Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall Gardening Update

Two Park Beds,  September 27th, 2013
      Many of the cold weather crops planted back in August are coming along quite well.  Some of the older seeds used were a complete bust.  Having tried to use up old packets, I will be forced to use fresher seed next year.

      At the left end of this bed are a few plants of Pak Choi (Livingstone for 2013) that were planted by seed on August 31, to replace the completely failed sewing of Heirloom Seeds (for 2010) De Cicco Broccoli.  Only one Fedco Winter Wonderland Romaine Lettuce (for 2012) sprouted, I will try the paper towel method next.  The second bunch of plants are red cabbage, planted 8/7/2013, as was all of this bed.  The little open spot was where I had planted a row of Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans from Hart's Seeds for the year 2009.  Only one plant came up, and it was lost during the transplant stage.  The next solid row is Fedco Plum Purple Radish for 2012.  Have picked some and they are pretty hot.  Tucked in next are some Fedco Beedy'a Camden Kale for 2009.  So far it is tough to find those plants between two rows of radishes.  Next comes sparkler radishes for 2013.  They are still short of harvest stage.  Finally, on the right side are Thick Stem Chinese Mustard plants from my own seed picked 6/4/11 (originally from Fedco).

      This box has done poorly.  On the left is the single chinese cabbage from an unknown source of seed.  The few little plants in the middle are Fedco Star Champion Collards for 2010, not exactly robust for collards.  To the right are Agway Early Purple Kohlrabi for 2009.  The Rouge D'Hivre Lettuce seeds planted in the middle were a total no show.  I then seeded this bed with Cook's Garden Mesclun Mix for 2009, also a complete bust.  Birds getting the seed may be an issue, but using old seed has probably been the bigger culprit.

      This box was planted on just September 10th!  On the left is Lake Valley Mizuna Japanese Mustard for planting in 2010.  The second planting is Red Sails Lettuce from my saved seeds for planting in 2011.  The darker red lettuce is Fedco Oscarde Oak Leaf Lettuce for 2011.  A nice dark red Oak Leaf.  Not a one of the Burpee Black Seeded Simpson for 2008 germinated, duh.

      All the plants in this picture were broadcast as seed on August 8th.  I had to check my plant notes to see that the bushy stuff on the left is Meyers Broccoli raab for 2012.  Many times have I tried to grow raab, never have I succeeded.  This year looks like it might just make it.  Tucked underneath the raab is a very beautiful stand of Fedco Winter Density Bibb/Romaine lettuce for 2011.  It is ready for picking now, we just need to make our next salad.  Next to that is Burpee's Bright Lights Swiss Chard for 2011.  I have already made two harvests of the chard from last month's sewing.  The last bushy stand on the right is Fedco Rainbow Lacinto Kale for 2010.  Fairly old seed, but a good result.  To the right side is spinach coming up, as shown in the next picture.

      On the left are three short rows of Fedco Giant Winter Spinach for 2011.  It looks to have a decent germination rate.  An earlier planting of maybe four year old bulk Bloomsberg Spinach seed was a total failure.  I will try some of that seed with the paper towel method.  The plants to the right are arugula which self seeded from an earlier self seeded patch.  If you let some go to seed, maybe you can have an ongoing arugula supply with little to no effort.
      Wow, after all that writing, I am hankering to get out to the garden.  I have mentioned lots of seed failures, but the pictures point to lots of success as well.  Next I have to figure out where to transplant a lot of these starts, and to figure what other seeds can still be started for my cold frame gardening.

      To check on my paper towel method:

Friday, September 27, 2013

End of Summer Season

Friday September 27th,  2013
      You know it is the near the end of the summer growing season when even the tomatoes on the vine start wearing sad faces.

Boo, I am ready for Halloween