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Friday, November 20, 2009

November in the Vegetable Garden

As strange as it may sound there are things still growing in the vegetable garden in November and it's not because of our unusually warm weather. Unfortunately there is only one vegetable growing but there are several kinds of herbs that are doing great. All the vegetable garden pictures were taken this morning while a light frost was still covering everything.

The one vegetable that continues to grow through the cold weather is the lettuce. It's a Romain mix that I put out several weeks ago that while it's growth is slow is still growing. Lettuce can handle light frosts and has already been through 4-5. Just add a little coldframe over it and who knows how long it will keep growing! Of course Tennessee has a mild winter so if you live north of me your lettuce might not last as long.

I planted some oregano seeds while my squash was growing in the hopes that it would ward off my number number one most despised garden pest: squash vine borers. Oregano is listed in many charts as a generic works against nearly everything companion planting herb. It didn't work. I may have to try a second organic strategy and place row covers over the squash when the borers are actively reproducing. The thing about organic pest control practices is that they are not fool proof; what works for one gardener may not work for the gardener next door. The result of my companion planting of oregano with the squash ended up with quite a bit of oregano. Two raised beds are completely covered with it and will need thinned in the spring.



Another raised bed is completely covered with cilantro. I read once on a blog (sadly I can't remember where otherwise I would link to it) where cilantro was by volume the most expensive grocery vegetable. If that's the case then I'm doing very well! This cilantro was sprinkled over the garden after my first plants of the year bolted.


Another herb that has a small place in our garden is parsley. I bought this one from a garden club member who sells to farmers markets and festivals. I stuck it in a little corner of the cilantro bed. I didn't plan on the vegetable garden become an herb garden but the two gardens do go hand in hand!




Of course we do have the strawberry plants that are growing way outside the boundary of their original raised bed. When I get the greenhouse enclosed I'll transplant them to a new spot where hopeful they can be very fruitful! I may have to bring many of them to a plant swap in the spring.



That's about all there is to my vegetable garden update for November. I was disappointed that the spinach never germinated. It was probably old seed and I'll have to buy some more this year. Soon I'll evaluate my raised bed layout/design and figure out where to plant things next year. I try to rotate my crops as much as possible each year to prevent the same diseases from bothering the same plants in subsequent years. Go check out Tina's blog to see what other folks have in their vegetable garden!



5 comments :

  1. Oregano sure didn't help my squash either. I have it in the ground & it's taken over & it walks. Yes, walks. It has spread about 6' walking SW. Never did I ever think I couldn't grow squash---the easiest veggie to grow. If I try squash next yr. I will have to resort to something else.
    I think my biggest problem is there is no pollinators around here. That is what the city will do for you.
    I've had so many failures for the past few yrs. I'm about to give up on veggies. I really like to grow them.

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  2. It's amazing what is still growing!. I'm in Lancaster County Pennsylvania and I still have lettuce,onions, leeks, broccoli, oregano, dill and parsley growing.
    Nothing is under cold frame yet. It has been a relatively mild fall here but I'm not complaining:)

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  3. Dear Dave
    I love seeing the herb garden prosper : )
    The oregano thing .. I companion plant with my clematis (I know .. I do odd things .. go figure ? LOL) I found that on a regular basis, if I tear some herbs up .. sage included, with the oregano and a few others, and crush them to release the essential oil/liquid then sprinkle them on or at least by the base of the of the plants I want to protect .. it is more affective .. the naughty insects don't like that up close and personal encounter with the herbs that way ..
    I wish I had more room .. I might try a raised bed of veggies myself !
    Joy

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  4. My spinach didn't germinate either and it is very disappointing! Your lettuce looks good. I remember when you planted it. Smart move as i think I may have waited too long. I think herbs go great with veggies-perfect to have some in the veggie garden. I added your link in. I hope you get lots of referrals from it. I know I get several referrals from your blog each day and hope you get as many! Have a good day on this very warm day in Tennessee.

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  5. I love to hear about other gardeners experiences in the late fall. You photos of plants covered in frost are great! Kim

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