jamie_z7bhz8

Veggie Tales - October 2020

Jamie
25 days ago

How can it be October?? Haha Our summer gardens are winding down (or done, like mine) and for a lot of us the first frost is eminent. What are your plans for fall and winter? Will you put your garden to use or let it rest until spring?

Comments (188)

  • naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan
    11 days ago

    Habanero King, I just cut off bad parts of peppers and eat the parts that look okay. Sometimes when you cut them open you find out that the inside is bad. Then I throw out the whole thing. Yours looks like it will have some edible parts. But I would pick it now and not wait for any more ripening. That gives it time for the problem to spread.

    The coloring on your fish pepper plant and fruits is great. It makes me want to grow that variety again even though I don't like to eat hot peppers. Anaheims were the only hot ones I grew this year, and I gave most of them away.

  • RD Texas
    10 days ago

    Thanks Margi


    Naturegirl, my Anaheim peppers were very mild this year and I used them in everything. I also had loads of jalapeños that I use pretty regularly and I might have used more Anaheim peppers in cooking, etc. this year than any other pepper. I used the Fish peppers in hot sauce.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    10 days ago

    It's 33 here this morning and we got our first frost. No frost around my house due to the tree cover but I just looked out to the front of my property where the garden is and everything is white with frost.

    I didn't pick any peppers yesterday so we'll see if they survived in a day or 2. I'm heading down to the lake this afternoon for a working weekend cutting firewood, blowing/burning leaves, and winterizing the boats. According to TWC it is 29F at the lake right now. I'm about to make a crockpot of Chile to take down for dinner.

  • RD Texas
    10 days ago

    Jack, hope your peppers are okay. It was all the way to 60 degrees here today. Woooh lol

  • RD Texas
    10 days ago

    Just fertilized with the bloom booster fertilizer yesterday, so I hope some of my non bloomers will produce some blossoms

  • RD Texas
    10 days ago

    I had a murder hornet over here and they are huge until it got murdered-they are not easy to kill either. That was the first one I have ever seen. It was at least 2.5 times the size of a regular hornet

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    ^^ RD, I assume you're located in Texas? Last report was that these hornets were discovered in the Pacific Northwest and so far have been isolated in that area.

    On the garden front here, the collards, spinach, and turnips are almost at the picking stage. Cabbages are plumping up and there are tiny heads peeking out from the broccoli now. Carrots should be pickable in about 2 weeks. We'll be digging up the remaining sweet potatoes this week and picking the first persimmons.

  • RD Texas
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    It looked almost like the coloring of a Yellow Jacket but at least 10 times the size and it was after honeybees. It didn't look anything like the large hornets I usually see around here that live in the ground. I did read that they are only in the northwest, so unless they just got here it must have been some other kind of hornet.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    10 days ago

    Jack - I hope that at least some of your produce survived.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    9 days ago

    Any news, Jack? We had a frost ”advisory” but nothing came of it. I’m hoping ours holds off until Halloween.


    it warmed up significantly today aNd was very sunny. The highs are going to be in the upper 70s and even low 80s for the next few days and the lows are only going to drop to the 50s.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    9 days ago

    Hey Jamie - We might get hit tonight. It's already down to 46 degrees right now. I'm expecting a killing frost tonight. 39 or 38 predicted for here. Since we are in a valley, I expect it to be colder here.

    Since I've picked most everything, (except for a few figs) the season may over here.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    Good luck, Cindy!

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    The temp dropped down to 44F here just SE of Richmond so we dodged the frost ok. The next 2 weeks are looking good for a warming trend for Va and most of the east coast. There's still hope that a few green tomatoes may yet ripen up. Hope you dodged the frost too Cindy.

    Jamie thanked vgkg Z-7 Va
  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    Thanks, Jamie and vgkg. My outside sensor reads 37 for the low last night. It actually may have been a degree or two colder because the sensor is about 10 feet off the ground to keep it in the shade (under the porch roof).

    Haven't been out there yet to check on things. Still having coffee. :-) Plus, it's cold now!

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    8 days ago

    Just took a tour of the gardens. Most of the raspberries were zapped, especially the outer canes, but everything else looks pretty good!

    I was even able to pick two more figs, which are really just now fruiting well. The next predicted chance of a frost/freeze isn't until Halloween. Two weeks.

    Fresh figs are sooooooo good!!

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    Our figs finished producing last month and I miss them already, Cindy!

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    7 days ago

    When I checked on Friday most of the peppers were toast and turning mushy already and so were the bean plants. The Cayenne peppers might be OK. We went to the lake over the weekend to do some work and winterize the boats and I haven't been out to the garden since we got back.

    It's cold again this morning with a high in the mid 40s today and windy. More frosts in the forecast this weekend and next week. A few more good freezes and I can go ahead and dig the horseradish.

  • RD Texas
    7 days ago

    Sorry about the peppers and beans Jack-hopefully the cayenne peppers are still good.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    7 days ago

    Sorry about your frost Jack. Hope you had a good harvest before it hit.

    Jamie - I have three fig trees. We never get any harvest from two of them which are both Brown Turkey figs. Yet my nephew, who I gave some starts of this variety, gets a great harvest every year.

    The third tree is a Chicago Hardy fig. That's the tree that is producing. I should probably remove the other two.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    Cindy- would you be willing to send me some cuttings from your brown turkey fig when it goes dormant this winter? I wasn’t able to get any from the tree I left at my old house a few years ago, and the new owners removed it. I am surprised you haven’t been able to harvest anything from them- mine produced in August, I believe.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    7 days ago

    Sure, Jamie. But please remind me when it's time. Is any time after the leaves fall the right time to take cuttings?

    I suspect that the squirrels are getting the Brown Turkey figs. I have some of the branches of the Chicago Hardy in blossom bags, big blossom bags that I made.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    Will do! Thanks! It seems that any time after they go dormant is a good time. Maybe in mid November? I’ll send you a message at that time.

    I had an issue with opossums eating mine, but the tree was so large that I still got plenty. I miss that tree

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    Jamie - I just watched two YT videos about propagating figs. One of them showed cutting the branches in July and the other one was taking cuttings in September. IDK???

    Have you done this before? Which time is best? Obviously, it can't be July this year. Or September.

    Should it be done now?

    Jamie thanked cindy_z6b/7a VA
  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    7 days ago

    Do figs go dormant????????

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    Well Cindy, the info I read said you could also do it while they are dormant in the winter and this was going to be my first attempt. I was going to keep them in soil under grow lights all winter.


    John- they do if they’re growing outside all year round. they’ll lose their leaves and in some Climates they’ll die back to the roots. this area they’ll grow Into very large trees - my old one was about 10 feet tall and wide

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    I know nothing about figs, however:

    On apples etc you can graft buds in July/early August using green buds. That's called T Budding, Or you can also graft dormant scions over the winter.

    The timing is important for a variety of reasons. When you're T Budding you do it when the bark slips easily and allows the bud to be slipped under it. Winter dormant grafting is done when you receive the scions and rootstocks as the graft union needs to heal. Also storage enters into the schedule. I don't have refrigerated storage so need to get them in the field before my garage heats up too much. And you don't want to store it too long and allow the grafts to get moldy.

    I would guess! you might want to graft an indoor fig a couple weeks before setting it out. And you might want the scion cut as close to that point as you can and still allow it to be dormant when grafted.

  • RD Texas
    6 days ago

    Margi, I got the garlic yesterday, thank you very much. I put it in the refrigerator until November with the garlic I got from Cindy. My squash is doing terrible so it looks like I will have plenty of room to plant them.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    6 days ago

    Great, Richard! Good luck with it.

    All this talk of gardens winding down and I’m away from mine for the rest of the week. I will have a LOT of work to do next weekend when I return. I still have potatoes in the ground, a few pole beans that are actually producing a few beans, sugar snap peas in bloom, most tomatoes still in the ground and all seven the peppers. Sigh...

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    5 days ago

    DW made stuffed cabbage from a head I harvested in the garden this afternoon. Potatoes were Canela Russet also from the garden.

    The plant is one I started in the spring in a patch about 18" square and then transplanted mid summer. I think I may try this method for broccoli next year.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    We have one more day of summer weather with a high of 83 tomorrow. Then the bottom drops out with highs in the 30s and 40s for the next week. Snow in the forecast on Monday and Tuesday and lows in the mid to upper 20s.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    5 days ago

    Is this usually the time of year that you get that cold, Jack?

    I can only remember once where we had snow in October and that was over 35 years ago.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    5 days ago

    Our weather is also changing fast with highs in the 40's and low 50's and definite frost this weekend with lows in high 20's. Fortunately it does look dry so no snow. We are paralyzed if there is snow on the roads!

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    Same here, Len. People go nuts with a forecast of snow and once it starts, they even abandon their cars on the roads. It's crazy.

  • RD Texas
    5 days ago

    Still in the 90s here today-almost killed a few tomato plants because I tried to go a day and a half between waterings. I have tomatoes on about 90% of my plants now-only one beefsteak type showing color (Polbig-more like 8 oz tomatoes). I have picked about 20 or so Sungold tomatoes and they are much better than the wild ones I had last time, but still not even close to the Honeycomb tomatoes. There are about 25 or so plants with 15 or more full sized tomatoes on them (although some of the tomatoes are only about the size of golf balls now). Hopefully most of them will ripen before the cold weather (probably still a month or so away).

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    Cindy - Next week's cold and snow is pretty unusual for October. We don't get snow this early very often and when we do it can wreak havoc on the trees that still have their leaves. TWC is showing 1-4" falling over 2 days. 1" won't be a big deal but 4" of wet snow will do a lot of damage to trees.

    We will probably be back up into the 60s or even 70s in a couple weeks.

    It's raining now so my newly planted garlic is getting watered in.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    Richard - I was incorrect. I sent you a variety of garlic named Shandong, not Kahbar. If you made notes about it, please correct them. I ended up looking at my graph upside down. :-/

    By the way, mine was never as red as internet photos show.


  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    Yesterday I harvested leaves from four tree collards and DW cooked up a mess of them in some pork broth...takes a long time...they were good!


    I'm going to root a few cuttings again this winter and replace any that die or look gnarly in the spring. There are extra cuttings if anyone wants to try them just let me know.


    This one is a twig that I rooted during last winter and planted in April. It grew pretty well in a relatively shady spot.


    This one is 3 years old now, was severly topped last year and neglected this summer.



    After harvest.



  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    4 days ago

    Nice looking tree collards, Len.

    The garlic I planted two weeks ago is already about five inches tall. It's actually grown more than I expected. Really need to get the other varieties in the ground. And the onion sets that I purchased from a local nursery.

  • naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan
    3 days ago

    Cindy, when do you harvest fall planted onion sets? Do you harvest them a scallions or mature bulb onions. I have seen that a few people are planting now. I've not heard of that before and do not know if it would work in my climate. I think I have a few leftover sets from this spring so I could try them.

    Len, I'm not familiar with tree collards. It is interesting to see yours. I do not think I have ever eaten collards.

  • RD Texas
    3 days ago

    Cindy, I have a question for you: How did you tell when the Green Doctors cherry tomatoes were ready?

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    3 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    Naturegirl, collards are what people in the south call "greens", typically cooked for a long time often with ham hocks or other pork trimmings. Kale, Brocccoli or Kohlrabi leaves are other options. For poor folks with limited resources they were traditionally served with beans and corn bread or hush puppys to make a very healthy meal. The "Pot Likker" is a special treat! The tree collards are a special version that don't produce viable seeds so we can only get them by starting cuttings which each one produces plentifully.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    2 days ago

    I am returning home after the week away. Great to get away, but I will be thrown back to reality the instant I set foot at my place. I watched weather closely while we were gone. I believe we dodged the freeze bullet last night, but tomorrow night’s low is 29 with a high on Monday of only 31 and low Mon night of 23. Growing season is over!

    I sure wish it were a bit warmer for all the chores I need to get done this afternoon and tomorrow. I’ll just have to bundle up and put my nose to the grindstone and get it done! If I’m lucky it’ll make it to 45. Brrrr

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    2 days ago

    Naturegirl - I plant onion sets in the fall and then harvest them in the spring, just like garlic. However, if it's a particularly cold winter not all of them survive.

    Richard - I didn't grow Green Doctors this year, though I do have seeds for it and from two different sources. Not sure if I've ever gown it. I did grow Verde Claro, and it was a bust. Will not be growing it again.

  • RD Texas
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    Yeah Cindy, I sent you some seeds from Green Doctors a little over a year ago. For some reason I thought you grew some this year. I had tried earlier this year but didn’t get any tomatoes. The ones I have now are loaded with tomatoes. I assume they get darker and softer at some point (some are already turning darker). I don’t know much about green tomatoes, but have really enjoyed most of the ones I have grown. I think these are the first cherry tomatoes I have grown that are green when mature.

    It is actually supposed to get down in the 40s here next week. It was 56 here this morning, but is warming up again until the new front blows through. I think these cold nights have helped immensely with bloom production. One of my Chocolate Stripes plants has close to 20 tomatoes. I am so excited!!!

    I finally got some gherkins yesterday. They were tasty but oddly all were round and looked like tiny watermelons with fairly large seeds.

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    3 hours ago

    Thanks Richard. I may plant them next year.

    Jamie - Have you checked your saffron crocus? I was just out there weeding mine and discovered that something is eating the tops of them, including the flowers. It's either rabbits or chipmunks. I put down some bloodmeal and hopefully that will help.

    It rained yesterday, a scant 1/2". Next rain looks like Thursday and Friday. Friday night's low - 31 degrees! Will need to pick everything before then.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    3 hours ago

    I had the same issue with mine, Cindy. I am not going to get any flowers this year

  • cindy_z6b/7a VA
    2 hours ago

    I might have to make a hardware cage for them next year.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    1 hour ago

    Winter came roaring in overnight. First freeze. I awoke to about an inch of sleet/snow and an overnight low of 25. Yesterday as I puttered in the garden I decided at the last minute to attempt to cover my sugar snap peas that are blooming and have some pods formed. I know peas can handle a freeze, I don’t know if they’ll survive such a low temp. By weekend it will be mid to upper 50s. Between now and weekend they’re talking about rain, possibly significant. Fingers crossed.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    28 minutes ago

    We had frost Saturday night so lots of things bit the dust. It was very nice out today in the garden so got lots done but still only a start on fall chores. I picked half a dishpan of tomatillos while tearing down the vines; those things are a vigorous weed!


    My last compost bin went cold, I think because it was too dry and not enough green stuff so fixed that today by turning it into bin 2 and adding layers of dahlias, marigolds and the aforementioned tomatillo vines. Also added some water...hopefully it will heat up now.


    It is not supposed to rain until Friday so hopefully we will get the garlic planted and compost the rest of the dahlias, asters, etc. Any feedback about how much shade garlic can take? I'm thinking about splitting my planting between two areas, one with 70% sun the other about 50%. No full sun available unfortunately ;(