Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waste Not

      One thing that I find fun and challenging about gardening is the ability to often recycle things, such as pots, poles, boards, leaves,and oh yes, plants.

Leaf pile, as of 11/15/11

      The leaves are almost finished falling from my trees, and the neighbors trees.  Several neighbors bring over their leaves, and yesterday I mowed my next door neighbor's back yard leaves into my flowerbed.  I will shred the above pile with the mower, so next spring I will have lots of beautiful leaf mold.  The leafy greens in front are swiss chard.  This clump is ready for a last harvest, then I hope to move the plants to a cold frame to hopefully overwinter them.  Although swiss chard is quite cold hardy, I have not had much luck, maybe one in ten plants, with it overwintering unprotected.

Red onions, 11/15/11

White and yellow onions, 11/15/11

      The onions above are the last of my onions from the summer crop.  Some were too small to bother with trying to use.  Some were sprouting, and some were gasp, mushy.  So back in the ground they go.  I expect all to sprout usable scallion type onions, and hope some will develop bulbs.  All should overwinter without protection.  The green sprouts in the red onion picture are peas that sprouted from pods that fell from plants in the summer.  They will not produce peas before the winter kill, but the sprout tops and tendrils are delicious and pretty on a salad.

Ruby lettuce, 11/15/11

      One of my park gardening neighbors is about to put his plot to bed for the winter, and was not interested in these Ruby Lettuce volunteers in his garden.  Well I was!  What a bounty.  I potted them all up for a few days, hopefully to allow them to develop nice roots.  Remember those straw bales for my daughter's new cold frame, well here is some beautiful lettuce for a start.  And below are some starts of Tatsoi and thick stem chinese mustard getting ready for transplant to some cold frame.

Tatsoi on the left, chinese mustard on the right

      And lastly, pictured below, are some baby lettuce volunteers on the park compost pile.  Don't rush over there to get them, as they have already decided to move on.  They appear to be a green romaine lettuce, a very welcome addition to my lettuce collection.  So all of these plants have been saved from ending up on the compost pile, and some had actually started out there!

Compost pile lettuce

1 comment:

  1. George, I am loving that ruby lettuce too! So glad you were able to move it! At this time of the year, I am constantly moving seedlings and such to the beds under my mini hoop tunnels and into the cold frames. They take so well and can be moved without stress. Those tatsoi and mustards are also looking nice.. I think you'll have a great winter crop!