Brandywine, San Marzano, roma, tomatillo, bell peppers, and brussel sprouts. I’ve nearly killed them a few times from a lack of water, but they’re still hanging in there. I need to transplant them to larger containers soon, though, to help them grow bigger before they can go outside. Maybe that’s what I should do today?
I finally stopped putting it off. Yesterday was supposed to be around 66 degrees, and the rest of the week cool and rainy. I pretty much had to do it yesterday otherwise I might never get to it before winter. And you can see in the first photo how overgrown everything is – we sucked at weed control this year and we had volunteer tomatoes that the husband let continue to grow instead of hacking them back to keep the garden neat and tidy. Our garden has it’s own eco system of bugs and spiders which, naturally, I have a love/hate relationship with.
I pulled out the carrier and wore the kid in that while I picked tomatoes. At least for a little while before the extra weight of him got to be too much for my knees (this morning we found out he’s 11.5 pounds, so it’s no wonder!). Those tomatoes weren’t supposed to be that small. They were supposed to be San Marzano tomatoes. Clearly, they’re not. I’m highly disappointed, of course. We plant 2.5 beds of tomatoes – one for sauce, one for sandwich tomatoes, and one plant for the tiny salad ones. And you know what we don’t need? 3 plants full of tiny freaking tomatoes! (We also don’t need 2.5 beds of tomatoes, but the husband insists and then I’m left trying to figure out just what I’m going to do with it all.) It looks like I’ll be ordering a new pack of seeds to start this year since the pack from this last year was mislabeled. Ugh.
I’m attempting to dehydrate a batch of the tomatoes to see how they do (either for use in snacks or cooking, we’ll see). Other than that I’m not really sure what to do with them. The peppers will easily get used up – they’re always the thing we use the most of from the garden. The green tomatoes… I don’t even know. You can only eat so many fried green ones. I could maybe freeze them, but then I’d have to admit that I have freezer bags of tomatoes in the deep freezer outside from… 4 years ago? Things go out to that freezer and then end up forgotten about.
We ended up with monster beets this year. Every year I’ve tried to grow them (because I love them very much) and I rarely ever have any success. Most years none of them ever come up. This year 2 came up in the spring, but by then I was so tired and not in the mood to mess with the garden so I ignored it. I figured maybe it would go to seed so I could save seeds for next year (with the idea that maybe, just maybe the seeds would actually grow this time). We never got any seeds from it – instead I ended up with two giant monster beets that I’m not even sure are going to be edible. I haven’t yet attempted to cut one with a knife yet. I’m going to assume they’re woody and gross inside. It looks like two seeds did happen to germinate late in the season, so we have a small and a normal sized beet as well. I feel like I should give up on my beet dreams, but every year I tell myself “this will be the year!” and it never is. Chances are I’ll try to plant beets again next year. And chances are I’ll be incredibly disappointed all over again.
… for real. I took the trash out this morning and realized that my rose bush has this giant creation all over it. So I looked around more and found probably 5 more thick webs over other various plants.
I really hate spraying hazardous chemicals around the yard, but it might be time to get some bug spray and spray the foundation of the house. I keep finding big spiders in the house as it is, and it’ll only get worse as the temps get colder. Better to spray now than to feel like I need to nuke the house from orbit!
Yesterday we had a kitchen day – I turned on the White Stripes station on Pandora, popped him into the bouncer, and we hung out together in the kitchen while I prepped some items for dinners this week and cleaned and organized some cabinets. It’s been a bit since I’ve really been in the kitchen and I quite missed it, and I’m trying to make more of an effort to incorporate him into the chores I do especially while he’s awake, so it was nice to be able to combine the two. I had a bit of wine, cooked up some mashed potatoes, and had just a lovely afternoon while he looked around (or napped). And having a clean kitchen, even if it was just for an hour, was fantastic.
The fall temps are here for good, it seems, which means the garden is winding down. We’ve been picking tomatoes and peppers as much as we can but I’m running out of counter space and I have zero clue how to store our veggies to make them last until we can get around to eating them. I’ve even been giving away what I can! This is the struggle I have every year with the garden… a huge bounty of veggies, and nowhere to store them and not enough meals in the day to eat them. I know I can freeze them for sauces later, but we just don’t use tomato sauce very often, sadly. I think this winter I need to plan the garden better and pare back on the number of tomato plants we grow since we certainly don’t need all of these. We could do with a bit more variety in the garden, anyway, especially since by next spring we’ll be feeding Declan real foods – it’d be great to grow a lot of baby food friendly things for him to eat and try!
Fresh tomatoes and peppers from the garden. I don’t dare show you the actual state of the garden – it’s quite the disaster this year, what with weeds growing everywhere and the tomatoes sorely needed tied up to the stakes more. I knew, going into the year, that the garden was going to suffer since I’d be pregnant and uncomfortable and not able to keep up with it much. I knew the tomatoes were going to ripen and that I wasn’t going to be able to can them up. I’m really pretty thrilled with the harvest we’ve managed to get with pretty much zero work, though. Weeds are going to be a problem next year, but hopefully by next year I’ll have some more energy and focus to give to the garden, especially since by next year we’ll have a 9 month old trying new foods and we can introduce him to the awesomeness that is home grown veggies right from the back yard.