My tomatoes and okra did not disappoint this month, but their days are numbered.
We’re now growing deeper into fall and that means my garden is beginning to wane. This will be the last garden update for 2020. I hope to see y’all tune in for next spring! I haven’t even cleared out my garden yet and I’m already excited for the next growing season.
October finally brought my first slicing tomato. It was a long wait, but it was well worth it. To get to finally taste a Cherokee Purple tomato I grew myself was all the reward I needed for waiting nearly the whole season for it.
If you’ve never grown heirloom slicing tomatoes I highly recommend them. While they take longer to mature than the typical F1 hybrid slicers like Better Boy or Early Girl, the flavor is incomparable.
F1 hybrids are designed to mature quickly and produce a lot of fruit at once. With heirlooms or heirloom crosses (like my volunteer Cherokee Purples) the fruit comes on more spread out. You still get similar amounts of fruit in the end, but patience is key.
F1 hybrids also sacrifice texture and flavor. They are often watery or mealy. They also are often hard, as they are designed to be able to ship. Heirlooms must be eaten within a few days of picking, but trust me, with their flavor they won’t stay on your counter long.
October also saw my cabbages grew greatly in size. I dealt with quite a bit of cabbage worm damage as you can see in the photo, but that didn’t stop their growth or progression to forming heads.
I did squash a few cabbage worms during October and as it gets cooler I’m hoping the cabbage worms die off for the year.
Cabbage, once established, is pretty frost hardy. We’ve already had a few frosts in Delaware and my cabbage is still growing. Growth will slow down quite a bit, but I will still be able to harvest my cabbage here within the first week or two of November.
Surprisingly enough, October is when I saw the most production out of my Principe Borghese tomatoes. It got to the point by about the third week in October where I was bringing in at least a quart of these cherry tomatoes every day. That’s with just an 8’x14′ bed. My mom (who has a significantly larger garden) was bring in in easily two to three quarts a day.
We were quickly overrun with tomatoes, but trust me that is not a problem at all! We freeze our tomatoes to make sauce. This year with the addition of my tomatoes we will likely get about thirty jars of sauce. That can easily take us through the winter.
We begin canning our sauce around the first week in November. I plan to start canning my sauce this week. I’ll likely have about ten jars of sauce once all is said and done.
As you can see in this photo (which was taken prior to our first frost) my garden still had plenty of life into October. My advice is: as long as your plants look healthy and are still producing fruit don’t rip them out! I know it may seem like the end of the season and you want to get your greens and root vegetables in, but have patience.
If you need to get your cool season crops in try tucking them into the gaps in your garden.
All in all, October was a good month for my garden. It is now time to say good bye to my tomatoes and okra for the year, but I know that they will return next spring and be just as successful and amazing.
I hope y’all have had a good growing season, and I appreciate those of you who’ve read my updates and supported my blog. It means a lot. Most of my posts from now until spring will be nutrition and recipe based, but I hope y’all stick around and maybe learn something!
Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog! Whether you stay a day, a week, a month, or a year I appreciate you. -Kate