Harvest Monday, October 19, 2015 – First Frost & Hard Freeze + Putting Container Fig Tree to Bed

Frost and hard freeze was predicted for the weekend so the week was spend taking care of all the cold sensitive plants.

Woke up to 25°F yesterday (Sunday) morning and 23°F this morning even had a few flurries yesterday. So not ready for the cold weather.

Stripped all the green and red noodles long beans, big and small, clipped the vines at soil level and left the roots with the Rhizobia attached to enrich the soil, the vines went into the compost pile.

Weeded the bean patch, turned over the soil and will mulch with leaves (as soon as I get around to raking some) to prevent soil erosion. Come spring this bed will be ready for  planting.

Chinese long beans (08561)

Green Chinese Long Beans (aka Asparagus Beans), Red Noodles Beans & Ping Tung Eggplant

Some of the beans were quite skinny but they are still edible and I am sure very tender. Also got one small Ping Tung eggplant from the container.

Too much to do at the moment so all the beans and the eggplant went into the fridge.

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Also stripped the tomato plants. Vines, leaves and roots went into the garbage. Weeded and tilled the 2 beds, dug in composted cow manure and organic granular fertilizer. The beds are ready for my garlic which I plan to plant this week before the ground freezes.

tomatoes (08520)

End of Season Tomatoes

I think most of the tomatoes in the basket will ripen at room temperature. Friends came by so they went home with them.

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Was surprised to get this amount of green amaranth (callaloo) and red amaranth, they were all side shoots.

red & green amaranth (08531)

Callaloo (Amaranth) & Red Amaranth

Combined both the green and red amaranth, sauteed in garlic and onion infused oil, salt &  pepper to taste, was tender and delicious, guess what? Yep, I forgot to take photo.

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The napa cabbages below is grown in container.

container napa cabbage (08526)

Container Napa Cabbage

As you can see from the above photo the plant is very holey, wondering how many bugs got fat feasting on it.

Napa cabbages after removing most of the chewed up leaves.

napa cabbage (08529)

Napa Cabbages

The cabbage on the left weighed ¾+ pounds the one on the right weighed about 1½ pounds. Doubt they will keep well so need to use them soon, soup sounds like a good idea.

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The Kentucky wonder pole beans below are also from containers.

Kentucky wonder pole beans (08565)

Container Grown Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans

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Didn’t think the lettuce and Shanghai Bok Choy would survive the frost and hard freeze and because they are in containers was able to bring them into the garage which is easier than trying to cover them.

container crops (08570)

Lettuces & Shanghai Bok Choy

Needless to say I must move all the containers before taking my car out of the garage but that’s OK, I will be doing my weight lifting exercise. The flat on the left has forellenschluss lettuce seedlings. Its a fast growing lettuce experimenting to see if I will get a harvest. Transplanting them to larger container sometime this week.

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Also harvested my Okinawan sweet potatoes and Purple sweet potatoes will write a separate post as I need to take more photos.

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All the leaves have fallen off my container fig tree, time to ready it for storage.

container fig tree (08537)

A Naked Container Fig Tree

Pruned away about ¼ of the branches, mostly the leggy ones and the ones that are overlapping.

Meant to take an after pruning photo. Remembered after I tied up the branches.

container fig tree (08555)

Container Fig Tree Pruned & Tied

Pruned fig tree is all tied up and ready to be wheeled into the garage to overwinter until next spring.

The red tree in the background is a seedless red maple, the yellow tree on the right is a male gingko.

Container fig tree snugly tucked away in its corner in the garage.

container fig tree (08571)

Container Fig Tree Tucked Away for the Winter

Was this the right time to prune? Don’t know. But the fig tree would not fit into its corner if I did not prune and bundle it up.

My garage is unheated but is under heated rooms so fig tree is placed on the exterior wall side where it is cooler.

∗ ∗ ∗

This is going to be a busy week, besides planting my garlic, I need to clean up all the annual beds, prune the deciduous peonies, put up winter deer fences, rake leaves, …

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Mondays

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About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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44 Responses to Harvest Monday, October 19, 2015 – First Frost & Hard Freeze + Putting Container Fig Tree to Bed

  1. Brrrr…that’s quite a cold snap! I’m not ready for such temperatures yet…though I know they’re coming!

    I will though, there’s something nice about that final push before the first freeze to harvest all those lingering warm season veggies 🙂

  2. I will send some summer sunshine your way Norma.
    I am going to try a potted fig tree this year – we cut a branch from our garden tree and it survived and grew beautifully.
    Have a wonderful week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mandy,
      Your sunshine arrived today, thanks 🙂 Why would you want to bother with a potted fig tree when you are able to grow it year round in the ground? A wonderful week to you too.

  3. Karen says:

    I had been hearing that freeze warnings were up. A quick end to the growing season this year…but perhaps you will get an Indian summer warm up. Thank goodness you have a lot of your plants in containers and can bring them in.

  4. Hello Norma, so glad you were quick to harvest what you were able to before frosty came in. I saw that North Carolina had a freeze over night. We are still warm in Florida, lower humidity and temps in the low 80’s oh yes we are lucky! Have a good week. Cheryl

  5. That amaranth is beautiful! Every time I try and grow it here the bugs eat it up. Portability is one of the many pluses of container gardening. I moved several plants into the greenhouse, and moved potted geraniums into the unheated garage. The geraniums overwinter nicely, and I believe this was their third year growing.

  6. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    It must have been longer than 10 years since I last saw or had some long Chinese beans. It’s amazing that at this time of year that you still have those greens!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Angie,
      May be you can get your local food markets to look into carrying Chinese long beans. They are easy to grow and do not require lots of space you can grow them along a fence or trellis.

  7. Margaret says:

    I’m very surprised that you were able to grow those Napa cabbages in containers – that’s a great idea as they often take up so much room when grown in a bed & who really needs a 4 lb cabbage, anyhow? It’s usually a struggle to use up the large cabbages that I get at the grocery store and a portion will inevitably go to waste. Your fig tree looks amazing, btw – what a great structure it has. My fig trees still have most of their leaves on them, so I’m leaving them outside. I’m hoping that’s the right thing to do.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Margaret,
      Do you cut your cabbages in halves, use half and store the other half for another day? If yes, don’t, instead remove outer leaves as needed, wrap the remaining head of cabbage with clean dry paper towel, place in plastic bag and refrigerate, repeat the next time you want to make cabbage dish, your cabbage will last for many weeks.

  8. cheri says:

    Hi Norma, wow! that’s pretty cold, it’s amazing how many tomatoes and cabbage you still had. Looks like you had a banner year.

  9. So that is what happened to my garden while we were vacationing on Cape Cod. It was only a light frost in the Boston area. With the forecast, I expected to find the tomatoes and peppers dead but the lettuce, chard, beet and radish greens were also hard hit.

  10. I’m not looking forward to the cold winter either. So many of us had our first freeze this past weekend. That is a good sized bundle of noodle beans and your amaranth is so pretty.

  11. Great looking harvest this week!! So far we have been able to dodge the frost, but it’s coming soon!! I’d love to know more about the granular fertilizer you use in your garden. I haven’t been able to find an organic fertilizer that says it’s specifically for veggies yet. Just what I have for my grass.

  12. Wow, you sure do keep busy. I’m shivering just thinking about the cold just as summer takes hold here.

  13. Eva Taylor says:

    You’re still getting quite the harvest. We haven’t got a frost yet, although it’s been very cold. I’ve taken in the fig tree into the garage already, all the leaves haven’t fallen yet but I was worried it would be too cold.

  14. hotlyspiced says:

    What a busy week. It does sound like your cold weather has arrived early. The variety of tomatoes is lovely and your visitors did well. Your cabbage certainly was a feast for a lot of bugs xx

  15. Bill says:

    Here we’re putting our summer gardens to bed, sowing winter cover crops and enjoying the transition to fall foods. Shanghai bok choy is new to me. Something new to try! Our bok choy is still fine outside for now (our temps haven’t fallen as low as yours).

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bill,
      Shanghai Bok Choy is also referred to as Baby Bok Choy but the true baby bok choy has white (bok means white) stem while Shanghai bok choy has green stem. It is very easy to grow.

  16. Phuong says:

    Your lettuces look huge in your containers and that is nice big bunch of amaranth. It’s terrible you had such a hard freeze so early in the season. Ugh, winter. Hopefully it’ll warm up a little, so you can get your garlic planted.

  17. Fareeha says:

    Wow, Norma, what a beautiful harvest, I would love to be ur neighbour

  18. Kristy says:

    I can’t believe it was that cold already! Wow! I hope your garlic planting went well this week. We had pretty mild temps here, but cooler weather is definitely on its way!

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