Sunday, November 5, 2017

Early November edible garden

Late fall tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and storage beans.
Sunday, November 5, 2017

Well, we had our first light frost a couple of weeks ago in our Zone 7 garden.  The temperature got down to 32 degrees F.  It was cold enough to bite the eggplant, basil, and pepper plants.  

The pepper and eggplant plants were not severely affected by the frost; just yellowing and curling of the leaves.  One of the basil plants turned black.  The others are fine.  The tomatoes don't seem to have been affected.   

I could have used a fabric cover to protect these cold sensitive veggies and they would have been fine for this temperature.

The green beans were done about a month ago.  The storage beans are ripening a few pods and then they will be ready to be cut and composted.  I'll not pull them so any nitrogen nodules on their roots will be left in the soil for next year.  I'll plant nitrogen hungry plants there next season like lettuce and spinach.

There was not enough damage to the tomatoes, eggplant or pepper plants to halt the fruit production.  The next 10 days do not show any temperatures down to freezing so I will leave them growing.  The next time the forecast has the temperatures going into the 20’s, I will harvest all the peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant fruits and call it a season for these summer veggies.
Tomatoes and peppers ripening on the counter.

You could bring the peppers indoors and they will continue fruiting for weeks and put them back out in the spring to get a head start on summer.  I get enough hot peppers off each of the plants to eat and freeze that I won’t do that this year.  I am thinking about bringing in some of the meaty sweet peppers that did great along with the Chiltepin pepper which is hard to get started. 

You could also put the potted tomatoes, eggplant and peppers in a greenhouse and lengthen the season for at least another 4 weeks.  I may bring in the white eggplant since this variety is hard to get going from seed and hard to find as a plant. 

The cold season crops like lettuce, kale, broccoli, onions, mustard, sorrel are very happy.  The celery is still going strong.  It doesn’t seem to be affected by heat or cold.  We harvest from it year round.

The rest of the herbs are doing very well-thyme, savory, oregano, chives, rosemary, sage, bay, parsley, mint.  The dill gave up last month.  I'll bring in the bay plants to overwinter in the garage when a freeze is called for.  

Don't forget your local Farmers Market if you want local and freshest produce in season.  Many are open all winter long!

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