Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fall garden update

Thinking of closing this blog and posting exclusively to circles in Google+ now. There's more control over who gets to see what you publish, and comment management and interaction in general seems better over there. The first is important to me since I discovered several sites stealing content that I had created in my other life and making money from it. Infuriating, and I can't afford a lawyer to go after them. So far I haven't found any Dirt Gently content similarly stolen, but you never know.

There was an overnight frost warning issued last night, but my balcony stays pretty warm because it's attached to a large brick wall. The only plant I took inside before bedtime was my pepper. It's generated lots of beautiful fruit, but for some strange reason they're all orange. They were grown from the seeds of Hungarian chili pepper that I bought last year; the peppers were all yellow then. Guess it was a hybrid. I hope these orange ones are tasty.

Hungarian chili peppers of unknown heritage

The chicory plants I grew from seed are thriving a little too well in the big cedar planters. They're well over four feet tall each, with abundant foliage and flowering stems. The roots are huge and gnarly. I was originally inspired to grow them because I saw them growing in abandoned lots, weedy backyards, and on the side of the mountain, but they were much smaller because of grazing and lawnmowers I guess. As much as I love the flowers, I'm worried that they will take over the planters, and I don't know if pulling them will solve the problem because they can regrow easily from root fragments.

Huge-ass chicory

Big gnarly chicory roots

Also doing a little too well are the violets I transplanted from the common backyard of my apartment. I found dozens of these violet seed husks all over the planter, all the product of a single plant.

Beets! There's a big juicy one, but so far the other roots look a little scrawny. They've been catching up this week and putting on some size, though.

Most of the spinach I started around the beginning of August had bolted and so I had to compost them. The remaining seedlings were pretty scrawny, but I planted them out anyway in September. They haven't done much, and when I looked today, flower buds!

Lavender and rosemary continue to bloom, and so does a solitary sacred basil plant that I somehow missed when I harvested all of my basil. I love the clove scent of sacred basil. Aren't the rosemary flowers cool?



Tulsi basil

Seeds of the blackberry lily continue to ripen. Can't wait to see the pods pop open to reveal little black beady seeds. It's why I grew these.

Belamcanda chinensis seed pods

The black pasque flowers and Caucasian bellflowers I potted up are going gangbusters. The foliage of each plant is a handspan in size, and they're putting out new leaves all of the time. They ones I transplanted are still small, though, and those bellflowers are showing yellow leaves. I'm not sure what the problem is.

Wintersown Pulsatilla pratensis ssp. nigricans and a dime in a pot

And a sibling plant in my recently-built cedar planter.

Campanula bellidifolia in a pot ...

... and looking sad in a planter.

Next to the bellflowers are Liatris spicata. They didn't flower in this, their first year, but they did develop some caudexy-looking above ground bulbs.

Here are some velvetleaf seed pods.

And some nasturtium blooms.



On the back balcony, kale is going crazy. I can't give enough of it away. I think a soup with lots of kale in it is in order once it's time to chop those beasts down. The squirrels seem to love it too. They made a nice salad with kale and the collard and bok choy seedlings I transplanted in August.

Monster kale

The squirrels have been freeloading ...

... and making buckwheat, clover, and kale salads.

And finally (for today), a sweet potato that's sprouted. Wondering what I should do with it.

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