’ll probably get until next spring. With the change of seasons come many changes in the garden. My tomatoes and peppers have put on a lot of new flowers the last few weeks but none of these will actually ripen before the cold hits. The girls have really enjoyed their task of picking off these flowers. This helps focus the plant’s energy into ripening what is already on the plant. The girls used the flowers in their mud creations.

I’ve seen people to go great lengths to extend their warm season crops.  Usually that happens in colder climates.  We can grow food year round here so we are pulling up the last of the warm season plants to make room for more cool season crops.  My tomatoes and peppers were in pots that we moved from our old house. I could move them around the yard to chase the sun but that just seems like way too much work.  Storyteller is very sensitive about plants and the change of seasons.  Hubby took the girls on an errand one night while I did some work in the garden and I was really undecided about whether or not I should tear out the tomatoes and peppers while they were out.  Would it be better for her to come home and find them gone or for her to be here and watch me do it?  I ran out of time and sunlight that night so the girls and I got rid of them together the next day.  It was less painful for her than the last change of seasons but she was still upset to see them go.  We said thank you to them for the food they provided and said good-bye.  They picked the last of the peppers and tomatoes.  They put aside the green tomatoes for the birds to eat.  The birds don’t actually eat them but it’s a game they play.  We pressed some leaves in books for them to keep.  They helped plant the broccoli that will fill the space.

Arugula Rocket
Arugula Rocket

Up until now we’ve only harvested arugula. It’s really taking off and so far two plants have actually been a bit too much for our family. A little goes a long way. This week we should be able to start harvesting Swiss chard, peas, and some of the lettuces. The radishes and spinach should be ready towards the end of the month.

Last week I finished all the planting. I think. I always seem to find a little extra space or come across another pot to plant. I transplanted spinach, broccoli and some more lettuces. I also planted onion seeds, swiss chard and radish seeds that I brought home from a local seed exchange event that a local gardening group held.

The garlic I planted about two weeks ago has started coming up. I planted Spanish Roja, Silver Rose, Inchelium Red, Early Italian and Red Toch in a 4’x4’ bed. I meant to count how many cloves we planted but forgot with all the craziness of gardening with kids. I’m guessing it was about 80-90 cloves but we’ll see once everything comes up.

Bee's Knees Rose
Bee’s Knees Rose

My roses have loved this cool weather these last few weeks. I’ve had a potted Bee’s Knees for a few years. I won it in a local rose society raffle back when we were living in California. It has survived several near death episodes but it has always come back. For a while, Storyteller liked to water my roses with bubble solution. My other potted rose didn’t survive but this one is a fighter. The house we recently bought came with several roses. All but one was clearly dead. The one that was alive was barely holding on but I gave it some water and fertilizer and it is doing very well now.

As much as I love the warm season crops, I am excited to start harvesting our cool season treats. We are trying a lot of new varieties and I’m looking forward to seeing how they do in our climate.


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