Our Veggie Patch Round Up and a Fall Report

And just like that, fall has been underway for almost a month, and it has been fun, yet productive.

Though I have to admit it has certainly not felt like fall, temperatures in Western New York have been higher than they were all summer! So, I really didn’t get into the “Autumn spirit” until a couple of weeks ago, because I can’t justify decorating for fall when it’s 90 degrees outside!

I have had a wonderful time with my family pumpkin picking, apple picking, fossil digging, bike riding, and taking a drive to my parents house to see that their leaves are turning before ours!


In between our busy activity schedule, I have managed to get some important Fall work done in my garden– seed collecting and cutting down perennials that look ragged. I also just purchased another 100 spring bulbs to plants out in my back yard, because I want to see spring everywhere in my yard, and not just certain spots! I know I am a little behind on the bulb planting, but with the weather the way it has been, I feel like I have a little more time to get the job done!

My dahlias are STILL blooming, and if there is any great joy I am getting more so this growing season, it’s definitely the dahlias. I love being able to go out in my back yard and cut those beautiful blooms through the fall. I will be writing up a post very soon about my dahlias and what I have learned from my first year growing them! You can see my beautiful blooms on Instagram @thebenttrowel.

Now, it’s time to talk veggies! Last year, we planted tomatoes as an introduction to a “starter” veggie garden. They did VERY well. We planted cherry and beefsteak tomatoes, which I recommend to anyone who wants to start a veggie garden but who’s unsure of how to start. Tomatoes are very easy to grow– a good “get your feet wet” veggie, I say!

This year, we expanded our veggie crop to include cherry tomatoes, corn, cayenne peppers, habenero peppers (my husband LOVES hot peppers). I happy to report, most everything did well, but because of our cold and rainy summer weather, some veggies took longer to ripen than usual.

Here’s the lowdown:

Tomatoes— we planted cherry tomatoes this year, and we did not get nearly as many this year than last year. In fact, we still have some that are green, and they are taking a long time to ripen. I plan on letting them go a little longer, but unfortunately, I have will have to pull them soon.

Corn— If there was any surprise in the veggie garden this year, it was definitely the corn! We planted 10 plants back in May, and we were just hoping for an ear or two. I was a little nervous with the weather, as corn tends to like hot conditions, but we had wonderful results! The corn was big, and I have to honestly say, was the best tasting corn I had ever had!


This corn was the best I have ever tasted! 

Cayenne Peppers — This was my husband’s pet project. He is all about very hot foods, and wanted to try to make his own rubs for chicken, beef or pork. The cayenne peppers ripened before everything else in our garden and were a beautiful bright red. My husband is trying to overwinter a plant and see if it makes it next year.


Cayenne peppers among the sunflowers!

Habenero Peppers — These were the most difficult out of everything we planted to grow. We planted these with everything else back in May, and we didn’t even start getting any kind of pepper until end of August, early September. I think these plants were the most sensitive to our finicky summer weather. We had blossoms forever, and kind of gave up hope. But, they ended up tricking us, and we got some pretty nice peppers!


This little baby was well worth the wait!

So, that is the veggie patch round up, which will surely expand next year, and naturally, we will learn more as we “grow”.

What did you plant in your veggie patch this year? What would you recommend?




It’s in the Small Things — Indoor Edible Gardens and Apple Seeds

I hope everyone is having a great week– we are getting hammered with rain and wind, all remnants from Hurricane Patricia. Good thing we put everything away for the winter the other night — our persnickety little fishing boat is tucked away in the garage, along with the hose box and other odds and ends that needed to be ready for hibernation!

One thing about Western New York this time of year is that you know snow is not too far off when you hear snowblowers being fired up in people’s driveways– all in preparation for the first snow! We did just that over the weekend– everything is good to go!

Small Spaces, Big Results!

I am thinking ahead to next season, and my husband is on board with me trying to plant a small veggie patch out behind our garage next to our raspberry bush! This is my first foray into veggie gardening. This was never on my radar for my own small space, but we are going to make it happen! My husband is going to help me build some raised beds next spring so we can plant our own tomatoes for sure, and we’ll have to pick out a few other veggies for me to try. I can see us even planting pumpkins, which would be really neat!

After researching the subject of edible gardens, I couldn’t help but share a wonderful graphic from my friends over at fix.com who explain easy-to-grow Indoor Edible Plants. What a great idea to be able to have fresh veggies and herbs all year-long!

Last week, I took some time off and I spent my days taking my daughter to preschool and accompanying her on her little class field trip to a local farm–I wish I could do this more often, trust me! Well, last Friday, her class made applesauce and each of the kids received an apple seed from their teacher.

It's amazing to think this tiny thing will be a big tree someday.

It’s amazing to think this tiny thing will be a big tree someday.

My daughter was so excited that she wanted to plant it right away, but I stopped her. I wanted to research planting apple seeds and what you had to do.

I want to take my best shot at getting a seedling from this little guy, so this is what I have done so far to make the chances a little better.

  1. Make sure the apple seed is completely dry. If it’s not completely dried out, it will rot and not germinate.
  2. Your apple seed needs to germinate; place it in a cool place for at least 6 weeks. Wrap your seed in a damp paper towel and put it in a bag that goes into the refrigerator.




So, I will wait and take the seed out of the refrigerator in six weeks and then plant it in a little pot and see how it does over the winter in the house. I would really love this to grow into a seedling so I can plant it in our tiny back yard, and say that was my daughter’s little tree!

Stay tuned for the rest of the story…..