Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Walk Around the Yard

Right now, the garden says that we have not yet had a hard frost, but that it's been too cool for most of the warm-weather plants. A few Zinnias and my friend Electa's Heirloom Pink Salvia are still blooming. The salvia re-seed all over the place, which mostly is fine because they attract lots of little pollinators.

This year's carrot and radish bed.
The carrots and winter radishes (to the right of the carrots) won't be too fussed about cold weather when it finally gets here, but both crops (and the rogue bok choy that somehow ended up in the same bed) have flourished in the warmth we've had so far.

I had hoped that last year's carrot success wasn't a once-in-a-lifetime event, and it looks as though the hope was not in vain. The carrot tops all look good, and the one carrot I pulled a few days ago (just to check on how things were going underground) was big enough that I think homegrown carrots will be part of our Thanksgiving dinner.

Winter radishes are getting big, a few at a time, and we have already been enjoying them as before-dinner snacks, sliced thin and lightly salted. They are our "healthy alternative" to the kinds of fried salty chips that come in bags at the store.
Ichi ki ke jiro persimmons

Broccoli patch

The broccoli is coming along, too. If I look straight down the center of each plant, I can see tiny heads beginning to form. At this point, it's too soon to guess when they will be ready to bring in for dinner, but it may be before the end of the month.

Ichi ki ke jiro persimmons will start coming in soon, too. In theory, they are edible while still as hard as apples (like now), but we learned last year that the flavor improves if they have more time on the tree to get a little bit soft.

Marigolds are still in bloom, and I've been bringing in some of the old, dried flowers to save the seed. This is one of the French marigolds that is supposed to be good for reducing nematode populations in the soil, when planted in a solid block to grow for several weeks (at least). I never grow them that way because the nematode problem hasn't been severe enough to warrant giving up a planting bed for so long in summer, but I like to be ready, just in case.
Still some peppers, in November

When we had our big "freeze forecast" scare more than a week ago, I harvested all of the larger peppers. There were still some smaller peppers out on the plants, and the tinies are beginning to get bigger. If we have another week or so of sunny afternoons in the high 60s-to-low-70s (degrees Fahrenheit), I may be able to fill the dehydrator one last time.

The garden is saying, essentially, that all is as it should be.

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