Garden, Plant, Cook!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Around The Garden, Post Rains, What is New and Sprouting!

Dear Folks,

Our gardens responded so well to the extra rain (that last storm brought us 2+ inches) and we benefited economically as we were able to turn off most of the auto watering for at least 3 weeks - win/win!

Shown are the celery roots I replanted - I love "recycling" celery bottoms to grow MORE celery for use.  As I write this post I put the smaller ones in yesterday, and the larger ones in 14 days ago. With the right conditions celery roots just "want" to grow!  I soak for 1-3 days and look for the center to begin regrowing and then plant level with the surrounding soil or just a tad lower.

My Sweet Basil Patch is huge and time for a bit of pruning to keep the leaves growing larger. I always leave a portion in flower for the bees and beneficial insects and I am hoping for some additional harvesting before the soil cools which impacts the flavor of the herb.  When I prune I cut and drop and the seeds will emerge later or next spring.

Speaking of seeds . . .

My next FREE SEED SHARE is November 3rd!
Saturday, November 3, 2018
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Mesa Urban Garden (MUG)
212 E 1st Ave (NE Corner of Hibbert and 1st Avenue)
Mesa, AZ 85210


I hope to see you there!

My Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is ready to harvest the "fruit" (the calyx of the flower) and still putting out flowers.  If you come to the Free Seed Share, you may be able to take home a branch. I plan on cutting some the morning of the event and will give out first-come-first-serve.  I can answer your questions on what to do with them too!  Few plants are as stunning and totally usable as this wonderful edible - which, by the way, LOVES our summer heat. Think about it - to get this beautiful at this point it had to be growing all-summer-long!

A couple of other beautiful flowers in the garden right now are my eggplant, which hopefully means more fruit to harvest before the cold comes in (although the weather -wonks are indicating a milder but wetter (HURRAH) winter).

My Society Garlic is blooming so prettily in its happy spot.  It is sometimes hard for me to catch the lovely lavender color, this picture is not bad.  I have the variegated variety with stripped leaves.

My Dark Opal Basil in another area of the garden is really dark purple right now.  I keep basil varieties separated so the seeds will stay true.  Basil loves to mix and the results can be rather grand or disappointing.

My garlic is UP!  I planted 15 days ago and they are coming along nicely.  This is the "regular" type of garlic.  I have another bed of Elephant Garlic which has not shown themselves yet. 

I am digging out the main sweet potato bed and it had some monsters in it.  The big ones are still quite usable they just take longer to 1) cut and 2) cook.  This is the purple Molikai variety.  I want to swap out this big bed for something else - have not decided yet but meanwhile I am storing this in our water heater shed which will help cure them for long-term storage and I can use as needed.

I also have a couple of plants of sweet peppers, "Lipstick" variety and they are all coming along nicely now that the weather cooled off a bit.  Peppers grow very well here, but tend to produce less in the intense mid-summer heat.  They also like a bit of afternoon shade. This plant is an example of some interesting facts about it.  Location - it is in full sun most of the year and is on a once a week watering. It shares space with Greek Oregano which keeps the soil surface cooler during the summer.  It is about 18 months old!

I have a lettuce patch - an area I decided to try out so I could have access to it and a place to grow a nice continuing mix of leaf greens.  I am treating this as cut-and-come-again, snipping off the tops when I need them and adding a few more seeds every couple of weeks to help keep it going nicely for the next 6 or so months.

My wonderful I'itoi onions are in need of harvesting and separating - which is a joy for me to do.  I get to use of the shallot-like bulbs and green tops and I transplant some to increase the bed.  I have basically stopped growing other onions because this variety is just so great both as a bulb and green top.

A couple of new to the garden:

"Beauregard" is the latest addition of garden art.

After a friend gifted us with a Flying Pig, which I named Daisy Mae and I found it so appropriate to a garden in the desert that so many believe can not be enjoyed (when "Pigs Fly"), we were then gifted with a goat (Annabelle) and then we just had to find a chicken.  We looked for several months and a family member suggested this delightful rooster.  It took me a couple of days looking at him to have him "name" himself - he just looks southern-grand.

The other new to the garden is not actually IN the garden yet.

I had an opportunity to purchase some Land Race wild apple seeds from Baker Creek (I just discovered they are no longer available - so they must have run out of the seeds*see my note below) this past spring and after some fits and starts two sprouted!!  Here is one of them.  I just transplanted to a 6 inch pots the other day.  So far so good.  I am not sure where I am going to put them or even if I should put them in the ground (they are not grafted and our soil can be dangerous to non-disease resistant roots).  "Land Race" essentially means survival of the fittest and these pioneer age apples could be anything from a crab apple to a well know heritage variety.  Kind of fun to learn as they grow.

NOTE:  In the Mission Valley of Montana, there is an incredible diversity of naturalized apples. Apples in this area range from bright orange to subtle pinks in riotousstripes of colors, and the flavor is outstanding. The apples here surreptitiously sprouted from seeds deposited by pioneers of the 1800s.

One last critter in the garden - a Gopher Snake.  Spotted in the front yard we relocated to the back yard.  They are beneficial to gardens also.  While we really do encourage live and let live, we have had a surprise problem with gophers a year ago, so this helper can control the population.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of our gardens.

Don't forget my calendar and books for gifts or if you are in need of helpful information.

Have a best day in the garden!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

If you enjoyed this post, please share and subscribe below by entering your email, to get all my posts! 

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner
Disclaimer: Clicking on links on this blog may earn me a small commission if you purchase something. Your price does not change.