Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Plot twist

First, my mom's cosmos:

photo by Lucy Edwards

since she nicely sent the photo to me, and they are awesome.

Next, we are probably having a frost tonight! First frost is kind of like the anticipated plot twist in a novel; it can turn out just like you expected and still be exciting, or it can take you by surprise by not being what's predicted. In other words, it may get down to the 30s tonight but not actually freeze, and still we'll find some dead bodies in the morning, or it may hit the freezing mark but not actually kill anything. In any case, it's signaling that yes, this is autumn now, and inevitably the air will be cold and plants that don't like that will have some trouble.

I prepared over the weekend by: a) picking all the remaining tomatoes (not many) and peppers (quite a few, most of which I roasted yesterday), and pulling out the plants, along with the spent okra and the basil; b) repotting as necessary and bringing in the potted plants that I wanted to save (lime tree, baby fig tree which surprised me by putting out some new leaves at its base recently, stevia which I am babysitting for a friend, scented geranium); c) putting the other geraniums, which I really do not have room for inside this year, into the shed, pots wrapped in bubble wrap. I am aware this is not the best solution and they will probably die, but I don't have an unheated garage and our basement is a dirt cellar which we may end up having major work done on this year (there's already a bucket full of yacon crowns down there and I'll probably add dahlia tubers to that next week; dunno where they'll go if we have the "sealing" done). I still need to put something over the oca planter on the deck, and over the salad table, and we'll see.

And the bulbs are coming today! So I'll need to get those in the ground soon. Also garlic, at the community garden. Lots of fall prep work to get done there; the greens I planted a while back are doing well, and we've already eaten some collards, pak choi, Chinese broccoli, and rapini. I may go by today and throw the row cover back over the plants I took it away from because there were aphids somehow and I thought the ladybugs needed all the access they could get, but the plants are hardy enough to take a frost, even in the cold valley pocket where my plot resides.

And that is the news of the moment. (I think I prefer posting when I have something to report, rather than trying to do it every day.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Well, somehow I forgot...

... when I decided to post every day for a month, that I was traveling at the end of that. And I suppose I could have managed to keep going, but driving through all that rain in MD and PA discouraged me (I missed most of our somewhere-between-5-and-8-inches-depending-on-who-you-believe at home, though).

I missed GBBD on the 15th, with the reasonable excuse that I was on the road between 9 and 4:30 and rather tired after that, though I did sort of mean to photograph my mom's amazing cosmos and post that, but I forgot. They were similar to this one:

but far more lush and enormous than the ones (somebody else's) I snapped in the community garden today.

I'd forgotten, also, how enjoyable cosmos are to grow. I grew orange ones this year, which I have apparently failed to take any photos of, but they're hard to capture anyway.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Also, have a dahlia

This is Bishop's Children at the demo garden, and yes, it really does glow that much against the dark leaves. We also have some in magenta, but the orange ones get more attention because they're with the ornamental millet:

and there used to be some dark red sunflowers in back, but the timing wasn't right to keep them around. But hey, I did a design thing on purpose and it worked!

Must remember to dig up the dahlia tubers and store them. Although the ones not dug up have been surviving winters of late.


Well, clearly not so good with the updating again, but I just wanted to say: it's raining. This is excellent news. (A couple of months ago I would have said: oh no, not raining again.)

Now maybe I'll be able to harvest the rest of those sweet potatoes without breaking my back.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Things I'm going to say many times tomorrow

"Have a mouse melon!"

"Peanuts are cool [Eleventh Doctor voice]. Let me show you how they grow."

"Mr. McGregor's Garden is down the other end. You can crawl through a caterpillar!"

"Potatoes and sweet potatoes are totally unrelated and grow in opposite ways."

"Yeah, it was a really bad year for tomatoes. But better than last year!"

"No, I don't understand how stink bugs think either."

"Sorry, no hot peppers to give away this time; we had kind of a pepper crisis. Have a mouse melon."

"It's called yacon and it comes from the Andes."

"It's called roselle or Jamaican sorrel, but it comes from Asia. You make tea out of it."

"That's the Jerusalem artichoke blooming. Yeah, it's pretty. Don't plant it, okay?"

"And it isn't an artichoke and isn't from Jerusalem."

"Oh, what a pretty tussy-mussy!"

"Oh, what a pretty butterfly!"

"Oh, what a nice pot you painted!"

"No, the bees won't sting you. They're just hungry."

"We give most of it to Manna Food. Over 500 pounds so far this year!"

"The garden's open whenever the park's open. Come back and visit!"

I will have a terrific time and I can rest my smiling muscles when I get home.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Well, I would say that postings had been discontinued due to the government shutdown, but that would be silly. I am just clearly not meant to post every day.

It isn't because of lack of gardening stuff happening; it's probably because too much gardening stuff is happening, but nothing I'm willing to organize. So - have two photos. First, the Jerusalem artichokes in bloom at the demo garden:

where I'm going to be all freaking day Saturday, pretty much constantly talking to people, which is always great fun but exhausting even to contemplate. Looks like it'll be on the warm side, too, after all this lovely cool weather.

And then:

That's what the purple sweet potatoes are trending toward for length, and I hadn't even dug that one up completely yet. For once, I have given you an object for context, too! Go me.

I'll try to post tomorrow, but if I do so on Saturday it'll be a surprise. Pleasant, I hope.