Winding down for the fall

Two weeks ago, the younger and more vulnerable maple trees started to turn color.  Today, we’re basically at peak foliage here in New Jersey.  We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather, but the garden is winding down, readying for winter.

This was a year of mixed results.  Although we didn’t get much garlic, that which we harvested was delicious: so intensely pungent that I’m forevermore spoiled.  Basil and carrots did well, and we have some of each to carry us at least partially through winter.

Our tomatoes were less successful.  The cherry tomatoes that sprouted by themselves gave good fruit all summer.  The Black from Tula and paste tomatoes tasted great, but didn’t yield as I’d hoped for.  The tomato plants looked scrawny all summer.  I made some batches of tomato paste and sauce, but not all that much.

Beets, chard and kale were much the same.  We didn’t have nearly the yields that I would have liked.

One thing we learned is that despite all the compost and manure I turn into the garden each year, the soil is out of balance.  An analysis from the Rutgers agricultural extension tells us we need to put a 1-0-0 fertilizer to balance it.

I’m also guilty of trying to plant too many plants in a small space.  Unlike grape vines, vegetables need elbow room to grow.  Next year, we’ll plant fewer types.  Garlic won’t be coming back, as we just don’t have enough room to plant a reasonable amount of it.  I uprooted our strawberries and donated them to our daughter’s charter school.

I’m looking forward to enjoying pesto and carrot curry through the winter.



About Peter, a/k/a sourdoughdaddy

Husband, dad, personal trainer, cross-country skier, trail runner, writer.
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