The garden has not been getting as much attention as it got during the summer months, and so today I spent some time in my garden checking on the last of the summer veggies, as well as planning my fall garden clean up.
The pepper plants are still doing pretty well, some of the peppers are starting to turn red. We had a pretty slim tomato harvest this year, they took quite some time to ripen, and some fell victim to blossom end rot. This is the first time I have had any major trouble with blossom end rot, next year I will have to work on that more. We still have zucchini going, but the plants have died back considerably.
The nasturtium are so pretty with their bright orange color, they are doing very nicely this year, and were a surprise to me as they came up on their own from last years fallen seed. I love that fall color!
The zinnias are also continuing to blossom, this was a particularly pretty blossom, a new variety I tried this year, I spotted a few more blossoms ready to open, and I'm looking forward to seeing what variety they are. I hope to grow even more next year, I really enjoy how easy zinnias are to grow.
Our garden is on the small side for full grown pumpkins, but every year I like to tuck in a least one or two mini pumpkin plants. Here is our tiny pumpkin harvest. A very pretty little white variety, they will look very nice along with my harvest decor.
Here is my lone acorn squash of the year. I am very happy to have harvested this one, I only planted one acorn squash plant in a container, next year I will have to plant a couple more, but we will enjoy our little acorn squash with butter and brown sugar. :)
I experimented with Lima beans this year, just a couple of smaller containers planted. They took a long time getting going, then I wasn't sure they were done, I went to check on them today, and not only were they done, but the last week of hot weather had started them drying in the pod. I am not sure how they will taste, I read different things about Lima bean harvest online- some advice said not to let them dry on the vine or they would be too tough, and some said do dry them on the vine. So I decided to pick them now, and finish drying them in a low oven until they are all the way dry, then I will soak them and cook them up to see how they did. Just like our Pea harvest , we only got a handful, but I think it is fun to experiment with different plants, and see what we can actually grow in our small backyard garden.
Our fall planting of Kale is doing nicely, I will probably thin it soon, and I am looking forward to enjoying it through the later fall and early winter. I really enjoy kale, and plan to grow a lot more next spring.
This weekend I hope to get a bunch of fall garden cleanup underway, removing the last of the summer veggie plants, getting out some of those pesky weeds that have been growing this month, finish up harvesting, and planting some garlic and maybe shallots. Then put the majority of the garden to bed for winter. I want to be very diligent this year in cleaning up old plants so I don't give any of the garden pests a place to over winter. Plus having a nice clean garden in the spring makes planting easier.
This week I was in our town's small variety store, picking up a few odds and ends, and as I approached the counter I heard a very familiar noise, a noise I hadn't heard in many years, but remembered fondly. The sound of Mexican Jumping Beans hopping around in their little plastic containers. As a child we used to get Mexican Jumping Beans frequently, and I always enjoyed them quite a bit. I hadn't seen them in stores for quite some time, so I was so excited to have come across them, and brought home two little containers of them, along with this fun little information sheet and jumping bean game. So fun and interesting, if you spot some in the store, they are very fun to bring home, we all enjoyed watching them jump around.
This week we also celebrated my son's 16th birthday, he had friends over this weekend to celebrate, and we had a nice dinner and small family celebration on his actual birthday yesterday. He has been celebrating his birthday with the same group of boys that he has grown up with at church since he was a preschooler, it is so neat to watch this group of boys grow up. Happy 16th birthday Joseph!
Last week Gary, Sarah, and Joseph, had a wonderful opportunity to get out and work with our local river watch group. They spent the day clearing trails, here are Sarah and Joe with two of the group leaders, after clearing a good portion of this trail. We are looking forward to working more with this group, Sarah and Joe's school environmental club, "Green Team", works with the local river watch group to upkeep some of the miles of trails we have around here. I think it is a wonderful way to get out and help the community as well as get out in nature.
They were rewarded at the end of a hard days work with catching a glimpse of this wonderful owl, Gary caught the pictures just in time. The owl blends in so well with the forest, and it such a beautiful bird! They also found and brought home a thunder egg, our state rock, we will have to take pictures when we open it up.
I am hoping to get out for another day hike very soon, before the rainy season starts. I am looking forward to October, cooler weather, and watching the leaves change color, as well as all of the wonderful fall cooking and decorating.
What are you looking forward to this fall?