Veggie Tales - October 2019

Fall is in full swing. How are your gardens responding? Are you eager for growth to wind down? Or are you set for a full harvest of cool weather crops? Or are you just getting started with temps that are finally moderated enough for crops to grow?

Me - well I tried to clean things up, harvest what I could, and be ready to leave the garden on its own while I go travel. It looks like fros# should stay away until after I'm back so I'll have time to harvest more if things keep going. I'm hoping for lots of French Breakfast radishes and lettuce when I return. They have been fertilized and I gave them a pep talk :)

Comments (198)

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a

    Window Garden -- all peppers

    The Melrose Peppers got so loaded that they started leaning. So, harvested all and pruned aggressively once more. Hoping for more ripe sweet peppers for Christmas. Picked a total of 4 lbs -- not bad for a window October harvest...what do you folks think.

    after aggressively pruned


  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Tony - 4 lbs. of peppers from an outside full size plant over a full season is pretty good in my book!

  • Chris (6a NY)

    Jack - did you use Bt on your cauliflower or keep them covered? The cabbageworms were pretty bad this year, as usual.

    I agree with tucking the garden away. Though, I'm sure once it is, I'll be trying to grow a bunch of stuff under the lights.

    Happy belated birthday, Richard! Hope it was good!

    John - nice potato harvest!

    Tony - still continuing to impress us with your windowsill mastery! I like that you dehydrated the extra poblanos. That would be nice to spice up a pasta dish with! I have had a dehydrator for almost a whole year now and still haven't used it! Shame on me lol

    Jamie - that banana plant is really cool! Sorry that the fruit doesn't taste that great. Did you have a Meyer lemon tree too?

    Jacob - did you end up seeing any flurries?? That would be a bit of an unusual sight this time of year! Though, now that I'm thinking of it, we have gotten snowstorms around Halloween here. Got any fun experiments planned??

    After the light frost here, looks like we may steer clear of it again for a little while. Friday night may hit 39°, but otherwise it'll stay in the 40's.

    I feel like this was more of a trendy topic in here last year, but I am gonna give microgreens a whirl(sunflower, pea and radish). I figured it would be pretty useful to try and perfect a technique since, if there is a market for it, it could be a potential money maker in the off season.

    Gonna give these a try and I also got ones that are 2.5" deep. Anyone still doing microgreens?

  • Jamie

    Chris- yes we do have a Meyer lemon and are waiting patiently for the lemons to ripen hahaha in a couple of weeks we will move it inside the garage under a grow light.

    we are still growing microgreens - mixed brassicas and pea shoots mostly.

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a

    2019 Pepper Report

    As always, peppers here are disease free (never sprayed them, for anything ever) and exceptionally prolific!

    Worst -- Felicity -- sweet Jalapeno. As productive as all other jalapenos, but with NO flavor! Tasteless, even when grilled! No heat -- no flavor, sad since I can't take the heat of regular jalapenos any longer. Won't grow them again.

    Interesting -- PASILLA BAJIO -- purple, mild and long chile that was hard and absolutely tasteless for eating raw! But, they are supposed to be dried...and OH MY, THE BEST DRIED PEPPERS I'VE EVER HAD!!! Incredible smoky flavor. Had to wait 90 days till they turned dark, and when dried they look indigo-black! From 2 plants dried enough to fill a gallon jar of the most exquisitely flavored and aromatic dried peppers with a hint of heat!

    Best fresh eating with PLEASANT HEAT -- POBLANO L -- 4 plants started early production that has been non-stop even now (still loaded with small fruit and many blossoms). Also great roasted, but lots of work to peel them since have irregular shapes on many. Incredible, too, when dried! Our new favorite pepper for fresh eating and drying.

    Most prolific sweet peppers -- Lipstick -- good thing about this super productive early pepper is they taste nearly as good when green as when ripened red. Also, fantastic for roasting in either stage, and their cone-like shape makes it easy to peel.

    BEST ROASTING PEPPER -- Ajvarski -- shortest pepper plant of all, but loaded up in the summer with 8-9 inch long huge beauties! Now they are 6-7" long and still producing. Not really tasty when green, but when red...there is no comparison -- amazing aroma, sweetness, crunchy thick flesh and the tastiest roasted peppers we ever had. Had only 2 plants this year -- next year we'll grow 8 Ajvarski pepper plants!


    p.s. here is a picture of the dried PASILLA BAJIO

    also a picture of the dried BULGARIAN CARROT grown inside at the window --- nuclear-powered heat on these orange babies !!!

  • 14tomatoes_md_7a

    lol --- forgot about the best pickler!

    SWEET BANANA-- love these peppers since they come in flushes so can pickle many at the same time! Great for fresh eating, frying and even roasting (the easiest of all roasted peppers to peel !!!), and superb for crunchy whole pickled peppers! So far had three flushes and what we did not eat we pickled (4.5 gal so far) and now there is a 4th (and final flush) that will give us about 1.5 gal more -- for a total of 6 gallons (and we just opened the last gallon from last year...!)!

  • jacoblockcuff (z6 NW Arkansas - Hz7 - Sunset z35)

    Chris, I was not home at the time, but flurries were reported. Most of the area had widespread or patchy frost. At our house it was widespread, although many crops in my garden survived, including my Lima beans (with dead wilted okra right beside them!!!). I am quite surprised at that....The average first frost date is tomorrow so definitely not abnormal to have widespread frost now!

    I just got back from a long drive. 4-5 hours today! I pulled into a Caseys gas station, and there was a gigantic oil puddle right below the oil pan on the truck! I was quite scared! I wiped some on my finger, smelled it, etc. Some relief came when it was cold and smelled like a different oil than the truck uses.... But there was some oil on the rear of the oil pan from an ongoing valve cover leak. I checked oil levels and was all good....Must’ve been somebody else!! I feel bad for them haha. Needless to say, I was relieved. That would not have been convenient AT ALL. The valve covers will need replaced soon, but the problem has been so minor it has not been worth the money (won’t hurt the truck...just the wallet from buying oil lol). I still have yet to even fill the oil back up since it was changed 2 months ago....I will need to get some new ones soon though; most after market valve covers for these old trucks are pretty crappy, so a good lasting set will likely cost a good bit.

    Really, we have been so pleased with this old Chevy. For $1800, we did not expect the motor to be as reliable as it has been. We have hardly done anything for it, and I drive the truck an average of 150 miles a week! It’s a slow restoration. The more I drive it, the more things break, and the more we fix it to make it more reliable.

    What really bugs me is when people approach me and tell me how terrible gas mileage probably is on this old Chevy!!! These trucks aren’t meant to be driven like a car. They’re meant for work, not driving power. Drive it accordingly and efficiently (not necessarily slower; I have no problem keeping up with traffic at 70+ mph), and the mileage is not near as bad. I average 16-20 MPG (versus 6-12 as most other people tell me they get with the same trucks) with efficient use of gas.... Not bad for a ‘74 Chevy 1/2 ton with a 350! Ive been forced to be a stickler with the gas on this truck, to the point it bugs others I drive with. When I first started driving it, I averaged 4-6 mpg. I can’t afford that!!

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Kevin-I hope you read this before you get home. There was a water main break in McKeesport and they have a boil water advisory out, and they have the water buffaloes out. I don't know if you get your water from the same source. I think it might be a good idea to let your water run when you get home and check with the neighbors. But, then you may have a well??

    I did more digging for next years potato fields. Almost done with the second 4 1/2 foot wide bed. I dumped a whole wheel barrow load of last falls leaf compost on the first bed which covered about 2/3's of it.

    The five year old boy next door came to the door and asked if we could dig potatoes! So we dug up one Canela Russet plant. He got 6 medium potatoes and found two Snickers bars in the bag, and then found a turtle about an inch in diameter. I came to a realization that after amending that plot with 4 inches of horse manure that it was too much, five foot long plant stems After I dug up some new Red Norlands last summer I planted some left over Canela Russet seed potatoes; which is what we dug up today. Those plants were only 18" high so I need more manure for next year! An inch?

    Jacob-I bought a 67 Chevy Caprice in January of 68 used, with a 396. I don't remember worrying about the gas mileage. I remember a few years later paying 19.9¢ a gallon for the gas. Then I had a new 71 Chevelle Malibu with a 305, and then a new 76 Monte Carlo, also with a 305. I'd like the Malibu today as an everyday driver. Well; maybe not in the winter.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    potato harvest from 3 grow bags...maybe $4 per pound...hope they taste good!

  • RD Texas

    Thanks Chris. Haven't been able to post pictures for a couple weeks now-will have to figure something out

  • jacoblockcuff (z6 NW Arkansas - Hz7 - Sunset z35)

    John, 19.9 cents per gallon ?!?! WOW! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it below $2 in my young life haha

    I was wondering how your potatoes took to the horse manure. I have read it is similar to chicken manure in nitrogen content. I have to be sparing with the manure from our chickens. Despite the rocks, I have a fertile plot to begin with, so it can be easy to add too many nutrients!! I’m actually cutting back on compost this year to avoid nutrient excesses that have given me a hard time. Now, I have seen gardens that could NEVER have too much organic matter....It’s as if it’s drained from the soil!

    Richard, pictures do not always work for me either.

  • cindy_7

    Jamie - About the Chinese multi-colored spinach. Only one seed germinated for me. Haven't tasted it yet as the plant is less than six inches tall. We haven't had much measurable rain since August 22, though I have been watering on a regular basis.

    Tomorrow is supposed to be the lucky day with 100% chance of rain predicted. Yeah!

  • Jamie

    Thanks for the update, Cindy. I was planning to try that in the spring. I hope you get the rain you need! We got about 2" the other day - for a total of about 5.5" so far this month. We should get some more today before a cold front moves into the area. It has been cloudy all morning here and has been sprinkling around the area.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Jacob-I thought the horse manure worked great for the potatoes, and the tomatoes. A little too much as there was too much stem growth on both. I had raw clay with absolutely no organic matter in the soil below an inch deep. I've been leaving the grass clippings for the 14 years I've been here and that doesn't build much topsoil, I can tell you. But I wouldn't dig in manure in the same year as I plant any root crops, or leaf crops either.

    They say that in sand much of the nutrients drain through the soil, with the water. But I've never gardened in sand so have no first hand knowledge. I am surprised at how much difference there was between the first and second potato crops in that bed. I've never side dressed fertilizer and this is the first I've seen that big of a change.

    My own opinion is that there is more fertilizer in manures than there is in bags of fertilizer, plus organic matter. They tell you what the NPK numbers are but there's no way to relate what 1% nitrogen in manure is to 10% bagged when you're using a wheel barrow full on the one hand and a hand full in the other hand. Too many hands in the soup. haha

  • RD Texas

    Jacob my dad owned a gas station (Mobile) and I remember the sign out was 9.9 for regular (no unleaded back then. There was premium for 12.9 and it was about an additional 20 octane. My dad always had his quarter mile time written on the windshield in white shoe polish, usually about the 11-12 second area.

  • RD Texas

    It was 96 degrees again here-supposed to rain tonight...hopefully

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    I finished my second potato bed. Well err a; the first pass!

    I took a picture in the 1970's of a gas pump in northern Ontario; because the price was soooo high. I think it was 89¢ a gallon. Now it ain't even a gallon.

  • RD Texas

    John wasn't gas sold in liters in Canada?

  • cindy_7

    The rain that is expected to be here tomorrow is going to become a nor'easter and possibly a bomb cyclone. It's the second nor'easter this fall.

    Chris - hope it will miss you.

  • Kevin Zone 6b - PIT, PA

    John - thanks, I did see about the water advisory, I guess we picked a good week to be away! .... I’ll be sure to runout the water for a while when we get home.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Richard - it looks like you are about to get some rain this morning and I think Jamie got a little overnight. The entire east coast from Georgia north looks to be in the bulls eye as well. Time to batten down the hatches!

    No rain expected here until maybe Saturday morning. I should probably water my garlic a little before the soil gets too dry. There was some moisture in the soil when I planted on Saturday.

    I've been eating garden salads every day for lunch for the last 2 weeks and it's starting to get old. I might have to skip the salad I brought today and go out for some BBQ or Chinese for a change of pace.

  • Jamie

    We did get some rain yesterday and last night! It's also a bit cooler as a cold front has moved into the area.

  • cindy_7

    So far just a few sprinkles here, but the rain is all around us.

    We are officially five inches below normal!

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Rich-I might be wrong but I think Canada used gallons in the 70's. I remember the caretaker dumping 10 gallon cans of diesel into the generator tank. He retired, might of been earlier than otherwise because of those cans. And I remember them unloading three 55 gallon cans out of a De Havilland Beaver. A plane too small for one, we thought. The caretaker asked for a picture he could hang on his wall for the memories. I made a 16x20 color photograph in my kitchen which we dropped off the next year.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Canadian metrification was implemented in 1971, but it took till 1979 to get to gasoline. Even later there was a station outside Ottowa that resisted. We were going there thru the whole conversion.

  • cindy_7

    And . . . it's really raining! Heard on the radio just now that some places already have an inch. It's supposed to stop around 4 or 5pm and then I'll check my gauge.

    So very glad to have rain, you have no idea!!!

  • Chris (6a NY)

    Cindy - we are expecting 2-3" here, mainly tonight, and then very windy tomorrow. I welcome the rain, just maybe not that much at once lol. The first nor'easter didn't drop as much as they expected. We didn't even get a 1/2" from that one. I will be surprised if we get the rain they are calling for from this one too. Rain gauge is ready!

  • Habanero King (zone 7a, MD)

    It's been raining alllllllll day in DC since about 9AM. Not supposed to stop until about 5PM.

  • cindy_7

    It has stopped raining here. IAD is reporting exactly one inch of rain. Sometime while it was raining, my rain gauge fell over. Just emailed my neighbor, who also has a rain gauge, to see what his gauge accumulated. Winds have picked up, too.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Hmmmm...was that US Gallons or Imperial Gallons :)

  • cindy_7

    My neighbor's rain gauge had a little over 1.5" in it today. And the sky is mostly clear now.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Cindy- We got a little less than that. A lot of rain running down the gravel driveway this morning

    Len-The internet says it was Imperial gallon. What I remember was it was about the same price at the border, and kept getting higher as you went up the map.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)

    Greetings, friends! Seems like forever since I’ve been able to communicate, but a long layover in Houston on my way home from anniversary cruise gave me the opportunity to get caught up with all things in Veggie Tales. With all this talk of cold and the “F” word, I’m a little afraid to check my garden when I get home. It will be dark when we get home so it will have to wait until morning.

    A quick side note here about my trip: For anyone who knows Acadia National Park: We were there about the time Tropical Storm Melissa got named last week. The tender ride from the ship to Bar Harbor was a bit like a roller coaster, but so glad the ship’s captain made the call to proceed with the plan to anchor at Bar Harbor. Thunder Hole in Acadia was amazing! The waves were crashing into the cave with great force. The park ranger said it hadn’t been that good all year, even when hurricane Dorian skirted the coast a few weeks ago the show wasn’t as good as what we saw.

    Okay, now to respond to a few things I missed:

    Happy LATE birthday, Richard. When we arrived in Houston at about 3:00 today the local temperature was 66 degrees. SURELY you got some cool today. Keep us posted on the job search. My family lived in the Seattle area when I was 6 months to 4 1/2 years old. My mom had quite the garden, I’ve been told. I think you’ve paid your deserve to get to garden in that environment next! I’m glad you’ve been able to bring those sickly tomatoes back to health!

    I THINK there hasn’t been frost back home quite yet. But, all this talk of putting gardens to bed is reminding me that I have a lot to do right away when I get the chance. Potatoes to dig; peppers to harvest (fingers crossed they’re not mush); garlic area to prep and garlic to plant; amaryllis bulbs to dig and prep for winter storage; melon vines to get in the trash; and; and; and!

    Jacob, Where are you in school? Another year to go? How’s that going?

    So many of you have finally gotten some much needed rain. I understand we had some at home while I was gone too. Yay!

    I have possibly said it before, but...Chris, Welcome back!

    Tony - Thanks for the pepper report. I am so impressed with your window pepper garden. I also want to thank you for all the talk of bunching onions. Last spring I bought seed and started a couple different varieties. I have really enjoyed being able to go to the garden and snip off the tops of a couple to have small “green onions” any time I need them. I historically plant onion sets in succession beginning in the spring for green onions, but they always seem to get away from me and I end up with small to medium sized onions out of the deal.

    Jack - Sorry you’ve already had that killing freeze. My day is coming...or has already arrived and I just don’t know it yet.

  • RD Texas

    John, and Len that sounds right because I graduated in 1979 and first went to Canada in 1982 and I remember how strange it was to buy gas by the liter. I was comparing it to the large soda containers.

    Thanks, Margi. Yeah it rained for about 6 hours today and the high was 72. Glad you had a nice vacation to Acadia National Park. Isn't that the home of Cadillac Mountain?

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)

    Yes, Richard, Cadillac Mountain is in Acadia. I’ve been to Acadia twice, once for a week and this time for just a day, and have not been to Cadillac Mtn. This trip was a New England/ Canadian cruise. Tropical Depression / Storm Melissa forced some changes to the itinerary and a couple really rocky days aboard the ship. But we had a good time!

    I’ve been able to check in with my garden sitter since I’ve been home. Didn’t freeze here after all, but did hit 33 which she said was a record low for whatever day that happened.

  • jacoblockcuff (z6 NW Arkansas - Hz7 - Sunset z35)

    All this talk of gasoline prices is fun to read haha. I’m going to have to get on Google and compare prices between countries...

    Margi, it’s my last year of school. I’m ready to be done lol. I’m thankful I’m homeschooled. I can get up early and grind out at all of my school before breakfast....No way could I ever sit in a class room on a sunny day. I need to be OUTSIDE, moving.

    I’m surprised you hadn’t had a freeze! We may catch the second frost of the season tonight. The valley down the hill from us has probably had half a dozen now....

  • Chris (6a NY)

    Margi - Glad you had a great time, despite the choppy conditions! Awesome that you were able to get a good show at the Thunder Hole! I think the last time I witnessed it in good conditions was when I was a kid. How was the foliage around there? Was it past peak yet? Were the shops in town all still open? I know many of those coastal tourist spots in Maine are summer towns.

    Hab King - how about them Nats, huh?? They are turning heads. I think I speak for the entire country when I say I'm glad they're doing it without Bryce Harper :-) The Yankees are at a bit of a disadvantage, but hoping they can pull through. Whoever represents the AL is gonna have their hands full, though!

    The official total from the rain gauge was 2.84" this morning. The storm moved out of the area sometime overnight. With the ground being dry here, it soaked it up very well. This storm had a very low presure at its center, apparently a record low for some areas, for the month of October. With a steep pressure gradient, the winds are gonna be whipping today!

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)

    Chris - Our assessment of the Fall color in Acadia last Friday was that it was about peak, or at least really good. Most of the leaves were on the trees and great colors. The shops in Bar Harbor were still all open. I would bet that in the next couple of weeks they’ll be rolling up the sidewalks though.

    In other news...I just came in from checking out the garden. If it hit 32 while I was gone, it was only VERY briefly. There are a few pepper leaves that look like they got touched and most of the melon leaves are black, but melon vines that had climbed in amongst a pepper plant are still green and “healthy” looking. I have big broccoli plants, but no crowns yet. There are several little zucchini but it looks like either there weren’t any pollinators active or there weren’t male blossoms. I guess I was playing as pollinator before my trip. If the plants will keep putting out blossoms, I’ll get back to pollinating. The bean plants are still alive. I saw a few big beans but some little ones too. Maybe there’s still hope for a few more meals of fresh veggies from my garden. Yay! Now, off to the office to see what piled up there while I was gone.

  • cindy_7

    Glad that you had an enjoyable trip, Margi.

    Nice rainfall, Chris. We are also experiencing those wicked winds (though I bet that yours are worse) and we have a wind advisory until 6 pm today.

    The prediction for tomorrow night is 36 degrees. It could actually be colder here as that predictions is for in town, which we are not, and often the cold air settles here. I picked almost everything the other day.

  • Jamie

    I think we had an overnight low of 39 last night. We will have a sunny few days, then some rain on Monday.

    We are going to try and finish "winterizing" the garden beds this weekend (and next weekend if we don't finish). I have also made some deals with a couple of ladies in our yoga class to come and collect some of their leaves this fall. We will grind them up and leave them in a pile over the winter with the remnants of the straw bales we used this past season. We will use some of them as mulch in the ornamental beds and leave the rest to rot over the fall and winter for use in the spring. I am hoping to get enough to cover a 10x10 area with about a foot of leaves. We live in a newish neighborhood and our trees are not that large yet. Fortunately, there's no shortage of trees in the area.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    Jamie- Is the 10x10 area a bed. If not I'd pile all those leaves in as compact a pile as possible.

    Last fall I saved as much leaves as possible. I had a new pile of wood chips and many of those leaves went on top. I mowed them into a windrow after mowing what wound being under it so that all the leaves got chopped, some more than others. This year I plan on repeating that and perhaps getting leaves that a neighbor leaves out at the street.

    So far no frost here and for the most part my gardens are hopefully still growing as they will. 2 says we got 1.2 inches of rain yesterday and ,04 inches today and they don't expect more. As wet as it is here I suspect we got more today.

  • RD Texas

    Chris I hate to break this to you but the Astros are going to do the same thing to the Yankees that they did last year. That rain delay lets them line up their pitchers the way they need, so I like their chances

  • Chris (6a NY)

    Margi - that's great!! Walking through the town is always more fun when the shops are open. I don't think I've ever been to Maine during peak foliage, that must've been a sight!

    Glad to hear your veggies are still in good shape!

    Cindy - Same here. Gusts up to 60mph at times!

    Richard - I agree they definitely have the edge with Verlander and Cole. The Yankees absolutely have to win tonight, no question. I do think they have the ability to take out Verlander, but Yankees pitching needs to hold up as well. If it does end up making it to a game 7 though, I think the Yankees have the advantage. Only because the Astros will have to use their entire bullpen. Remember there are no breaks for the next 4 games(if necessary). Since last night was rained out, there will not be a break for travel anymore.

  • cindy_7

    I just want the Nats to win!!

  • Chris (6a NY)

    Haha! Most of the country would rather see that than the Yankees or Astros, I think :-) Everyone loves to see a team win it for the first time, especially in that fashion!

  • RD Texas

    I like to see back to back championships as it rarely happens. Lol

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    The sun came out momentarily, so I took a walk thru the garden. Picked a tomato, it's still firm. I notice, I still have beans in addition to lots of tomatoes. Plus! I notice lots of bean and tomato flowers. No frost for next weeks predictions.

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa


    I'd rather see the Astros, then the Nats. Last the Yankees.

  • naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan

    Margi, glad to hear you had a great time on your trip and that your garden survived without you!

    We traveled over 2100 miles to and through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan the last couple of weeks and visited 22 State Parks and lots of waterfalls. Fall colors were great in many of the areas. Since the peninsula is so big, not all places have leaves coloring up at the same time. We had amazing views along Brockway Mountain drive in the Keweenaw and at Lake of the Cloud in the Porcupine Mountains. Other tourists were out, too, and we had to hunt early for lodging on the weekends. The whole area had a wet fall so the waterfalls were full and powerful. The loooong climbs up and down to get to the best viewing areas were definitely worth all the work and tiredness.

    The gardens were mostly done before I left. I came back to some nice radishes, a few more dried bean pods for seed saving, a small harvest of late planted potatoes, assorted peppers, and more kale than I think I'll use. I have 4 kinds of kale, and the European Cabbage White caterpillars feasted on 2 kinds and ignored the others.....still plenty for us.

    It's interesting to see the 2014 Detroit Tiger starting pitchers doing so well for other teams. We thought the Tigers had a chance that year, but the bullpen never delivered.

  • RD Texas

    It rained 2 inches here and it is still in the upper 70s

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