Swiss chard has been the big winner this fall. Again, I've never planted it before this year but it is doing very well and tastes outstanding. I haven't had any bug problems either. A great no care plant that produces huge stalks of chard. Hopefully they'll hold up well when the first frost hits the area.
|These chard plants are appx. 18" tall. Simply twist and pull off shoots of chard at the base of the plant and it will continue to grow from the crown.|
Carrots are a close second (if not tied) with chard in terms of success. This is my first year growing carrots and I'm proud of the results, even if I was lucky. I planted 8 varieties in a 4' x 8' bed. Mostly French heirloom varieties (thanks Elsa!) and a few American hybrids. I harvested a sampler of each variety but forgot to take pics before I ate them. I'll try to do that the next time I pull some from the bed. But here's an overall picture. Major difference compared to the picture of the tiny seedlings I previously posted.
|American and French carrots reaching for the sky and growing deep in the raised bed. I also inter-planted a few rows of purple onions to help reduce white fly. Guess it worked because they were never a problem.|
Lettuce has been a huge disappointment. I don't know if it was the late hot temps or the fact that my seeds were a few years old, but I've had miserable results this year. I planted an entire 4' x 8' bed with 5 varieties and have only 6 small heads to show for it. I was hoping for endless salads, but got endless heartbreak instead. They are growing rapidly, but it is a sad sight. Here's a pic of one lonely head looking pretty for the camera.
|Winter Density lettuce.|
Kale has been hit or miss. It seems to be growing okay now, but I was battling with small caterpillars that really enjoyed munching on the green leaves. They were efficient too! A few plants were totally decimated. I saw white moths (maybe butterflies? I don't know, not a bug guy) fluttering over the plants and figured they were laying their eggs on the kale. It would probably help if I researched this a bit. I ended up hand-picking the buggers every day and doing the old stomp dance. I haven't seen any in the last 3 days so I hope I'm in the clear.
|Calamondin oranges (bottom) and Eureka lemons (top). Looking forward to harvesting those lemons.|
|Two small Russian pomegranates and one really fat thumb.|
|6-foot tall pomegranate tree. If you look closely (with a magnifying glass) you'll see 3 small pomegranates at ground level. Next year I've got visions of this shrub loaded with reddish globes.|
|Redhaven peach tree on semi-dwarfing rootstock. Looks like I've got some weeding and mulching to do. Any volunteers?|
|22 Celeste fig trees that I rooted earlier in the year. Pretty good results for one growing season.|