For anyone that has been following the success (or maybe lack of success) of my compost bin volunteer tomato plant, it has nearly taken over the compost bin and finally did bear fruit. What is interesting is that it seems to look like an ugly tomato, which I have grown from seed nor purchased from the grocery store or farmer’s market. I guess the plot thickens, could just be caused by the ill effects of the adverse growing conditions.
Looks like our recent weekly rainy weather may have taken my tomatoes as a victim of blight. Living in the Pacific Northwest I should have known better and protected them with some plastic during our frequent waves of rainy weather. Being an optimist can anyone overturn my diagnosis? Any hopes of saving this fruit?
With my tomatoes changing colors and having a consistent harvest of cucumbers it is now time to start thinking about a second season crop of cold season vegetables. If you were less than successful with your spring cold season crop as I was, definitely consider giving a fall crop a try. There are many advantages since pests are less active and temperatures decrease and will lower temperatures and more rain it is a pretty low labor harvest. The cool weather can also help pull the sugar out and give you much sweeter veggies compared to your spring crop
If I have already convinced you to start a fall crop the important thing is timing, though many of the cold season plants can survive a couple light frosts you should start your planting 6-8 weeks before you first fall frost. You can extend your growing season (or take it through the whole winter) by providing some plastic covering for a little added protection. If you want more information of having fresh vegetables all winter long I recommend checking out Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long
Your choices for what to plant are basically the same as what you may have planted early last spring. Some of my favorites are lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, beets, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, scallions, and radishes.
With a little planning and minimal effort you can continue to harvest inexpensive produce with minimal effort.