November 12, 2018
There's been quite a few light frosts, but I'm hoping a hard frost won't come until December. Even then I'm planning to use garden fleece and straw, if I can actually fine straw.
Please join us at Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Acres.
November 7, 2018
This is a long post about the greens I'm growing in the fall garden this year. I like to try out a little of everything, so there are lots of varieties. Friday I'll post the different bulbs and root vegetables that are growing in the other half of the garden, if it doesn't end up raining again.
These photographs are from October 25th so a week and a half ago.
Color Crunch pak choi mix.
Purple Stem choy sum. Choy sums are usually eaten for their flowering stalks. I've grown this a couple times and never seen it bloom, so we go ahead and harvest the leaves.
Green Brigade rocket just seemingly appeared overnight, but still pretty slow.
Garnet Giant mustard. I'm curious to try this variety.
A bed of mild Asian mustards containing mizun, mibuna, and tatsoi. I'll give them another week before we start harvesting this bed.
Tatsoi is a pretty fast growing. The leaves are nice and tender but sturdier than the other two varieties so hold up to longer cooking. They're probably have a slightly stronger flavor as well.
I usually prepare greens as a simple side by sautéing with onions and garlic, and then add a splash of nuoc mam and some ground pepper. For a little variation I might add soy sauce and ginger, instead of the nuoc mam.
A bed of endives, chicories, and Simpson lettuce.
Pan di Zucchero chicory
Tres Fine Marairchere Olesh endive
Broad-Leaved Batavian endive
I think this is probably Black Seeded Simpson lettuce. I find lettuce seeds difficult to germinate and keep alive during hot weather, only this lettuce and the Freedom lettuce mix survived to transplant age.
Caterpillars love the big leaves of the Galega kale. I had to spray Bt a few times this summer, and then at the very end of the season the grasshoppers were at them. There were a couple harlequin bugs but nothing like previous years where they ended up being terrible infestations.
Looking through these pictures, I realized a couple of beds didn't get covered. One bed held Pink Lettucy mustard gene pool, endive, parsley, and leaf celery. The other bed has a mixture of gai laan, bok choys, and broccoli raab.
The root vegetables will get covered next time. The beets are the best I've ever grown, which isn't saying much, and the carrot tops are the biggest I've gotten while gardening in Kentucky.
November 5, 2018
It finally cooled down at the end of October and we've been getting rain regularly, which means the greens are really growing now. I'll probably start harvesting radishes and salad turnips this week as well. A friend uses radishes as a substitute for potatoes in dishes, and she said her kids never knew the difference. Then again, her kids are little so maybe they just didn't know the difference?
Please join us at Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Happy Acres. A strange and wonderous place where questionably sane gardeners brave the wintry elements to tend their gardens and harvest vegetables.
October 15, 2018
White moth caterpillars have been a menace this year. I've had to spray with Bt, an organic method of control, multiple times throughout the season. October's temperatures have finally dropped, so hopefully the moths won't be around much longer.
Both varieties of kale are growing in the shadiest bed. I find them extremely tender, although we don't eat kale raw. They mainly go in soups or just simply sautéed with eggs.
The plan is to harvest sweet potatoes next week if the soil dries out enough. And the Siam Queen basil has been hanging on, we've been eating tons of it in pho. So good, especially with added shrimp which isn't authentic, but delicious nonetheless.
Please join us for Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.
September 10, 2018
If I was able to plant them outside earlier, I could probably get them to set fruit before the heat caused them to abort their blooms or sterilize the pollen. The last 2 years I've had to wait more than a month after the last frost to plant peppers because the ground was too wet to work.
I was planning to stuff the poblanos with cheese, coat them with panko, bake them and freeze the extra. The jalapenos will probably get stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon, baked and frozen as well. I've never made jalapeno poppers before, but that's how a couple of friends prepare them using bacon.
The fall garden is so close to being planted. There's just three beds left to plant with greens, and once the sweet potatoes get pulled, fava beans will go in their place to overwinter. I did end up starting tatsoi, mizuna, mibuna, lettuce, and chicory in tubs, so at least they got an earlier start than usual. But we're supposed to get back into the 90's (32 degrees Celsius) at the end of the week. Ugh.
I hope everyone is having a glorious fall with lots of sunshine and cooler weather. Please join us for Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Acres.
September 3, 2018
The peppers really need to be watered so they can keep setting fruit, but I've been putting it off in favor of hand watering the newly planted beds. It's been a dry hot August, hopefully September will bring us some rain.
Ajavarski sweet peppers are thick walled and juicy, and they're good sautéed with onions.
The only bell pepper I'm growing are Carmagna Rosso and they're taking forever to ripen. We still have close to 2 months before our first heavy frost, so they still have time.
I got the rest of the garden dug by hand and then raked over on Sunday, and then spent the rest of the day in bed.We've all been sick this weekend. Since kids are back in school they're probably sharing all their illnesses. If I'm up to it, I'm going to spend a few hours this morning planting the rest of the beds.
All the fall greens, lettuces, and peas still need to be planted. I might plant some more turnips and radishes, in case earlier plantings end up too spicy from the heat.
Please join us for Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Acres.
August 30, 2018
The sweet potatoes are rampaging through the kale bed behind them, but I've managed to keep them out of the other beds. Once the potatoes get lifted in October, this bed will get planted with chicories and spinach to overwinter.
The flowers of the Purple sweet potatoes are quite pretty and they are everywhere. I've never had Beauregard sweet potatoes bloom, so it was a bit of a surprise.
The seven little plants of garlic chives are still alive and the biggest plant is actually blooming. I've seen family friends eat tons of this raw as a garnish to just about every savory dish they consumed. My dad is the same way with hot peppers, he'll alternate bites of hot pepper with normal food during evening meals.
Newly germinated fennel looks just like carrots, but their cotyledon leaves are a little longer.
I've had some trouble with flea beetles this year, which seem to like beets as much as they like eggplants. The garden got treated with beneficial nematodes last week when we had cooler weather, which should help with the flea beetles. I had to wait to the end of summer because nematodes are supposed to be sensitive to heat when they're traveling in the mail system.
This cleared out corn bed will get seeded with all manner of Asian greens and mustards.
There's still lots of planting to do for the fall garden. I've got to get greens, peas, and lettuces in soon. Lettuces get pretty dirty from rain splashing soil on them, most people mulch around them or plant them close enough that doesn't happen. My instinct is always to overplant and overcrowd things. When it comes to greens and such, it does seem to help keep them cleaner.