I’m a Three-Season Gardener


I can finally call myself a three-season gardener. This year I planted fall crops of lettuce, spinach, and kale. I’m now harvesting baby greens, but I want to pace myself so that I can have fresh, homegrown, organic greens through Thanksgiving, if possible.

I trick myself into believing that my livelihood depends on my garden’s output, even though I live about a mile from three grocery stores. Otherwise I’ll get lazy and not tend to things.

Last week folks from an organic farm I follow on Facebook posted a photo of lettuce rows all covered up for an expected temperature dip. That prompted me to check the forecast and I learned the overnight lows were to dip to between 31 and 32 degrees. My plants! I made a call to my local hardware store and spoke to a staff member who also gardens. He told me about a warming blanket the store sells. It won’t protect during a hard freeze but it should do the job against a mild frost.

So off I ran to buy the blanket.

Lettuce!

Lettuce!

And spinach!

And spinach!

And Kale! Oh my!

And kale! Oh my!

Don’t they look toasty under their blankets?

I also covered some tomato plants.

tomato volunteers

These are known as “volunteers” because I didn’t plant them. They sprung up on their own in late summer. I suppose my compost, which I made from leaves and food scraps, included seeds.

tomatoes

I have loads of baby Roma and cherry tomatoes. It hurts my heart to not give them a chance.

tomatoes covered

Here they are all covered up. God’s speed, little tomatoes!

Bonus photo. Here's another ditty I didn't plant. I found this impatien hanging out in one of my beds. Here in Nashville impatiens are annuals. This is he first time I've had a volunteer to grow, but my mom, Sister Green Thumb often has them.

Bonus photo. Here’s another ditty I didn’t plant. I found this impatiens hanging out in one of my beds. Here in Nashville impatiens are annuals. This is the first time I’ve had a volunteer to grow, but my mom, Sister Green Thumb often has them.

I’m happy to report my tender little crops are still going strong and hubs and I are munching away on organic goodness.

So what about you? Any fall gardeners out there? How are your crops?

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