A photo of Shannon SaiaWhen I woke this morning it was 25 degrees outside, making last night our first frost. 5 November - not bad. I knew when I went to bed last night that in the morning my eggplant and peppers would be gone, and sure enough when I got home from work today they were dark and shriveled up. So were a few volunteer tomatoes and nasturtiums that I had been letting go just for the heck of it. The nasturtiums were frozen into a full-flowered wilt, and there were actually a few small green tomatoes on the larger plant. What surprised me was that my one volunteer borage that had recently given me some of its lovely wedgewood blue-colored flowers was still upright and lovely. That, I didn't expect. Also still around and looking great this afternoon is my one Gerbera daisy plant with its two big, beautiful coral-colored heads. This is good to know as I stop fussing so much outside and start doing more indoor garden planning. Next year I will plant some of these flowers late on purpose, just keep some color and beaty out there once it starts to get cold. Next survival test - first snowfall. I gathered some gerbera daisy seeds from that plant ealier this year so I may start them under lights this winter. They've always been one of my favorite flowers. I think it's thier Dr. Suess-ness that gets to me.

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, beets, turnips, rutabegas, Chinese cabbages and lettuces are still going strong.

An interesting thing - when I pulled up my nice, large Black Beauty eggplant, I was surprised to see how long its main roots were. There were two or three of them that extended laterally out somewhat past the upper width of the plant. Something to keep in mind when thinking about spacing for next year. I have to say that I was kind of sad to pull that plant up. It was quite the largest and most robust eggplant I have ever had.

11/11/2012 2:45:50 AM

Shannon, my most hardy plant of the year was the Chard. It was still upright and healthy green until I just pulled it out of the ground and tossed it into the compost. The three plants had survived the long hot dry summer without any help from me at all. They lasted after three killing frosts with one in the middle 20s and yet they still were strong and healthy. What a plant. It's definitely on my list for next year. It might be a mistake but sunflowers are on the list as well. My grandson wants popcorn. My neighbor wants watermelons, pumpkins, and potatoes. Another friend wants a garden spot but doesn't know exactly what he is going to plant there yet. The garden is turning into a community garden of a sort just like I wanted. I did not want the standard this is your spot to keep and tend. I'm pretty limited in what I raise now but maybe as years go by I will get braver. Have a great fall garden day.

Cindy Murphy
11/7/2012 12:44:45 PM

Hi, Shannon. I'm as amazed with my volunteer parsley plants as you are with your borage. We've had several frosts, and I keep waiting for the parsley to at least look a little wilted, maybe nipped around the edges, but it still looks as fresh as it did over a month ago. I used some last night in potato and leek soup - the leeks I got out of the ground just in time, I think. And roses! My Fairy roses are still blooming - in November. The tenacity of some plants is amazing.

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