10 October 2023

Garden Report

We had such a good tomato and pepper year in my raised-bed gardens!

We still have many peppers flourishing, and they will continue to do so until first frost. I plan to dig up a couple of the tastiest and most productive plants to transfer them to indoor pots for winter before we drop below 40 overnight. This is the time of year I always have to watch the overnight forecasts very closely.

This was my best tomato year since I moved from New Mexico, where I (accidentally) grew enough beefsteaks to supply a grocery store. This year, I had enough grape tomatoes, rainbow blend cherry tomatoes and chocolate cherry tomatoes to stock a grocery store. I grew enough Romas (very difficult in this region) all at one time to make a pot of spaghetti sauce. And I had salad after salad all summer long. Lizard doesn't like tomatoes on or in anything but sauce, which means more for me!

The squirrels discovered my late-season cherry tomatoes when I didn't harvest them fast enough, and now I have to keep a constant eye out to keep the critters from ravaging my raised-bed gardens. I try to make sure I harvest before the tomatoes turn cherry red now, and I've kept a continual blanket of cayenne pepper powder, cinnamon and black pepper on the raised bed gardens. I ripen the not-quite-red tomatoes in the southeast-facing window, which gets the most sun of all our windows.

Got only one cucumber this year, so no home-grown fridge pickles this time around. Thankfuly, the grocery store has a healthy selection. Does anyone else think veggies from our own gardens just taste fresher???

The big surprise of the year for me so far are my Brussels sprouts. I planted from seed last year and got nothing but leaves (which are good in salads and most excellent steamed for stir-fry). This year, I bought a mature plant, which I also thought was not going to be productive until the last couple of weeks, when heads began forming. !!! I didn't know this last year, but these plants will survive up to 10 degrees, and the colder they get in the evenings, the sweeter the heads will be. I like them steamed with just butter, but I also like them steamed with garlic and parmesan. I cannot wait until I get to try my first-ever home-grown Brussels sprouts!!!


  1. This year, the tomato harvest was better than last year but still meager. However, the last tomato was the most beautiful, and we ate it for dinner tonight. Very tastey, indeed.

    1. Nothing better than homegrown tomatoes, Regula! My favorite food in the whole world!

  2. Hello sweet Deb! I have never tried brussel sprouts but may now. I let my kale and purple sprouting broccoli go through the winter and they do so much better.
    Loads of love to you and Lizard. XX

    1. Maria, it is SO awesome to hear from you again! We have missed you! I've not had any luck at all with broccoli, but I keep trying. My spinach hasn't ever done well either, but I get microgreens like crazy, and they are very tasty as salads. Electronic hugs right back at ya!

  3. Cole crops love chilly weather. I'm hoping my collards and kale perk up now that the nights are cool (no frost yet here). Your Brussels sprouts look great, and that's a nice haul of chiles and tomatoes.


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