Friday, November 20, 2009

November 2009's Veggie Garden Update

Tina and Skeeter, from In the Garden do a vegetable garden update on the 20th of the month. I have been participating since July. I didn't think I'd have a November update, but lots of things survived the early cold temps, and like many of you, we've had a mild fall after all.

The green tomatoes that were picked when we had the first cold weather ripened, and even though some spoiled, we have been eating them almost every day up until this week. There are still some hanging in there, but it's time for another sort, and then we'll need to hurry up and eat what's left. This is the latest I can recall having tomatoes from the garden. We still have onions and garlic, but I didn't get the garlic put downstairs, so some of it has dried out. I'll have to get some down there yet and see how it does.

I took the first photo on the 17th, when I harvested some greens from across the street, lettuce, and my last 3 radishes. The rest of the photos were taken today.

I'm still using parsley, chives, and sage from the herb garden. The salad burnet on the right is pretty big, and I always forget whether it can be used after it has bloomed, so I end up not cooking with it much. (I noticed frost on the chives when I looked out this morning.)

The Nero Toscana kale is continuing to do well. There are some holes from insects, but it's still fine to eat. I use the chopped or torn up leaves of this and the other kind of kale in soups and salads. Sometimes, I'll pick a leaf of either kind and eat it for the calcium.

This is the kale from last year that bloomed this year. I keep it there hoping the rabbits will eat it, but I really have more kale than we need. The verbena bonariensis in the left part of the photo still looks good, even after it has gone to seed. I should have lots more for the butterflies next year.

This is the kale I planted this year, with lettuce across the path. I have a little stick pile in front of the compost fence for the butterflies to shelter in. In the spring, garlic will grow along the fence. I didn't get the bulbs planted that I meant to, but there has been garlic here since before we moved in, and I know I didn't get it all harvested.

There is still plenty of lettuce even after I harvested a big bowl full. I'm thinking I planted it the last week of August. It probably would be bigger if I'd been watering it.

I don't have as many leaves on the compost pile as usual. A neighbor who used to put her leaves there moved, and I haven't gotten to know the new neighbors. I need to see about getting some more.

The view from the compost area:

I'm not finished cleaning up my garden across the street, but I have made some progress. I sure wish there weren't so many trees to shade it.

Most of the strawberries that a friend gave me from her yard seem to have survived, even though I neglected them after the first few waterings.

I need to ask the neighbors if they'll eat some kale. That's parsley in the sun.

I wish I had enough compost to spread throughout this garden. I may add some bags of composted manure. I'm thinking about planting a whole lot of peas next year to add nitrogen to the soil. I wonder if the rabbits would leave some of them alone, or eat them all. I guess I'd have to cover them until they grow a bit.

The rabbits have eaten this lettuce more than what's in my home garden.

I never saw any caterpillars on this fennel or flat or curled parsley. Maybe next year, they will eat them.

In my July update, I was letting the salad mix go to seed, and was pleased that the seeds of some of the plants sprouted the same season. I wish I hadn't thrown the package away, because I can't remember what all was in it. There was some lettuce, but that seed hasn't come up. I looked up "salad greens" and from what I found, believe the ones on the left are mizuna, I couldn't find what the long green plants are, and I think the ones on the right are red mustard. They have popped up in several other places.

Birds or some other critters shredded the onions this summer, and the bulbs didn't grow much, but now they are sending up more green. I'll have to see if the neighbors want some green onions. There is a larger red mustard plant to the right.

Jeff, the property owner, put leaves in the area I was going to have Larry till for asparagus. I'm either going to put them on the compost pile to the right, or choose a different spot for asparagus. Or, maybe Larry could mow them, then till them in. I'll have to get him over there this weekend. I need to research what kind of asparagus would do well in Nebraska. Do you have a variety of asparagus you like to grow? Larry likes thick stems.

Have a great weekend!


  1. You have a lot of goodies there in your garden that are good to eat! What do you do with kale?

  2. Hi Msrobin,
    I went back and added to my post that I use chopped or torn leaves of either kind of kale in salads or soups. I did figure out that next time I put kale in soup, I want to chop the leaves smaller than I have been. They are especially good in bean soup with turkey ham.

  3. so flavorful so good, but their leaves add another artful touch to everything !! sandy

  4. Kale is such a lovely green plant and it tastes good in soups! I buy beautiful ornamental kale plants every year...maybe I ought to plant the real thing! have a wonderful holiday Sue! gail

  5. is a national campaign to diminish hunger by enabling farmers/backyard (patio-rooftop-kitchen too) gardeners to share their bounty with neighborhood food pantries.

    The site is free both for the food pantries and the gardeners using it.

    More than 1,100 food pantries nationwide are already on it and more are signing up daily.

    It has received backing from the USDA, Google, many faith and service organizations, bloggers, writers, etc.

    We need your help.

    If you are a gardener with extra produce, please use the site to share what you wish with a community pantry.

    If you belong to a house of worship that hosts a food pantry/bank/shelf, please let them know about and encourage them to register on the site (remind them it is free).

    Please print the flier at and ask your local nursery/gardenshop etc. to post it in a conspicuous location. You can also post it on the bulletin board of your local supermarket and library.

    Lastly, please email/call/Tweet your friends around the country and let them know about enables people to help their community by reaching into their backyard instead of their back pocket.

  6. That kale is SO beautiful Sue! I keep kicking myself as to why I have not planted some whenever I see yours. I must change that soon. Also love your greens. Lucky you! I've added your link in:) Thanks for letting me know.

  7. Thats a lot of veggies, Sue! I wish we could grow them here but I think our climate's too hot for most of them.
    Can you believe lettuce is an exotic green for us?

  8. Hi,
    I felt very impress when I saw a lot of veggies in your garden...I hope I will have one in future...Your great work encourage me to take a look at my garden...

  9. Sue it looks like you're ready to open a salad bar! Those kale are pretty impressive. I also commend your bravery for growing the lettuce. I am certain that any lettuce I tried to grow would simply end up looking like bait for the poor little wild bunnies around here. My Malamute is quite fond of bunny snacks and I certainly don't want to be part of that. They are just too cute.
    It looks to me like you did some pretty good clean up around there. Way to go you. :-)


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