Can you believe the gardening season is almost over already? Neither can I. 😢 But for this northern gardener, my season is winding down already as it's too cold here to do fall planting. This is the third and final walk through of my vegetable garden for the year, as next month I will be harvesting and ripping all the plant debris out (If you missed the spring and early summer vegetable garden tour, you can catch it HERE). Many of my veggies have been harvested already, but of course there are lots of vegetables that aren't ready yet like potatoes and squash.
Well let's begin the tour shall we? If you saw my last Vegetable Garden Post, the first thing you will notice is how large and overgrown everything is. I said it last month, and I will say it again this month, "Wow! What a difference a month makes!". It's hard to believe this is the same garden. It's even more hard to believe that only two months ago this was a dry patch of dirt, and now it's overgrown with vegetables! What a miracle of our creator that we can take a tiny little seed, barely visible to the naked eye, plant it in the ground, and it grows into a big, beautiful plant that nourishes our bodies!
Well let us begin the tour, shall we? This garden features beans, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, summer squash, Swiss chard, spinach, and yes, sunflowers! Everyone says to me "Your garden must be so huge to grow so much stuff" but it really isn't. You just have to think smart, and try to grow vertically as much as possible.
This year I planted my beans in a raised bed to make harvesting easier, plus I love the way they look cascading over the wall. But they quickly overtook my window box planters which I like to set on the raised bed wall, so I had to find another solution. I ended up hanging my window boxes on the cattle fence using window box brackets. I absolutely love it because I can really see my gorgeous flower boxes better now.
I have always planted marigolds and petunias in my vegetable garden because I read they attract beneficial insects to the garden. Well, yes they do, but they also attract Japanese Beetles so I googled "Annuals Japanese Beetles won't eat" and Lantana was one of them. I therefore planted lots of Lantana this year and boy, am I impressed with this plant. It blooms non-stop, is drought tolerant, and the best part is that the Japanese Beetles don't go near it!
Another thing I did different was plant sunflowers in the back row against the screen. I love sunflowers, but I always have their beautiful blooms eaten by squirrels or deer too early, and I never get to enjoy them. Here they are safe from harm and I get to enjoy their beautiful blooms!
Broccoli and cauliflower is planted in front of the sunflower. They are all done for the season, but after you cut the main head of the broccoli plant off, it will continue to produce little side shoots all summer long.
Part of my broccoli, cauliflower, and bean harvest this year. Aren't these heads beautiful? All organic, fresh from the garden, so they are more nutrient dense.
I've had extraordinary success with my zucchini/summer squash plants this year. I can't believe how huge they got! I've got more zucchini/summer squash then I know what to do with. In the past, I always had a plant die, so this year I planted two of each, and guess what? No dead plants and now I have more zucchini than I can use. I've been throwing zucchini in everything, baking every zucchini dish I can think of, and freezing some.
This view shows the other side of the zucchini plants which features potatoes, cucumbers growing up the back fence by the door, peas, onions, and carrots.
My next garden contains mostly squash, tomatoes and peppers, but there are onions, carrots, potatoes, and beets in here as well.
My squash plants are insane! I trellised them up the cattle fence and they quickly outgrew that height, so now I'm training them to grow along the cross beam.
Believe it or not I only planted three plants: one spaghetti squash, one butternut, and one acorn.
Here you can see how I wrap the vines around the beam and tie it. Can you see I even have a squash growing on top of the beam in the left upper corner? How funny.
Everyone wonders how I can grow squash on a fence and asks "Doesn't it get too heavy and fall off?" And I always answer "Nope. The vine keeps strengthening itself to adjust for the weight of the squash. I haven't lost one yet!"
In front of the squash I grow sweet pepper and beets. My peppers are amazing this year. They must be loving all this heat the globalist keep complaining about. All my peppers are waist high and loaded with the biggest peppers I've ever seen!
I grew beets for the first time this year and I was surprised how easily it was. I just canned my first "Pickled Beets" because everyone kept telling me how delicious pickled beets are. I haven't tried any yet, but I hope I like it. I really enjoy slicing a cold beet and having it on a salad. That is my favorite way to eat beets. I wish I would have grown more beets. I only grew a small crop because I wasn't sure I even like them, but now that I know I do like them, I'm growing more next year!
After the row of beets, I planted onions. This was my fourth attempt at onions. I've always had trouble growing onions. This year was the best yet, although they still haven't gotten as big as I had hoped. Most have fallen over already and I'm not sure if I should pick them or leave them in the ground a little longer. What do you think?
Here are some photos of my peppers. This is just the standard green pepper, but look how big it is compared to the size of my hand! You won't find them this big in the grocery store!
And this variety is called "Big Bertha". I can certainly see where it got it's name from.
On the other end of the squash and peppers are tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and carrots.
I pulled a few carrots already and they look amazing!
Here is my onion. I planted white, red, and yellow. They are a little smaller than a baseball right now.
To save space I trellis my tomatoes onto the cattle fence. This allows great air circulation, easy harvesting, and is a great space saver.
My tomatoes are just starting to turn red. They were a little late ripening this year.
I planted dill for the first time this year and I fell in love with this plant. It is such a delicate, pretty plant and I love the way it smells. It grew over six feet tall!
Look at the size of its blooms!
I won't be pickling this year, but I did save some of the seeds for recipes.
In my herb garden, I tried a new variety of kale this year that I just love. It's so pretty and healthy looking and grows so well. But would you believe I haven't eaten any of it yet? I know, so sad! I just have so many other greens to eat, I can't even get to this one. Plus, it's too pretty to eat. 😂 So I'm calling it an "ornamental vegetable".
And finally, here is a 12 minute video where I walk you through my entire vegetable garden. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed my vegetable garden tour, I will be back soon with a tour of the flower gardens.
Have A Great Day! Amy
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