October 31, 2015

Weather Watching and Planting the Last of the Winter Garden

A row of beets flanked by two rows of spinach.
Chicory and a wayward asparagus fern.
Italian sprouting turnip needing to be harvested.
Flanked on both sides by tall sprouting turnips and sprouting broccoli, the carrots may never have had a chance.
Little lettuce starts that I finally planted in the ground, mainly Susan Green Oak and Arctic Crisp.
Turnips germinated in just 4 days, yayyy!
These are my two newly seeded/planted beds. On the left I tried Granny's homemade seed tape technique for carrots, turnips, and lettuce using paper towels and Elmer's glue. On the right is four regular rows of spinach, fennel, turnips, and radishes.
Fennel seedlings look very similar to spinach seedlings.
Basil still alive, although there are a few dark spots from when they were touched by cold.
Green eggplants still forming, there's 3 dangling fruits on this plant.
The wayward eggplant is in the asparagus nursery bed. The asparagus is looking great even for how late in the season it is.
On the other end of the asparagus nursery bed is a couple artichoke plants, and you can make out a few lemon grass plants.
The daikon radish are starting to form, so exciting.

Ah. Watching the weather with hawk-eyes, trying to outrun the cold and get some fall planting done. I finally got the last of the lettuce, spinach, Asian greens, radishes, carrots, beets and turnips planted about a week and a half later than I had planned but at least it’s done. I’m crossing my fingers and toes for a mild December like the weather people are predicting but we shall see. We’ve been eating lots of radish and turnip greens from thinning their beds, the radish greens are perfect because the stems cook up tender and thus they don't require de-stemming. The greens have been tasty saut√©ed with onions and garlic, a dash of Vietnamese fish sauce and sometimes finished off with a couple of eggs cracked over the top and cooked sunny-side up and then served atop rice. Sometimes I add a squeeze of lime but lately I've been eyeing the flavored vinegars at the grocery store.

The radish roots themselves have been pretty spicy with the warm weather, I’ve been giving them to a friend who enjoys the extra bite. The October planting of radishes should be wonderfully mild and crisp and grow to gargantuan size by early December.

And come to find out most of the carrot beds that were planted at the end of August are now pretty much shaded most of the day, so there’s little chance for those carrots to mature. The beds I’ve been planting this week get a lot more sun but it is getting way late in the season. Gardening in a new place does that to a person. Our old place got full sun all day long and everything grew and grew fast.

There's still 2 beds left that can be planted up but it's probably not going to happen. In the spring my husband is planning to till the whole yard and rake it flat, so garlic will have to be planted in containers.


Texan said...

I didn't even know radish tops were so good till last spring! I ate and ate radish greens! I have radish planted that are up and instead of just thinking how good the radishes would be I also thought mmm the greens!!!

I feel a bit better, if your still planting then I am probably ok here to be getting what I was starting to feel like was a late start on getting my winter garden planted.

I just today at the last minute ordered some California early and late garlic to plant. I usually only plant elephant garlic but decided at the last minute to plant some regular as well. Peaceful Valley has it on sale and free shipping. Couldn't resist LOL.

My artichoke plants died. I am doing to try again this spring on artichokes! We love artichokes. I am going to get some seeds from Franchi to try this time.

I am going to plant some carrots in my second winter row. Just a small space, as carrots have never done one thing for me here LOL.

Is your eggplant a green variety or did it ripen to purple/mauve etc.? I love eggplant.

Margaret said...

Your garden is looking great! I've never heard of Italian sprouting turnip - is that the same as rapini?

I often see your carrot/turnip situation in my garden where I plant things too closely or one thing overshadows another...still experimenting with lots of new things and techniques so I suppose that's par for the course. I would be optimistic about your weather in December - strange as it sounds, I recently read that long range forecasts are often much more reliable than short range ones.

Phuong said...

Hi Texan,
I was surprised about the radish tops the first time I tried them, some varieties can be fuzzy but the tops are usually milder than their roots. And one summer I tried stir frying the seed pods of White Icicle radish and they were delicious. (I was trying to grow radishes for pest control during the summer which definitely didn't work.)

You had some really bad floods this year, so I have to wonder if that affected your artichokes. I think that's why most of my artichoke plants died early summer.

Oh wow, Peaceful Valley looks like they're having a great sale on garlic. I really wish I had ordered garlic from them. And that eggplant actually grows lovely long green eggplants, they're really lovely.

Phuong said...

Hi Margaret,
The sprouting turnip is called Cima Di Rapa, which supposedly means turnip top. They're heading up pretty well but the buds are small, probably because I haven't thinned enough but the greens are good. I'm also growing sprouting broccoli, Broccolo Spigariello, which is probably closer to rapini and their leaves are very different from the Cima Di Rapa. The seeds are from Franchi.

I do think you have a much colder winter then we do, this week it's supposed to be in the 70's (21 degrees Celsius) and it's November. Crazy.