Early Fall Gardening Update

The temperatures are increasingly cooling down. We seem to fluctuate between mid 70s and low 80s. Quite a relief from the high 90s. We got a good bout of rain pre- during and post-Ernesto. Nothing scary or dangerous, just refreshing, heavy rain.
So what does the garden look like these days? I have my cold crops starting indoors, but several weeks into their growth and they were already leggy and unhealthy looking. One of my precious little kitties jumped up and knocked the whole set-up upside down and onto the floor. The result was something of an early season cole slaw. Maybe 1/3 will make it but it crushed my dreams of purple broccoli. Mostly it looks like the Russian Red Kale (Russian Red?? Cold War Kale?!?) is the heartiest and will pull through for me. I stopped by Renfrow's, the local hardware store, for some more seeds. I got Danver Carrots (I still haven't had luck with the Nantes Coreless), as well as a healthy assortment of cabbagey cousins. The prices were incredible, though, and no shipping charges. Best of all, I could talk one on one about which ones they recommended. I think I was just slightly too excited about the seeds, though, letting my garden geek shine through. Or maybe I stared at the wall just a bit too long, waiting for the long sought after seed pack to shine its heavenly aura upon me. That didn't quite happen, there were some lettuces I wanted to try, but they didn't have the unusual assortment of seeds Pinetree offers.
Lounging around the veggie bed, the limas are well on their way out of the soil, poking their little leaves through the tops of their pop bottle cloches. The tomatoes have grown about a foot a week the past 2 weeks. I think I'll have a ton of green tomatoes and tomatillos going into winter. The okra is flourishing and the peppers are perking up, including one that has several small bells on it! They are warm weather crops and didn't do anything all summer, now that it is increasingly fall like they pep up? I don't know about those guys.
Next year I will plant more, more, more. About twice as much okra (12 to 18 plants), other varieties of eggplant, as well as 8 to 10 Japanese plants. I think 8 hot peppers would suffice, banana, jalepeno or cayenne (or a mixture of all of them!) and I just might try to overwinter the ones out there now. The tomatoes are a good number, something close to 20 full size and 10 Romas, and if I get them planted on time next year I can just pull off branches and poke them in the soil one month into growth to stagger production.
If I remember to, it would also be beneficial to start cold crop seeds indoors mid winter to greet spring with a last harvest of broccoli, collards, cabbage and the lot.
These are the thoughts of an OCG.

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