Thursday, November 11, 2010

November Garden Update

The temperature may be getting close to freezing overnight and the sun is setting before dinnertime, but that doesn't mean the growing season is over yet.

Crops like fennel, radish, carrots, beets, peas, and greens all thrive in the cool fall weather. I didn't even mean to plant the peas and fennel shown above!

I mulched my tomatoes with dried pea shoots over the summertime, and I guess there were a few dried peas still on the stalks. I was surprised this fall to find pea shoots growing and a few pods on the vine. I also intentionally planted some peas in September and they are just flowering now.

The fennel also grew as a "volunteer" plant, I'm guessing from one of the seeds of the fennel that was planted in spring.

There is a recipe for Warm Fennel and Parmesan Dip in the most recent issue of Martha Stewart's Living magazine that I'm hoping to try. The website Willie's Greens posted a copy of the recipe if you're interested.

What else is growing right now?

Many of the Tat Soi shoots got destroyed by a nibbling something, but there are still some kale and carrot seedlings that I'm hoping turn into real plants within the next 30 days before the frost comes.

And there are a ton of green tomatoes to collect asap. Chicken Man has a lot of Hungarian Wax and other spicy peppers growing on his porch, so I'm planning to do a repeat of the Green Tomato Relish I made over my stay-cation.

We just ate some of the relish with grilled chicken and it was phenomenal. It made me feel o.k. about the fact that I barely grew any red tomatoes at all this year!

Also,there are a lot of green shoots growing in this one area of my garden bed. I thought that I had planted Daikon Radish there, but the shoots look and smell a lot like coriander...

Otherwise the main thing going on in the garden right now is fertilizing to replace all of the nutrients taken out by the plants.

I just sprinkled both of my beds with rabbit poop from our heirloom American Chinchilla bunnies- they're not breeding right now, but at least they are providing good fertilizer. 

I could plant a cover crop to hold the nutrients in all winter and retain better soil health, so maybe I will do that once the carrots and tomato plants come out of the ground in the next few weeks.

Maybe I will grow some rye? The University of Vermont has a great explanation for why rye makes a great cover crop over the winter.

Other plans for late fall gardening: snip a few lengths of fig tree branches to try to propagate new trees, plant garlic to germinate next spring, and perhaps start a small pop-up market.

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