I love it that we can garden all year long here in coastal southern California. My summer vegetables may be nearing their end, but the fall vegetables are entering their prime.
Black Beauty eggplants are still ripening
Although we’re well into fall, I’m going to get one more pot of spaghetti sauce from my Roma tomatoes, and one more cucumber salad from the last cucumber on the vine. I also have hopes for another pan or two of eggplant Parmesan. I have three Black Beauty eggplants in various stages of unripeness, and several Millionaire Japanese-type eggplants ready to pick.
A few Roma tomatoes struggle on into the autumn
This has been a banner year for bell peppers for us. For some
Black bell pepper
reason, I’ve never been able to grow decent bell peppers. Until this year, that is. I don’t know what the difference is, but we’ve had all of the peppers that we could want this summer–green, red, yellow, orange, and black ones. Beautiful, bountiful peppers. I hope I can duplicate this bounty again next year. I’ve been able to overwinter pepper plants and have them produce again the next summer as though they were perennials.
Ponca butternut squash
I think I planted my butternut squash too late in the summer. I got only three small butternuts on four vines. The vines are still producing flowers, but I think it’s too late in the season for them to set fruit.
While New Englanders and Midwesterners are putting their gardens to bed for the winter, I’m getting ready to harvest fall crops of cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, chard, lettuce, spinach, and other cool season vegetables.
Raised bed #2 is full of cool season crops like cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, spinace, lettuce and chard.
My fall garden is growing in these nifty new Forever Raised Beds from Gardners Supply Company. They’re made of recycled plastic and wood chips, and look like aged cedar. This is my first attempt at square-foot gardening, and I’m a convert. I’ve never had a vegetable garden as lush as the one above, nor grown as many vegetables in as small a space. I’m sold on square-foot gardening in raised beds.
(To read more of Lou Murray’s environmental writing, see her weekly column, Natural Perspectives, in the Huntington Beach Independent at www.hbindependent.com, under columnists.)
About Lou Murray, Ph.D.
I'm a retired medical researcher, retired professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I wrote a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent for many years. I also supervised environmental restoration projects and taught at the Orange County Conservation Corps before retiring in the summer of 2016. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks. I am also dedicated to combatting global climate change.
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I’ve chosen you for the Honest Scrap Award. If you want to participate you can check out my post today or if you aren’t into memes, feel free to ignore it.
Thanks for choosing my blog for an Honest Scrap Award. Loved your blog.
Beautiful bed of cool season crops! Very neat and organized.
Thanks Thomas. I really enjoyed your New England blog. I’m growing Meyer Improved lemons in my yard, but had no idea they’d grow in your area. Thanks for stopping by.
Would the SoCal garden be open for (green) tourists one day?
I’m thinking of having an open house once I get my back yard done (like a garden is ever done–ha!) and my hens have arrived.