Radish Stew

A Central Texas Gardening Journal

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall Garden

The race is on! According to the local gardening guide, the average first fall frost date is November 28. All fall garden plants will need to be harvested.

This picture shows the two types of basil growing in my garden. On the left is the type I call "Big Leaf". We have been growing this basil from saved seeds for 15 years. I will process these plants by chopping and freezing 1/2 cup portions or by drying. The plant on the right, which is blooming, is another type we introduced about 3 years ago. I like to make pesto from these plants to freeze. I don't let winter keep me from having my favorite herb in abundance!

I have started harvesting the butternut squash. If the squash is picked ripe and healthy, then it will last for months with no processing. As the squashes grow, they are green. when they turn brown, with a hard skin, then they are ripe. The plants are stressed by fungus and insects. So, the race is on to see how many squashes can be ripened before the frost or the plants give out.

Tomatoes! I have four tomato plants. they are healthy and vigorous. They have tomatoes which are full sized but not yet ripe. If I harvest the plants and keep them from freezing the tomatoes will continue to ripen indoors. If they are subjected to freeze, they are lost! 

Yesterday, we have one inch of soaking but gentle rain. Now give the fall garden plants some sunshine, and we'll feel so fortunate to harvest what we can.


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