Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Volunteer Veggies

      This fall, like many, came too quickly, with many summer projects left undone.  Not surprisingly, planting seed for the fall garden was one of those projects gone awry.  To make it worse, none of the nurseries or box stores around here are carrying fall veggie starts.  In little more than an hour, I will drive down to Willey's Farmstore to see what they have.  But this morning I was over to the park garden to look for volunteers in my plot and in the three compost piles.
      The pickings were fairly slim.  Black Seeded Simpson lettuce that I got from Lou Gallo early this year was great fresh, then went to seed.  Some of the babies are just poking through the mulch.

Black Seeded Simpson starts, 9/7/11

      I saw Lou this morning over at the park.  He has a fat 20 foot row of Simpson coming up right now.  He offered me to thin out some.  Solves that problem.  Thank you Lou.  I forgot to take a photo of the nice little Frisee plants coming up at the park.  They look like I had put them in, as they are already in a bed, no transplanting required!  There is a nice batch of what looks to be Rainbow Lacinto Kale coming up.  It could also be Red Russian Kale, but no problem as either is great.

Kale, either Red Russian or Rainbow Lacinto

      Next it was on to a walk around the park compost piles to see if anything of interest was growing for transplant to my garden.  Whoopee, spotted at the top of one pile was a sole sprout of the red stemmed Malabar Spinach!  I had tried unsuccessfully to grow malabar from seed this spring, having planted 18 seeds to have only one sprout.  That one did not make it to size either. 

Malabar Spinach find, 9/7/11

      Malabar Spinach likes hot weather, as in the nineties.  It will not get that here in September, but it will grow to where I can get lots of cuttings.  I have at times successfully rooted them over the winter, to have plants to put in the ground in June.  I will try harder this winter to succeed with it, as it is difficult to even find the seed.
      Having scaled the compost pile to dig out the Malabar, I was rewarded with a bonus!

Red lettuce, 9/7/11

      A handful of red lettuce seedlings!  Oh how sweet it is.  I would not have even seen them at the top of the pile if it had not been for the malabar scavenge.  The lettuce was transplanted to cell packs to grow some better roots before going into their fall spots.  A total count of 11 nice little seedlings.  I love it when a plan comes together.  So between Lou's generous offer and my red lettuce find, I may not buy lettuce later this morning.  More to spend on broccoli and cabbage.

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