outside in the garden

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Astragene, with thanks to Garden web

Friday, October 04, 2002

End of garden
My veggie garden in wood tubs is pretty much at an end.

All summer I got tasty golfball-sized cukes. They are still coming, but smaller than golfballs now and not so round, more comma-shaped. As advised by my garden book, I cut back on water and fertilizer about 3 weeks ago.
The leaves look awful, all pale and holey.
Likewise with the tomato plants, most of whose leaves and stems have dried and blackened, but some of which are still producing fruits. Some drop before ripening. All of them --orange, light green, or even dark green -- I pluck up and take inside to the windowsill, where most are ripening.
The green basil and the purple basil are both way past their prime, though I can still get a few leaves now and then to add to pasta sauce.
The banana pepper plants still look okay ... not thriving, but not dying either, just slowing down. The yellow peppers turn purplish when fully ripe (could they have been influenced by the potted purple basil I tucked into their tub with them? Hmmmm.)

Green tomatoes, by the way, are a good addition to pasta sauce. I mostly have stopped making 'normal' pasta sauce and just cook up a mess of fresh vegetables (onion, garlic, eggplant, mushrooms, carrot, fresh tomatoes both ripe and green, and some basil leaves). I add salt and pepper and a small handful of fennel seed.
Fennel seed has a sweetish, anise-like flavor and is what they use in Italian sausage. It enriches a vegetarian pasta sauce. It was historically used in cooking fish, especially oily fish like salmon, as the leaves cut the oiliness and is still used as a garnish with fish.
For more information on Fennel, see the following:
Purple Sage herbal
VegWeb glossary
Fennel Pollen

For more information on October garden chores, see the following:
Horticultural news
10 fall garden chores