Sunday, October 3, 2010

Harvest Monday: October 3, 2010

Each Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions hosts “Harvest Monday” where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. It’s fun to see what everyone is harvesting from his or her gardens in different areas.

The thermometer read 36˚F/2˚C as the sun rose early Sunday morning. Our first frost is imminent and was predicted to occur early Monday morning, but we escaped frost free. It is just a matter of time now. The weekend was devoted to preparing for the end of the growing season for the year.

Most of the tomato plants were pulled several weeks ago, but the San Marzano tomatoes growing in the Square Foot Gardens (SFG) were still healthy and producing so they were allowed to grow until first frost. This weekend, I harvested most of the large green and partially ripe tomatoes and trimmed the plants down to the ground. I was surprised to end up with 4 paper case sized boxes of tomatoes. I am not sure if all the green tomatoes will ripen, but I am certain some will.

The rest of the peppers were harvested, there were a few Jalapeno, Bells, and Anaheim left:

A few Zucchini, some small Cayenne peppers, and one Carrot that was pulled up to check the size:

The Purple Trionfo Pole Beans that I am trying to save for next year’s seed were pulled and spread out to finish drying in the basement:

Another batch of tomato sauce was made and canned; herbs were snipped, washed, and dried in the microwave or dehydrator; and one more batch of pesto was made and frozen for later use.

I welcome the end of the growing season. The garden has served us very well this year. Weekends have been busy cooking, canning and freezing each weekly harvest. The freezer and pantry shelves are jam-packed with the garden’s bounty to be used over the winter months.  I am looking forward to a break from gardening for a little while. The upcoming weeks will be busy with final cleanup of the garden, raking, shredding, and composting leaves; and stacking wood. Winter will be here before we know it.

Be sure to visit Daphne’s Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week.


  1. I am surprised that your San Marzano tomatoes are doing so well. I have two seed varities from Italy that I plant. They are always the weakest plants.

    The temperatures are dropping into the forties here at night.....but no thirties yet!

  2. I'm thinking of doing some anaheim next year instead of the jalapenos. Did you like them?

  3. I look forward to a little break from gardening too, because by summer's end - i'm pretty burned out.

  4. We have shifted into fall/winter mode pretty much entirely now too. I still have zucchini and cukes going but it is getting colder and I really don't expect them to go too much longer. That is a lot of tomatoes you got from the final paste tomato clear out. I see just a bit mroe canning in your future before you really hang it up for the season.

  5. Temp here (centrail Illinois) this morning fell to 34 degrees. I pulled just about everything left in the garden yesterday. I was so busy I forgot to take pictures. But I had lots of basil and a good number of jalapeno peppers left. Also caught a couple of lemon cukes which I'd missed before. Tossed them into my pickling jar (thank you Daphne) and they filled it to overflowing. I'm happy.

  6. Nice tomato harvest! I'm planning on saving bean seeds this time, as I finally found an heirloom that does well for us. I love the sense of independence I feel when I can save my own seed and know that it's there for next season.


  7. I harvested green tomatoes this week too. I'm holding out for my peppers to size up a bit more. I covered them to keep them safe from frost on Saturday night

  8. What a beautifully abundant harvest with the first frost right around the corner. Were you happy with the size of that carrot, or will you wait for them to size up some more?

    A question for you: in your SFG beds, what kind of plant spacing and vertical support do you use for your San Marzano tomatoes?

  9. Robin: I have heard that San Marzano tomatoes can be difficult. They must like it in the Square Foot Gardens.

    Ribbit: I am not a big pepper fan, but I use both Anaheim and Jalapeno for salsa and mostly Anaheim for green chili sauce for chicken enchiladas. They smell heavenly when roasted or grilled, have a mild heat, and blend well with other ingredients.

    EG: Yes, I am pretty burned out from keeping up with preserving the harvest. Each weekend has been devoted to making and canning a batch of sauce along with other things. I am looking forward to a break. Soon I will be obsessed with planning next years garden.

    KitsapFG: Working out in the yard or garden seems so much easier when the temperatures are cooler. My cucumbers were over a while ago and the summer squash is struggling and will be pulled soon. I am very surprised at the amount of tomatoes harvested from the last vines. I really don’t need any more tomatoes, but can’t waste them. The ones that ripen will be diced up and frozen for later use.

    Tempusflits: Seems like winter will be upon us soon.

    Mary: The Purple Trionfo Pole Beans are my first seed saving attempt. Usually my addiction to purchasing seed packages makes seed saving unnecessary.

    Emily: I was hoping my peppers had more time to size up as well, but I didn’t want to chance it.

    Thyme2Garden: I was quite surprised at the size of the carrot. I don’t have much luck growing carrots. The frost won’t affect them, so I will wait for them to size up more.

    I use 2x3s to make a trellis frame and screw it into the north side of the 4x4 SFG. Then zip-tie some nylon netting. You can sort of see the trellis here.

    Unfortunately, I found that the nylon netting gets brittle after only one year, so I may attach some wire fencing next year and just weave some twine in and out to help support the tomato vines as they grow. SFG spacing suggests 1 indeterminate tomato plant per square foot. I have better results with 3 tomato plants spaced evenly in the 4 squares along the trellis.

  10. Thank you for the detailed info! I just looked at the post, and am about to go and "study" some more of your previous posts. :)

  11. Look at all of those Jalapenos! Mine have stopped producing completely which is VERY disappointing.

    Also, I can't believe you still have zucchini! Where did I go wrong???

  12. I love all the peppers. I should be picking mine but I just don't have the will to pickle anymore and they keep just fine on the plant. Luckily we probably won't get a frost until late October so I can be lazy for a while more.

  13. I planted San Marzano 'Gigante' this year for the first time and they did well despite our cooler temps, so I'll try those again next year. Your harvest has been good, and a break is always welcome.