It’s time to wrap-up this garden season. Harvest the last produce and enjoy the last of the fruits of your gardening labor. Until next season…
It may seem odd to be still harvesting Better Boy tomatoes. After a hot week, you can sometimes harvest too many tomatoes again. I already have a freezer full of tomato soup. It’s time to pull out the stops and make those other recipes that use a lot of tomatoes at one time – sundried tomatoes, homemade pizza sauce, a tomato tart and another batch of salsa – extra spicy since the jalapenos are ripe now too.
We all know that tomato mozzarella salad is the best when made with homegrown tomatoes and garden fresh herbs. Enjoy the last few servings. And remember to pick all your cherry tomatoes. They all seem to ripen at the same time but they’re tasty in stir fries, roasted with other vegetables, sautéed, in a salad, or my favorite – by the handful.
Save Your Garden Herbs
Don’t let your herbs wither in the cooler temperatures. If you can’t take the pots of herbs inside for the winter, just cut them back to the base. After you clean the herbs, dry them with an absorbent towel and then loosely scatter the herbs on a baking sheet. It may take a few weeks for them to dry out. Toss them around every few days to keep them drying. You can also bunch together small handfuls and hang them by a string in a cool, dark place (like the garage). When they eventually dry out, crumble them into a storage container for your own homemade dried herbs. You will have your own dried sage, rosemary, parsley, chives, basil, etc… They might last you all winter.
Even though you’re using up the last of the summer favorites, it’s prime time to begin harvesting fall favorites like Brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes. You can either harvest the whole stalk of Brussel sprouts, or just break off a few at a time. It’s nice that they store so well and for a long time in the refrigerator. Brussel sprouts are simple to roast at a high temperature with a little olive oil. You can also shred them to make a great fall salad.
Garlic Overwinters in the Garden
And in the new space you create after pulling up the end-of-season plants, try planting garlic cloves. Let them stay in the ground all winter. In the spring you’ll see green stalks sprouting through the snow. Leave them there a long time. We’ll talk about harvesting them next spring (to make room to plant your summer tomato plants).
Enjoy being outside working in the garden this fall. The temperature is a bit cooler. There are still many vegetables to harvest and enjoy. It’s a positive step for a happy life – living off the land, eating what you grow, following the seasons of the garden.
See you on the blog!