Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fall/Winter Garden Log -- October 23, 2017

I started this post the other day and had lots of internet connectivity problems, so finally getting to finish it.  We're busy getting ready for our first frost this week, so piling plants into the greenhouse and making preparations to cover some of the more tender plants in the main garden.  Most of them can take a light frost, but I know I'll lose the peppers and tomatoes, for sure.

We had some excitement around here a few days ago - our first ever pecans! One of our trees gave us exactly 5 pecans! And they are some very nice pecans, I can tell you! Thin shell, full and delicious pecans. I wish I could tell you which tree this was, it was either a Choctaw, Kiowa or a Pawnee.  I have it labeled, but I keep forgetting to take a look. My memory is terrible.
Hoping for many, many more in the future!
I've picked all of the Extra Dwarf Pak Choy - it was about to start bolting.  I really love these things - crunchy and delicious.  We had half of it in a stir fry on Monday and I'll use the rest as a side this week.  The only draw back to this veggie is that it does not freeze well, so we always eat it fresh. It gets limp and slimy when I try to freeze it. 
The carrots are just looking beautiful - I think they love the fall weather.  These I will cover with a row cover before the frost.  They can take some cold, but get the tips of their leaves blasted with frost, so they need some protection.

The kales are finally starting to look like something - they were so slow to get started, I was getting worried about them.  I'll cover them, but they don't really need it. They can take the cold.  Some people say they get a sweeter flavor after a frost.
There are volunteer tomatillo all over the garden. I've kept a few growing just to see if they will fruit before the frost, but I don't think we'll make it.  They are flowering now and all of them look just beautiful.
The cabbages are all growing so well - they are starting to head up in the middle.  This one is the savoy cabbage, and
this one is the Ruby Perfection red cabbage.   Happy with how these cabbages are doing!
Sadly not too much in the lettuce bed - there are just a few plants.  This is the Salad Bowl Red. It's pretty, but wish we had more.
Around the yard, the Devil's Trumpet Datura is looking these best it's looked all season - the fall temps agree with it.  This poor thing looked like hammered hell all summer, but now it's just beautiful!
You have to get up early to see the flowers - they open in the early a.m. and close when the sun comes up.
Another project I've been working on is the many, many, many aloe vera plants I have.  Too too many. I'm dividing up the pots to get all the babies and Aunties out and repotted (I'm trying to give those away this year again.) Last year we took them up to the mailbox with a note and they were all gone within a few hours! I just don't have room in the greenhouse for more then a few.

See how the babies have pushed the side of the pot out and broke it off? 
The root system on these things is amazing!

Do you have a tree in your yard that you just can't imagine living without?  This burr oak is ours.  It was given to John many, many years ago in a pot by my Aunt Irene, and we brought it home and planted it.  This thing has grown and grown and gives us the most beautiful shade and bonus fall leaves that I use in composting and as mulch around my elderberries every year.  The leaves are just beautiful when they come down - a gorgeous fall leaf.  It makes me happy to see them.

The Chaya Mayan Tree Spinach cuttings are planted and I'm excited to see one of them already starting to show off a leaf!  This is one of my new experiments this year - I got 5 cuttings and we'll see what develops.  They are in the greenhouse for the winter.
My other Datura, the Ballerina, is also looking pretty good and still putting out a beautiful purple bell flower.  I'm hoping it will do okay this winter and come up again in the spring like my Devil's Trumpet does.
The microgreens are doing okay - I'm feeling like they aren't getting enough nutrient from the growing medium I'm using, so I ordered some liquid kelp that I'll try with these.  This experiment needs further study. ha!

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