06 October 2008

October Veggie Garden

This weekend marked planting day for the 2008 Fall veggie garden. The shadows are getting longer, even if it isn't really that much cooler. But, fall/winter gardening for veggies is one of my new favorite things: fewer bugs, less watering and yummy greens! I just couldn't resist getting started and my notes from last year say now is the time to do it. I've decided to hold off on collard greens for a month or so until it's cooler (there were caterpillars that feasted on those last year at this time, and I think that waiting 'til it's colder might be better in that regard).

I planted a bunch of transplants this weekend, all from Natural Gardener. I'm going to start planting seeds this week for various other things.

Here's what I planted so far:
  • broccoli (packman x2, premium crop x1)
  • mustard greens (x3)
  • kale (toscan0 x2, russian x1)
  • fennel (Italian x2, bronze x1)
  • fernleaf dill (x3) - these grow smaller than the monster I planted last year. it'll be interesting to see which one does better, especially with the onslaught of swallowtails
  • cilantro (x2)
  • Italian flatleaf parsley (x3)
  • scallions (x3 bulbs)
I'll be planting a bunch more stuff from seed, like beets, arugula and lettuces, and will report on that later. I'd also like to plant strawberries and sweet potatoes. But the above transplants should give us a good start.

And we still have basil growing like gangbusters, but it's really wanting to flower now despite all my pinching and clipping. I'll probably turn the bulk of it into pesto soon and throw it into the freezer to use throughout the winter. (If you've got good eyes, check out the little black ants sucking on nectar and/or munching on pollen. They like their pesto, too.)

I had a paltry turn out with the okra, Clemson Spineless (Go Tigers!), this year, but that's not for lack of good okra-growing heat. It's because I didn't try (translation: I didn't water them). I just threw a couple in a perennial bed and let them do their business with no extra love. The seedpods are uber-cool. This is the first time I've ever let them go to seed too.

I also have several new mint plants that are doing well in pots: spearmint, peppermint and a nice, flavorful mint called "orange mint" (that one, in the foreground, is gonna make some really great cocktails someday soon!).

When I was potting that last mint this afternoon, I poured the Vortex potting soil out into the terra cotta pot and got a big surprise: a coastal toad came tumbling out with it! I probably would've been scared shitless if I would've put my hand down into that bag and met the likes of this squirmy bag of fragile bones.

How handsome is that toad?! Damn, nature is cool. I hope he stays around and fills up on his fair share of roaches (yep, they're still around, and it's October!).


Anonymous said...

What is really fun is to take one of those characters in the house in a pot and have him come to life next spring. Where is that noise coming from? A flower pot? Time to move pots outside........

Lancashire rose said...

What perfect timing. Your vegs. got a nice rainfall last night.YOu are very organized to keep notes on last years crop.
I caught a toad in my havahart trap the other day. When I let him out he jumped straight into the pool and swam to the bottom. I don't know where he has been hanging out this summer as it is as dry as aboard out there. Eat those pill bugs please.