Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall gardening into full swing with brassicas and root crops

I couldn't wait for fall so I could replace the under-performing plants that lived through the heat with the broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and beets/carrots that we seem to be able to grow in great profusion. I started all of the plants except cabbage from seed and am spending time fine tuning the soil with my little test kit and transplanting the little seedlings into the garden. I am also looking closely at companion plantings. The cool mornings are enticing me from many other tasks but the rewards are going to be many.

I found an interesting lettuce tower on Pinterest and got it made up with a few sprigs of red sails lettuce. should be fun if nothing else. I am trying fall green beans and peas to see if they do better. Seems that last fall the green beans did pretty well. I have a new really short season variety to try. 

The herbs are going strong compelling me to find recipes to utilize all of them. Sage stuffed pork roast was terrific, the Thai basil and garlic parsley butters are great on bread, potatoes, rice --the list goes on and on. I have  dozens of packets pesto in the freezer waiting to be  spread on pasta, bread, crackers and more. The lemon basil has appeared on chicken and on a zucchini torte.  George is using a lot more mint in his tea too. I haven't tried out rosemary dishes but will go there next. Garlic cloves are on their way from the grower so next year we should have really tasty garlic to use too. 

I participated in a few plant swaps in the last few weeks and have added a number of perennials to the beds and bringing in new color and textures. I got half a dozen coleus plants of various leaf types and rooted most of them to double or triple the plantings. Looks pretty good out there even with all the heat.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tim wows the garden guild with fall prep and planting information

 The room was full and Tim Pfluger ( Green 'n Growing) was in high gear talking about how to get a new or old garden ready for planting and what plants and seeds to put into in in the fall. He talked about out clay soils and how to amend them using a variety of organic products which he whipped out of his bag to show us so everyone could examine them and ask about them. He says he starts with a good application of compost (about 1 cu.ft/ 12 sq. ft of garden--double for new beds) each time and mixes in  a bit of green sand which provides iron for the plants and some of the rock phosphate or alpha meal, then spreads this over the area he is planting and digs it in with a garden fork. He says the alpha meal is a natural growth stimulator. He also may add dried molasses to stimulate the micro-organisms in the compost. 

For seed starting he showed up a product to add that stimulates growth called mycorrhizal Fungi (at right) apparently does not need a lot to get things going. 

He also showed a couple of products to use once the plants are established that aid bloom and fruit production pictures below. Both contain a mixture of minerals and other nutrients. Each is a different blend and can be used as a side dressing about once a month.   He also mentioned Lady Bug flower power. Questions were asked about MG and the nitrogen content is way to high to promote fruiting but green growth is enhanced. 

 Tim referred us to the county extension chart for planting and discussed serial plantings so that not all the production is at one time. It is too late to see the brassicas but not to put in transplants. Great time for seeding lots of vegetable that will take a light frost or be ready to harvest within 60 days. Good time for lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, radish, kale, chard, bush beans, snap peas and even summer squash.  Onion sets get planted in November for harvest in last spring.  It was a great meeting and good information. 

Our first seed/plant exchange had lots of items switching hands. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tim Pfluger to discuss planting the fall garden and soil amendments 9/15

If you don't think you have a Green Thumb, this is the meeting for you.

Tim Pfluger of Green and Growing will teach us about how to plant the Fall/Winter Garden, including proper soils, compost, fertilizers and amendments for growing vegetables, flowers and other plants during the Garden Guild Meeting Saturday, Sept. 15.  11:00 AM at the Recreation Center on 3000 Shoreline.  

This is the most important basic knowledge for growing plants.  Come get your questions answered.

Also (Extra, Extra), new feature of the Garden Guild, come at 10:30 AM (before the meeting) with plants/seeds to share or food to share a bit of a chat before the meeting. "