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Enjoying the Fall Harvest

October 15, 2010

In late July, I planted many cool-season root crops and hardy greens (read more about the planting here).   These veggies have been growing steadily and many are ready to be harvested!  Meals at my house this week consisted of freshly picked radishes and mixed greens: kale, Swiss chard, spinach, beet greens and radish greens. 

I harvest just a few of the larger, outer leaves from the kale, Swiss chard and spinach plants.  These plants will continue to produce more leaves from a center crown.  I also harvest a few leaves of the beet plants as they grow; I am sure not to take too many leaves as the plants are working to produce their tasty roots.  I also harvest and eat any plants that were planted too close together, as a way of thinning; I pull the entire plant and use the leaves.  As for the carrots that I planted in July, it will still be a while until they are ready to be harvested.  They have yet to even develop to baby carrot size!        

As you work in the garden, be on the watch for the cabbage white butterfly which lays its young on many of the cool-season crops, especially brassicas.  If you find their small eggs under leaves, they should be squished so that they do not develop into the caterpillars which will feed on the plants.  I have found many of these small caterpillars eating my kale plants! 

Another pest that I have noticed is the spinach leaf miner, which eats its way through the leaves of beets, spinach adn Swiss chard, three veggies growing in my fall garden!  If you spot this critter eating your crops, its best to remove the entire affected leaf and throw it away.  This will prevent the pest from spreading to other plants.  

Even with these two pests, the garden remains healthy overall and is producing wonderfully!  Please look over the photos below.  For fun, I have included photos of all of the vegetables in the garden: there are pictures of the seedlings as well as the mature plants!  Enjoy!   

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