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Gardening in October

My garden is finished being planted for the season.  It contains romaine lettuce, brussels sprouts, broccoli, garlic chives, cilantro, rosemary, and basil. 

I had a problem earlier this month.  The deer paid a visit and ate the lettuce and one broccoli plant.  Most plants were nibbled to the ground so I had to plant more.  Surprisingly it didn’t take long for the slightly eaten plants to regenerate and grow new parts.  We’ve been eating the lettuce; tasty.

With the little rain we’ve had I was able to collect 5 gallons the first rain, 10 the second and just under 5 from the 3rd rain.  I know this rain water has helped.  My bucket is empty so I’m ready for another rain.  We’ve had some gorgeous days lately so a late night rain would be fine.

It is supposed to get cooler by the weekend and I’m only concerned about my basil, since the other plants are cold loving plants.  I’ve read basil doesn’t take well to temps in the 40s or lower.  I will have to remember to bring the plants in at night this week.  I have them (6) in a long window box planter.  It’ll be easy to carry indoors.  Most people resign to growing basil in the fall, cut what they have, preserve it (chopped) in olive oil in the freezer for the winter.  I held onto mine last winter by bringing it indoors (so I recommend growing it in a container).  I set it at the only window in the house with southern exposure and surprisingly it did well.    I will repeat this again this year.  We get so much use of our basil: pesto, pizza, stirfry, pie crust for tomato pie, and I’d like to put it into my bread dough this next time around. 

Ok, my “organic only” friends: I have to admit, since this last planting in a container, I’ve been fertilizing my basil with Miracle Grow for tomatoes and it is growing like a weed.  But we’ve got a lot of harvested basil and I’m happy with that.  While it was grown all summer long in the garden bed it was organic.  The rest of the fall garden is trying to stay organic.  Maybe that’s why the deer like it.

Speaking of deer, I had to put my triangle shaped tomato cages around my garden (it’s a 48″ diameter raised garden bed) to keep them away.  My husband wanted collards so I planted one plant each in a container.  These containers surround the garden bed just inside the tomato-cage fence.  So far I haven’t seen the deer. 

I’m hoping for a great harvest this year.

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