Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 10/21/13

Well, it’s been another week without rain. We had a bit of a spit on Saturday, but it didn’t even measure in my rain gauge. I am not looking forward to my water bill! But the gardening must go on. Although I didn’t accomplish all I wanted to this weekend, I still got a lot done. Besides the harvesting and weeding, I planted more Scarlet Nantes carrots and Early Wonder beets. I also planted five kinds of lettuce: Tom Thumb, Buttercrunch, Black Seeded Simpson, Red Romaine, and Red Sails. I put up a quart of green beans (ate the rest!) and about five pounds of green bell peppers in the freezer, dehydrated three pounds of Pink Lady apples and 140 lemon drop peppers, and made two batches of hot pepper jam. Busy farmer weekend, for sure. It may be autumn, but the homestead is still hopping.

HARVESTS:

I’m still picking figs and now have about five quarts in the freezer, waiting to make fig preserves.

Celeste fig harvest ~ October 16

Celeste fig harvest ~ October 16

My green beans are still producing, and the lemon drop peppers are drooping with fruit that is starting to turn ripe.

Black Valentine green beans, lemon drop peppers, & peas

Lemon drop peppers, Black Valentine green beans & peas ~ October 18

Of course, my peppers keep coming in.

Pepper harvest ~ October 18

Pepper harvest ~ October 18

NEW LIFE:

Yes, it’s mid-October, but here in the South we still see new life in autumn.

Almost all of my radishes are up.

Radish bed

Radish bed

My red clover cover crop has germinated.

Red clover seedlings

Red clover seedlings

The first watercress poked out of the soil the other day.

Watercress seedling

Watercress seedling

GROWING:

Because it hasn’t rained much in the past six weeks, the grass hasn’t needed to be cut much. Well, it needed it this weekend, and did we get a surprise. Unbeknownst to me, my watermelon vines grew through the fence, into the front yard – and there are five watermelons on those vines! (That’s in addition to the two growing in the raised bed.) Wow!

3 watermelons hiding under the vine

3 watermelons hiding under the vine

2 more surprise watermelons

2 more surprise watermelons

I’m seeing more tomatoes on my tomato “weed.” I hope they reach maturity before the hard frost.

Tomatoes - in October!

Tomatoes – in October!

The turnips are starting to “bulb” up.

Purple top turnip

Purple top turnip

My lemon drop pepper plants are so loaded with fruit, they’re bowing over!

Lemon drop pepper plant

Lemon drop pepper plant

FLOWERING:

My rocoto pepper plants are still flowering and putting out new peppers.

Rocoto pepper flowers

Rocoto pepper flowers

My key lime tree is flowering again…in the midst of ripening the limes already on it. Wow.

Key lime flowers

Key lime flowers

SIGNS OF AUTUMN:

My asparagus is starting to turn brown, a sure sign of autumn. I’ll be cutting it back next month and covering it with mushroom compost.

Asparagus fern ~ October

Asparagus fern ~ October

Please share what’s happening in your garden and on your homestead in the comments below. I’d love to know!

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