Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crimson Crisp Radish

I may never go back to open-pollinated radishes. Quick, perfectly round, appropriately crimson, and not a single split radish in today's harvest. i sowed 'em thick, picked the big 'uns this week, and left the rest to bulb. I've also have some Cherriette Hybrid radishes going in a windowbox, which is a great way to grow a bunch of radishes. They love a rough and quick-draining mix, which makes sense, inasmuch as they were bred to form root structure. With cool weather, it's not too hard to keep the moisture reasonably even.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tomande tomatoes

I'm enjoying my tomato salad (tomatoes, salt, Sherry vinegar, olive oil, chopped Trinidad Yellow Seasoning pepper sprinkled atop), thinking to myself, DAMN that's a fine tomato. Tomande from Tomato Growers Supply. Very vigorous, very disease tolerant, set fruit at ninety degrees and is setting more at sixty degrees. Quick to ripen, too--maybe two weeks behind my cherries. Dark green shoulders. Sweet but a nice acidity to it, too. Honest, tomato flavor. Keep your heirlooms. I'll stick with this hybrid!

I've also been taking a box of Yellow Submarine tomatoes to work with me every day. Very sweet when completely ripe, nicer when a little greener. Thin enough skin. Good vigor, early, open-pollinated to boot.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The new wave of urban farming (and fresh food from small spaces!) | Grist

Pretty smart advice here for the apartment-bound and even for those (like me!) with some space but not a lot... I agree completely with his advice for growing potatoes in pots. Very productive...

The new wave of urban farming (and fresh food from small spaces!) | Grist:
"In Fresh Food From Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting, author R. J. Ruppenthal turns a seemingly anti-urban idea—that farming has to be done outside, with a red barn and rolling fields of wheat—on its head. Because urbanites, too, can grow their own food indoors, in cramped spaces,"

Potting Mix

My new potting mix is a 5::2::1 pine fine::perlite::peat mix. It’s really doing the trick for me… I’m in the midst of repotting all my plants—rinsing off the roots, trimming them aggressively, and moving them into this new mix. The results are impressive. I just bought a Siphon Mixer - Fertilizer Injector off of eBay ($17 delivered!) that will allow me to fertilize every time I water.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dogwoods in November...

Funny thing is that these dogwoods NEVER bloom in the spring. I'd always assumed it was the lack of chill hours, but that hypothesis seems to be proved wrong when they bloom with virtually no chilling... in November...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A quick update in pictures

Calendula. Probably my favorite winter flower. It'll bloom its head off all winter and spring. I have ten of these going in undersized pots. A great way to add a spot of color and cheer to any bleak area of the garden. These are from saved seed.

Tuscan kale and broccoli.

I was visiting a friend's garden in August, and on a whim I grabbed a single spent zinnia flower from her garden. When I found the flower in my pocket later that day, I tossed it into an empty big pot in my garden. I swear I think every single seed germinated--I've been pricking seedlings all fall long and giving them away to friends and family, transfering them to pots, etc. Very interesting that a single flower produced so much diversity--there are (in addition to the pinks and orange here) a couple bright yellow zins and one deep red one. But mostly pumpkin orange and carnation pink. These seem to be pretty mildew-resistant, to boot.
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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Cool season has arrived... November in the garden

Too much going on in life and the garden for a good "garden happenings" post... Cool weather has finally arrived after the hottest October on record.

Harvesting lettuces, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers... getting ready for the first radishes of the season. Zinnias, calendula, pentas, and Lions Mane (Leonotis menthifolia) and marigolds are blooming. Cool season herbs are thriving and basil is declining. Picked my last roselle and ripped out the canes. Melons have been a failure in the fall. Too much mildew. Planting beets, peas, more lettuce, chard, turnips, and carrots. My broc and cauliflower should be heading up sometime soon. First batch of greens is due next week.

Trying a new seedling mix: 6 parts perlite, 3 parts peat, 1 part dyna-rok. Some lime and micronutrients to round it out. Continue to plant a lot of pots and window-boxes with Al's 5-1-1 mix (pine fines/perlite/peat). What a great mix! It's remarkable how quickly repotted plants respond to it.