Photography By Kelly Savoca
We are still harvesting tomatoes and peppers right now but beyond that, we opted to keep fall simple so that we can focus on our soil. While we had many things grow and fruit from our edible garden some things did not grow well and some that grew very slowly. I’ve learned that some of the best things you can do to maintain your garden are to take small steps to do clean up and maintenance. Check out what we did in October:
Our cayenne plant has done extremely well and is still going strong! Usually every couple of weeks we will harvest and dry. I have a dehydrator that makes it pretty easy. I power it up to 140 degrees and let the peppers dry for 12-14 hours. From here I use a food processor to break up the skins and seeds – just imagine what red pepper flakes look like in the store. That’s it!
Now is a great time to consider cutting back any perennials that might need it. Think about your grasses, ferns, peony, etc. For now, I only cut back our Peony since our ferns still had some green growth on them. I decided to let them go a little longer. By cutting back you get the chance to remove all of the old or diseased foliage so that next year the growth will jump-start once spring hits. You can also consider adding a nice layer of mulch to help protect the base during the cooler months.
This year we took a much more proactive approach to take care of our trees especially the Magnolia and Peach Tree. The goal was to get edible fruit and repair our Magnolia tree that wasn’t looking so hot. Turns out just by fertilizing our trees in the Spring we achieved our first blooms on the Magnolia tree and did get some edible peaches on one of our fruit trees.
A good practice is to keep this up two times a year so Fall makes a great time to fertilize. We used stakes that go right into the ground. For the magnolia tree, we used this fertilizer & for the peach tree, we used this fertilizer.