Usually green is associated with Spring, but in this case it is my garden's theme for Autumn. When I saw that the night time temperatures were in the 30's and that there was a frost advisory the other night, I decided it was time to gather my last harvest.
Not a bad harvest considering my tomato crop really did not come on strong until late August. The tomato plants spent the hot summer just trying to survive. They struggled with minimal light and I realized that that I did not plant them deep enough. As a result, they were not able to reach deep enough to find water when I (on occasion) did not have time to water. At least there was coco chip mulch to hold the water when it did get watered.
This tomato plant got so big. It really took off as the hot dry summer faded. I could not find my twine to tie it up, so I just let it sprawl and take over. It pretty much engulfed the poor little sweet red pepper. I decided to let it go for two reasons. Air filtration (because that's what plants do), and fried green tomatoes. Since tomatoes just seemed to keep appearing I thought I would let them grow as long as the weather permitted. So they grew bigger and bigger.
They are just beautiful.
Too funny, I just realized there are 13 tomatoes! Lucky 13?
They will make a lovely fried green tomato dinner. Maybe 2 dinners! My husband and I have been looking forward to this for a while.
The pepper plants did not thrive as heartily as the tomatoes as the weather turned, but they did produce just a little something extra.
There are two small green peppers. They have been the same size for about a month. I guess the ground and night time temperatures have been too cool to encourage growth, but not cool enough to kill the peppers.
There were also two more baby banana peppers. Unlike the sweet red peppers, these guys actually have made some growing progress in the last few weeks. The two banana peppers I picked a few weeks ago (can be seen in this post) went into burritos. yum. These guys are half the size of the others though, so they might be a garnish if sorts, not sure just yet.
Last night my husband asked me if the little garden paid for itself, if it was worth the $$ investment. I thought for a moment and told him probably not. Though, the more I thought about it today, the more I think it might have come close to breaking even. There was no really spectacular harvest, but the herbs alone more than paid for themselves. Every time you buy a bundle of cilantro you could pay about the same for a plant that will produce more than what you just put in the produce bag at the grocery store. It is true, jalapenos are very cheap, but if you can provide a plant with enough light, you will have reasonable success. One of the things that made it valuable for me was that I could go out side and just grab a hand full of cilantro, a jalapeno, a bundle of fresh oregano, or mint and add it to what ever I was making. It was the freshest produce I could hope for, and I did not even have to get in my car! It was right there.
I would like to plant a fall crop in the future. One with plants that actually like the cooler temperatures. Do you have favorites to grow in the fall?