Vegetable Garden Recap

The frost claimed what was left in the vegetable garden last week, leaving cold-blackened plants for me to pull out and add to the rapidly filling compost bins. I look now at the bare raised beds and see that once again, henbit is staking its claim for the winter.

There’s not much left to do prepare the vegetable garden and the gardener for winter. I should do some chipping and shredding of the drier plant debris in the compost bins and then harvest the compost underneath that top layer. And I should hoe the beds one last time to knock the henbit back a bit, though I know from experience, it will be still be growing strong by early spring, when it is once again time to plant a row of peas.

But even if I skip these last steps, or the weather doesn’t cooperate for me to do them, it will be okay. The garden will be ready enough for spring. Between now and then, I’ll be studying seed catalogs and websites, searching for the perfect varieties to make 2010’s vegetable garden “the best one yet”.

I enjoyed this year’s garden. It fed me well, both physically and spiritually. Every crop seemed to be a good crop except for the tomatoes. I blame the weather for that, as we had a cold, rainy summer.

I also did a better job of tending the garden than in some years, due in part to writing weekly letters about it addressed to Dee from Red Dirt Ramblings and Mary Ann from Idahogardener, who also wrote weekly letters about their vegetable gardens. That kept me hopping and hoeing because I sure didn’t want to write each week about being a lazy gardener!

And now those letters tell the story of this year’s garden. If you would like to read them look for the tag “Letters to Gardening Friends”, go all the way to the oldest post, and work your way back. Or you can just view this video recap.

“I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a row of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from an Old Manse

Now, where are those seed catalogs...


Rosey Pollen said…
It does seem sad to see it die, but then you mention the seed catalogs. Bring them on!
Ryan said…
I'm still to be greeted by the first frost but have readied the new compost bin as it will be needed very soon!

I love your photos of the garden. Such a great idea!

Keep up the good work!

That is some hard frost. Even with the snow and ice last week the veggie garden was only nipped so there are still carrots, beets, leeks, turnips, sugar snap peas, chard and lettuce that could be harvested if you know laziness doesn't crop up.
Kat said…
I hate seeing plants bitten by frost. I have to pull them all out before then and normally do to plant the fall crop. I enjoyed the slide show of the garden, going from snow to frost, watching it come full circle. It's a nice reminder that spring will come again.
Anonymous said…
It's amazing what a person can get done in a few hours a day. That's a beautiful garden and very inspirational. I liked seeing it go through the seaons.
Helen said…
Frost is all part of life's rich and evolving tapestry. I think human beings need change, and a chance to recap and recoup as you are doing now. Happy seed searching. Dreaming gets us (especially us northern types) through the drear of winter.
I enjoyed the slide show and watching your vegetable garden metamorphose!
Neato video! I liked seeing how quickly things grew in June. It was almost like time-lapse.
Kathy said…
Good review of the season, and I like the quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Did you read Mosses from an Old Manse, or get the quote from somewhere else?
That was awesome! Love video a perfect recap of your growing season and a wonderful peek at your garden! Kim
Rose said…
Yes, it was a good year for the vegetable garden, except, of course, the tomatoes. But even then, I harvested almost as many as I'd like. Enjoyed the video! This really showed the changes during the growing season--your vegetable garden is a work of art, Carol!

BTW, saw your last Twitter comment--several of the ads for garden centers here this past week have burning bushes on sale. Maybe they need to read some of your posts.
Your garden did look neat and tidy all summer Carol. You did a good job.
Oh, my dear, that was so lovely, so nice to see your garden from spring through frost. Truly inspired. I'm glad we wrote the letters and think we should do it again next year. What do you think?~~Dee
Sue said…
It was fun watching your garden throughout the seasons, but when it got to the one where it was frozen, it was a shock to me, and made my heart sink, even though I knew the freeze came early. I hope we have a longer season next year.
Diana said…
Sad to see your garden go, Carol, but it certainly did feed you well. And there is something comforting about the inevitable change of seasons -- a calming sense of peace -- that the winter will be here soon, giving us time to rest and revive ourselves and our gardens for next year. (Except here, of course, where Mother Nature is rushing us through hoops to see how high we will jump with this crazy weather.)
Jan said…
The slideshow is a great way to look back over the year, and now I'm wishing that I'd taken enough photos to be able to do that! Next year!
I do enjoy in a kind of bittersweet way, the moment when we put the kitchen gardens to sleep for the winter - and you have captured it so well.
Darla said…
You did do a great job Carol. Oh, the photo with the frost, I just had to enlarge it...ouch! I need seed you recommend a specific company? Maybe a short post of seed catalogs, as I usually just buy my seeds at the store...I know I'm boxing myself in by doing this.
Layanee said…
Love the video and while the lushness of the garden is a delight, the frost picture is just beautiful. Who knows what next year will bring.
Mary Delle said…
The video was great. Planning for the next year is a wonderful adventure. I'm doing it here in So California with fall planting. This is a good time here to redo beds and plant fall veggies.
Urban Green said…
Frost! Hate it, dont you?
I'm going right back to read your old posts.
Annie in Austin said…
Loved the YouTube, Carol - not just for the pleasure of seeing the vegetables grow in a place with orderly seasons, but to see how much the fence, raised beds, bench, tower etc add to the beauty of the scene at every stage. Your kitchen garden is a Garden.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose