fall gardening

A few weeks back I planted red lettuce, spinach, and rainbow chard. Fall gardening is a great way to get a second crop of those cold tolerant leafy greens before the winter arrives.

greenhouse

And a great way to extend the growing season is with a cold frame! I built this one (Neil insists it’s more of a small greenhouse then a large cold frame) out of free windows and scrap lumber. The “straight” edges on the lumber look a lot like a kindergartner’s first attempt with scissors but I’m proud of it anyway!

inside

And the little plants look so happy tucked inside their sunny house. I’m expecting another growth spurt from them now that they’ll have lovely warm growing time during the day, and they don’t have to fight the first frosts at night. In fact, the spinach will be quite happy in there right through the snow. Spinach seeds can even overwinter in a little cold frame and will sprout on their own in the spring just as soon as they can. I’m planning on planting some more spinach seed once the lettuce is gone so we’ll have a super-early crop next year.

We didn’t have a frost last night – after all we’re up a pretty big hill! But the village below did so our first frost can’t be too far behind. Besides which these 38F nights are too cold for most of my veggie garden anyway. The cabbages and broccoli are still doing well.

cabbage

I picked another half gallon of broccoli flourettes this weekend. I’m getting second growth heads off the original second growth heads. That makes them tertiary and quaternary growth heads, right? I also picked my squashes this weekend.

curingsquash

They’re all lined up next to the wood stove for a period of curing before I tuck them into their cool, dark cabinet. My favorite are the squmpkins:
squmpkin
Clearly a cross between the carnival squash on the left and the pumpkin on the right. I got three squmpkins from the vine that grew out in the wild front yard (my feral pumpkin patch)

Finally, if you’ve made it this far, you may actually care enough about veggies to help me out. I grew a lovely patch of pretty dried beans this year:

mysterybeans

And I have NO IDEA what kind of bean these are. They’re bush beans, the first plant was a volunteer last year. I thought the beans and pods were so pretty I save the seed rather then eating it.* And this year I planted a whole row. They had great germination and I have about twice as many as pictured here. But I still don’t know what kind they are.

*Also there were only about 12 seeds total, not really a meal’s worth.

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3 responses to “fall gardening

  1. I’m voting that they are cranberry shell beans. . .

  2. I love your cold frame/very small greenhouse! Your lettuces look so happy in there :-)

    I’m no expert on beans but they do look a lot like pinto beans. Or a cross between pintos and red kidney beans. Hmmm. They’re beautiful, whatever they are!

  3. Thanks! The tiny greenhouse is working so far! And it’s not blowing over in the wind either, which is nice.

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