We are having beautiful days this September. My friend Adelaide Nelson was born in September. She claimed the whole month as hers. She would have enjoyed this month with walks in the woods and I would have enjoyed walking with her. I still feel her presence so often. She enjoyed gardening, also positive conversations. So do I.
After a wonderful rain, we have beautiful flowers in the front yard. One that is so beautiful is a Morning Glory, deep blue with red stripes. Adelaide gave me as a start years ago.
Have you seen the yellow flowers lining the roadside? They aren’t very tall. Other years they were knee high. The purpose of the flowers is to bring us joy and to make seeds for next year.
My back door garden greens have grown so fast after the rain; I pick some each day for juicing. Rich always says as he raises his glass of juice, “This is what keeps us going.” My fall and winter garden is growing fast: carrots, beets, kale, collards and turnips. Now if that smart hen doesn’t find a way to climb the fence again, I should have a crop this time.
It is time now to sprinkle sulfur around your fruit trees, grape vines and next year’s tomato patch. Sulfur will kill unwanted bacteria and viruses.
Have you considered using perennial fruits and vegetables in your garden? I have found if I plant perennials during a wet fall before the ground freezes, they have survived better than spring planting. Raspberries, blueberries, fruit trees. I moved asparagus last fall, it’s OK.
I plant garlic and onions in early fall. Jerusalem artichokes in fall or spring. You leave them in the ground all winter digging them, as you need them. You can plant potatoes most Novembers. Plant around 6 inches deep and keep 8 inches of mulch over them. I mulch all the fall plantings.
Through this year I have listed in alphabetical order some foods we grow and use for healthful living. I use a book Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds by Joseph Kadam. He gives the nutritional value of each plant.
Sunflower Seeds: They are high in calcium, they also have iron, phosphorus, high in protein, Vitamin A and many of the B vitamins.The seeds are one of the best natural foods and should be included in everyone’s diet. They have many of the vital elements to help repair the body. They should be eaten raw.
Tomatoes: Nutritive values — high in Vitamin A (1,100 i.u./100 gm), some B5 and C, even Vitamin K, also minerals, 300mg potassium.Health benefits:Natural antiseptic and protects against infections. Ample supply of tomatoes will improve skin and the nicotinic acid help to reduce cholesterol. Tomatoes are wonderful food. To grow at their best, prepare a wonderful rich soil for their bed. Start in the fall We use compost along with sulfur to build a rich organic soil without pesticides. At planting time I dig the hole for my plant, add 1-tablespoon Epsom salt and mix crushed eggshells with the soil as I fill around the plant. We also put garlic peels around the plant, as it grows that will help keep bugs away.
There are many ways to use tomatoes. We like them sliced best of all.
Let us all enjoy the last few days of September.
Lallah Lee Ostergren has been an organic gardener for more than 35 years.