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Gardening

Garden Update | So many peppers and tomatoes!

Peppers - October 2012

Peppers - October 2012
Being a Midwestern girl, it still boggles my mind that I’m getting tomatoes and peppers from the garden in October here in North Carolina. I tried to leave them on the plants for as long as possible, but towards the end of the month, I decided it was time to pull out the remaining summer plants so the fall seedlings could get some sun. There were mushrooms and mosses and all kinds of crazy things growing under the shade of my tomato plants. Crazy things!

Rotten Tomato - October 2012I was a little bit bummed that a lot of the tomatoes I was letting ripen ended up getting all moldy and gross after we had a few days of rain. This tomato is still good, right? We can cut out the bad part? Right?

Green Tomatoes - October 2012And the tomatoes that weren’t burst open and nasty were green. This is what I had left of the green tomatoes this week, but I probably had almost double that when I first picked them.

Tomatoes - October 2012…and some of them ripened!

Like last year, the fall veggies seem to be getting off to a slow start. I’m planting them when I’m supposed to, so I’m not sure what’s going on. Not enough sun, maybe?

Dwarf Bok Choy - October 2012These dwarf bok choy are supposed to be ready to eat after 25 days, but as you can see, they are definitely not ready to eat and it’s been over a month since I planted them.

Carrots - October 2012I need to go out and thin these carrot seedlings soon!

Cabbage Worm Damage - October 2012As usual, the caterpillars are having a field day with all the cruciferous veggies.

Mustard Greens - October 2012When I was buying transplants from the farmers market, they offered a deal if you bought an entire flat, so I figured, hey, let’s try mustard greens! And now I have four ginormous mustard green plants and no idea how to use them. So feel free to share your favorite mustard green recipes with me!

Strawberry Flower - October 2012The lone flower on my strawberry plants is a little bit battered and bruised from Sandy.

And speaking of Sandy, I hope those of you on the East Coast are hanging in there. We got some wind and rain here, but nothing like what hit New York and New Jersey. Stay safe!

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Robin
    October 31, 2012 at 7:47 am

    That is awesome that you’re able to grow so much. We have lots of big pine trees surrounding our yard and get very little sunlight, so basically nothing grows in my yard.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 31, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      I think my garden would do better if I had it on the other side of the yard–mine gets a lot of shade. But the greens always do well! You should try growing greens!

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    October 31, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Once again, garden envy. Your tomato looks like my pepper plant. Plants laugh at me but herbs are my friend, particularly rosemary and parsley.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 31, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      My parsley is doing really well too! You know, I almost think you end up saving more money growing your own herbs than veggies. You only get so many veggies from each plant, so unless you have a HUGE garden, it’s impossible to grow enough that you don’t have to buy any. But you can easily grow enough herbs to cook with–and those suckers are expensive at the store!

  • Reply
    EA-The Spicy RD
    October 31, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Gorgeous veggies! Those peppers just pop off my screen! I am SO excited…will be planting my first garden soon, since my husband surprised me with the best anniversary present ever…he and his father are building me a veggie garden for our rooftop deck (which has been on my wish list for awhile). Luckily we have a long growing season here in S. California, so now I just need to decide what to plant. Any suggestions?? P.S. just pinned your veggie loaded nachos-they look fabulous!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 31, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      A rooftop veggie garden?! That will be amazing–no rabbits, deer, or squirrels to contend with! I’ve always had an easy time growing peppers and kale is one of my other favorites–it seems to thrive on neglect. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    October 31, 2012 at 9:26 am

    So fun to see all the different shapes and colors you’re getting. And poo to those hungry caterpillars!

  • Reply
    Meg @ Beard and Bonnet
    October 31, 2012 at 10:11 am

    My little black thumb is so envious of your green thumb! These shots are beautiful and I am so glad that aside from windy conditions you weren’t affected by Sandy. Man, she was vicious! As for those mustard greens, I am so excited to see how you use them. I have no clue what to do with them!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 31, 2012 at 5:38 pm

      Thank you! I’m definitely still learning with the gardening and I do have a black thumb with some things–like squash! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Anne - Mommy Has to Work
    October 31, 2012 at 11:19 am

    So many colors!

  • Reply
    Istuke
    October 31, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Put your tomatoes in a cardboard box with a few apples, close the top, and wait for them to ripen! (Check every so often to be sure your apple is still good and pull out the ripe tomatoes)

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 31, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      I’ve been letting them ripen on the counter, but I’ll have to try storing them with apples–thanks for the tip! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    mary @ what's cookin with mary
    October 31, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I haven’t had a garden since I lived with my Mom back when I was a kiddo. This makes me miss it so much!

  • Reply
    Balvinder
    October 31, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I am still getting tomatoes from my garden, but nothing else. I have covered my tomato plants with a transparent tarp to save them from getting rot .
    I like those peppers.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 31, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      Maybe I should try that! I had so many tomatoes rot this month…

  • Reply
    Viswa
    October 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I am in love with your Garden!!!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    October 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I had lots of tomatoes this year too. Mustard greens look nice.

  • Reply
    All Natural Katie
    October 31, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I picked some green tomatoes also and still have a few baby tomatoes growing, but they won’t amount to anything. We had rain and snow yesterday and it has gotten cold, plus no sun. My fall stuff isn’t growing very well, or at all. Like you said, maybe not enough sun. We have a lot of rain, but they need sun also.

    Another gardening year almost finished, a lot more learned.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 31, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      We’ve had a lot of rain and gray days here too, so I think that’s definitely been a factor. Well, at least my greens are doing well–there’s that! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Jackie @ Domestic Fits
    October 31, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I love October produce, but I also love that in warmer climates like we both live in, you still get some late Summer produce and the Autumn produce all at once.

  • Reply
    dani
    October 31, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I get organic produce delivered to my house–and I LOVE IT! However, sometimes I get certain veggies that I am not sure how to make a meal of them and I hate seeing produce go bad so I started vegetarian feast dinners! I’ll sautee a little of this, roast a little of that, blanche some of these and with some good cheese and bread or a bowl of rice or quinoa it magically is a delightful and filling meal. I’ve found that even if the veggies don’t make a recipe combined, or seem to “go together” eating in this format is always delicious. Then, any leftovers can be mixed with the quinoa into a salad with added beans the next day for lunch!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 31, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      This is a fantastic idea! Might have to make one with green tomatoes and mustard greens soon. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ henry happened
    October 31, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    So glad you survived Sandy! And I’m glad the mustard greens are going strong – wish I had some good ideas on that front but, um, not so much, ha!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      I’m going to have to come up with something soon! I hope they taste good because I sure have a lot of them. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    October 31, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Impressive! That is a lot of veggies for this time of year.

  • Reply
    JulieD
    November 1, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Beautiful, Kiersten, except for that one tomato. LOL Curtis freaked out about our tomatoes last year so he gave up on growing them. I really really want to start a real garden next year!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      You should! It’s so fun to cook with things you’ve grown yourself.

  • Reply
    Aggie
    November 1, 2012 at 6:39 am

    Beautiful veggies!! I’m in Florida so I understand about the extended growing season. I still have lots of basil and culantro & chives I’m working through. I haven’t had time to plant anything for fall/winter, I wonder if its too late to try greens.
    I’ve never tried mustard greens, but I’ve cooked up collards before southern vegetarian style from a recipe I found from sunshine anderson on food network. Very good!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      Well, if you’re in Florida, I bet you still have time to get some transplants started! Kale is my favorite to grow–it’s super easy and ours lasted through frosts and even a little snow. I’m going to have to look for that collards recipe! I’m still trying to get my husband to like them. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Aggie
    November 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I just thought of another one for you to try – loved it!!

    http://aggieskitchen.com/2012/08/05/quinoa-spaghetti-with-garlicky-greens-and-tomatoes

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      Thank you! Pairing them with pasta is a good idea. I’m thinking I will need to throw in lots of stuff to offset the bitterness. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Christa
    November 4, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Next year I want to grow jalapenos!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 5, 2012 at 9:54 am

      You should–they are super easy to grow!

  • Reply
    Shell Fruscione
    November 5, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Aww poor tomatoes! But yay for the ones that survived!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    November 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I envy your surplus of mustard greens. They’re so fantastically peppery. You should try the Curried Mustard Greens with Kidney Beans recipe at All Recipes. It’s easy and oh so tasty delicious.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      I found a recipe for pasta with greens and caramelized onions, so I’m going to give that a try tomorrow. But if I have any greens left, I’m going to check out that curried greens recipe! Thank you for the idea! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Katie
    November 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    how did your carrots come out?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      They are like stalled or something. πŸ™ The tops grew about 2 inches and then they stopped. This happens to so many of my veggies, I don’t understand it!

  • Reply
    Shirley
    November 8, 2012 at 1:32 am

    I’ve never made mustard greens, but I can’t wait to see what you do with them. I wish things were still growing here! The temp dropped down to 28 one night. Ugh.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 8, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      I think we’ve had a few nights that went down into the 30s, but next week we’re going to be back in the 70s. Not to gloat or anything.

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    November 11, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Our habaneros are going crazy right now. I swear they’ve shot up a couple of feet since the heat of summer and there’s probably at least 60 peppers that need to be roasted. I love the south!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Our peppers did that too! I’ve never seen plants shoot up so quickly like that. I probably could have left them in a little longer too–we were still having days in the 70s last week.

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