Thursday, October 9, 2014

Late Growing Season


These photos were taken Tuesday afternoon. The seventh day of October.

Owen and I were sweating as we beat the giant grasshoppers out of our way and stretched our fingers to collect as many overgrown green beans as we could. I think we made it through maybe a fifth of the patch before our bowl was full and we had to unload inside. The first two cucumbers were plucked from the late-planted vines, and they tasted just as good as the ones harvested in mid-July. I'm talking about this backyard garden nonchalantly, but let me tell you something you might not have caught back there. It's October.

Never before have I had a garden continue to produce this late into the year. I once did fall-specific plantings of lettuce and spinach and saw success, but that was nothing compared to the bounty out there now. It started in early August, when I pulled the fried bush bean plants from the ground and planted seeds in their place to see what would happen. I did the same thing when the cucumber vines dried up and weeks later, I'm pleased to report the return of summer!

As for the rest of my summer crops, you'll notice a lack of color. The tomatoes are toast and the melons and squash have since disintegrated and been mowed over like they never existed. Since we didn't pull them up, though, I fully expect their triumphant return next summer. I thought the peppers died with the tomatoes when our backyard was hit with severe storms, but I recently pulled back the weeds to reveal lots of baby greens. I cleaned up the bed and although all the plants are now growing horizontally, they're still growing:


I've never tried replanting summer veggies, though I'm not sure why I didn't think it would work in Southern Arkansas. The recorded high for Tuesday was 90 degrees, for Pete's sake. I know the first frost will stop these plants in their tracks, but we'll be enjoying delicious dinners until then. Unfortunately due to the time of year, I'm sharing my beans with a collection of friends. Thankfully, they seem to only like the leaves:

{Believe me, this is one of the smaller ones. Ick.}

I suppose I'll share for now, as long as they leave the beans alone. Lord knows I have a lot more work ahead of me when it comes to searching and picking. My kids enjoy it for the first five minutes or so, but give up when they realize how much more fun they could be having on the swings. Do you want some delicious homegrown green beans? If you stop by and pick, I'll let you have some. Please?

Who knows how much longer this productive October garden will last, but you'll know where to find me until then. Happy Thursday and happy harvest. y'all.


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2 comments:

Brittney said...

Grasshoppers got the best of my sunflowers this year. I also grew some jalepenos in pots on my porch...and those did well.

Jessica Bauer said...

My jalapenos are still kicking, too! This is the first year they've done well for me and I honestly don't know what to do with them. I've only done a little canning, but I think that's what needs to happen. Do you can yours, Brittney?