Monday, August 26, 2013

A much belated update, and Fall garden plans.

This update has been a long time coming because life decided to kick me in the gut, and keep kicking me in the gut several times over the past few months. It was overwhelming to the point that I said to hell with the internet, to hell with blogging, and to hell with all the activities I enjoy.

But, things are getting better, so it's time to start living life again.

August is when we start planting for Fall harvests in our gardens in my growing area. Tomato and pepper transplants go in at the beginning of the month, and no later than the end of the month if you get some big transplants that have already completed that month of growing. I didn't plant any tomatoes this time, I just didn't have it together to go get the plants and get them going.  Of my pepper plants, some are still alive and kicking. I was at a plant nursery yesterday afternoon and found large pepper transplants for 99 cents, so I bought some to replace the plants that died. If they don't produce anything, I'm not out much so it was worth the risk. I've got what I like to use in cooking. Jalapenos and various colors of bell peppers.

I did get some Summer squash seedlings started earlier this month. I have a bit better luck with them in Fall than Spring. The squash vine borers aren't as bad this time of year. I planted straight zucchini, round zucchini, and yellow crookneck squash. Also, new this season I planted some white scallop or "pattypan" squash. Believe it or not, I've never eaten one since they don't sell them in any of the supermarkets I shop at, and the one time I saw them at a farmer's market, I didn't buy any because I didn't know what to do with them. I'm hoping to get at least a few to try out.

It's time for cucumbers to get started now. I got a short row of lemon cucumber seeds planted in front of a narrow trellis at the corner of my side patio, where there's a lot of sunshine. As soon as the soil is dry enough to work, I'll be planting the main section of cucumbers. By the middle of the week for sure. I'm doing half Asian long cucumbers, and half common cucumbers for salads or pickling.

After the cucumbers, it'll be time to start getting beans going. I love green beans (and any other color of pod beans) so I will be planting a lot. They do amazingly well here in Fall, so I always plant as many as I can. This time I have basic green beans, flat Roma beans, purple pod beans (which turn green when you cook them), yellow wax beans, and purple streaked dragon tongue beans.

I'm also getting my herbs going again. Basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, dill, mint, lemon balm, parsley, cilantro, and chives. I was at a specialty plant nursery yesterday, I had a birthday coupon I needed to use, and also got a bee balm plant to help attract pollinators, and a patchouli plant. Patchouli is a big bushy plant that can tolerate our climate well. It's more or less something to have as a novelty plant. I like the smell of patchouli leaves, they're much more subtle than patchouli oil. So when I have a patchouli plant, I'll pick a leaf now and then and rub it between my hands for the fragrance.

When it actually starts to get cooler, is when I can plant all the cool weather veggies. I've got loads of beet, radish, and kohlrabi seeds. Lettuce, kale, chard, and spinach too. And carrots! I bought some colorful carrot seeds (a pack of mixed orange, white, yellow, red, and purple) along with a pack of just purple. And when I ordered some seeds I got a free sample of carrot seeds that make little round gumball shaped carrots. The wild card for this season is romanesco, a broccoli variant that makes really beautiful heads that have a sci-fi spiraling fractal shape to them.We're really in too hot of a climate for them, but I have heard of people having some luck in this area. I figure seeds are cheap and easy to start, so who knows? If nothing else, the leaves are edible. I'll be putting in some traditional broccoli transplants in late Fall though.

As far as flowery things, I'm going to put out some colorful chrysanthemums here and there in the sunny areas, but that's about it.