Monday, 12 September 2011

The Northern September Garden

The garden is a little rough around the edges as I've not had much time for prettying it up. Essential services, I'm afraid, folks!  Picking, freezing and canning is about all I can muster at the moment with hubby away and schooling to tend to :)

The garden is nearing the end of production.  I'm happy and sad all at once!  I'm tired, and I've logged a lot of hours in this garden over the past few months, so a change is starting to look good to me.  We've had night time frost more than a few times but thankfully, warm sunny days still.  Not for long though, as by late October, we usually get snow!

 On the far left toward to back, are the last of the fava beans, next is 4 LONG rows of carrots, then a row of 1/2 brassicas (under the white cover) with beets in front and on to potatoes which we are slowly digging up as needed, then another row of brassica seedlings under the cover (hoping to squeeze another harvest out before snowfall), then onions at the back on the right.

 The tomatoes are just starting to ripen and I've had to cover them with plastic nearly every night to keep them from freezing.  Trying to buy them another week of sun is no small feat!
 Brandywines - I've planted pink and purple...  can't wait to taste them!

 Second crop of peas - these ones are Lincoln Homesteaders and are just ripening now :)

 The cucumbers are NOT liking the cold nights!  I doubt we'll get any more fruit off them...

 These are dry beans for winter storage - can't find the tag as the plants are so overgrown and mixed in with the corn!  I planted Portugese Dry and another variety that I can't recall now...

 Here's the corn patch with the dry beans growing with it.

 to the left of the corn is my greens patch plus another sowing of peas where the wobbly looking wire fencing is.  Doubt I'll get to harvest them before heavy frost, but you never know.
 The pole beans are STILL producing!  I am DROWNING in beans and my family is talking about a bean strike!  I think I'll have to freeze all the rest that I pick, lol.

 Today's picking of peas and beans with tomatoes (Taxi Yellow, Tiger Stripe and ? ).

 and some corn with the hens' eggs :)  So pretty - what a good feeling to have grown or produced all of this food on our land :)

and ONE of many nice big pumpkins!  The leaves are damaged from frost, but the pumpkins are fine :)   I didn't take a picture of this "second garden".  It's about 30'x20' and is strictly potatoes, corn and squash/pumpkins.  

We have a lot of digging to do to unearth the potatoes and carrots for winter storage.  We try to leave them in the ground as long as possible as they are best stored there than anywhere else.  After we dig the spuds, they will get put into boxes, which will be set on boards for air circulation, then slid into a dark cool corner of our garage.  The carrots will be washed and bagged for the basement fridge, and some will be stored in sand in the garage as an experiment.   The onions will hang in the garage.

Once everything is harvested, we'll set the hens loose each day in the garden to eat bugs and weeds for as long as they can stand the cold temps.  We'll clean out the coop once more before winter sets in and spread all the straw and manure over the garden.  Then we add BAGS and BAGS of dry leaves (collected from friends in the city) right before the snow starts to fall.  All winter this mulch decomposes under the snow and creates lovely soil.

I promise, that on the day of the first real snowfall, I'm going to just SIT and be thankful for the rest :)


  1. What an amazing harvest, I hope our crop is as bountiful at the end of summer, those corn look huge. Will be interested to hear how the sand experiment goes. you sound like you deserve a well earned rest.

  2. hello sherrie,
    your september garden looks wonderful!!!! so many
    good things have you reaped.i think your day must
    more hours as my day. i feel me at the moment so
    tired from all the freezing,jam making and gardening. but my apples are still i must make more apple sauce,apple juice,apple jelly. i hope that my work finish it untill october.thanks for the information in your post.
    i wish you a nice day and wonderful coming rest days!!!
    love regina
    have you an e-mail adress?

  3. Harvest time! What beautiful gardens. It's cute to see the hens are even working for your gardens! love,andrea

  4. Wow, what a wonderful garden and so should feel very proud for what you have achieved for your are an excellent provider Sherrie...Hope hubby gets home soon....and the produce is all put up before it snows. I am just starting to plant my summer veg...I planted out 9 tomatoes the other day...and still have more to come...lots of different varieties this year to try.
    You are incredible with all that gardening, and canning. (hugs)

  5. Wow, that's about all I can say!

    I'm encouraged to see you doing this, that it might be something I can do someday. Thanks.

  6. Thanks, guys! This is the largest garden we've ever tended and it was a learning curve for sure. Rachael, start small - just try a small garden with your favourite veggies to start with. See how it goes and how much time it takes to tend. Gradually add to your garden plot each year... and maybe add one or two new crops. If you start small you won't get overwhelmed and you'll have more success!

  7. Your garden is very impressive. And, I agree how good it makes you feel when you look at all you have done. Today I am trying to remind myself of how good it will feel when I get all of my grapes made into jam! LOL...