02 October 2008

Garden Ramble: Fall Edition

We've officially landed in Autumn, the traditional harvest time. Of course, if you've been slogging through these web-log words about plants that I've been sharing with you over the past few months, you'll know that I've been harvesting for a few months now.
On herbs, my chocolate mint deserves a special mention because I was certain that it wasn't going to survive because I think it's a really cool herb, but it's thriving.
My flowers have continued to impress late into the year, and I likely have enough marigold (and hopefully soon zinnia) seeds, as well as sunflower seeds to more than fill out next year's garden. There are some orphaned petunias that never found their way into the ground, but are still in flats. This Winter's experiment will be to see if they can survive. Speaking of winter, I'm soon going to be pulling the potted plants back indoors from their summer perches. Poinsettia, Rubber Tree, and the canine salad bar - sorry, snake plant - will return to their inviernal perches indoors. As will the other Winter experiment, the herbs I've planted in pots. Our Northern exposure doesn't give us much in the way of Winter sunlight, but the plants love the CFLs that I've installed in the house. I have a cabbage in a pot. I might bring it in to see if it continues to grow. Why not.
Vegetables. I finally pulled the beans out to make room for what will hopefully be fall cabbages and broccoli, I planted the remaining squash from the thinning, and I harvested some broccoli from the plants that have been growing all summer. I think I botched something there, because instead of wonderful, lush heads of broccoli I got small florets with leaves all through. I think I planted them too densely. My planned expansion and less heavy hand will likely make for more, better broccoli next Summer. Fall radishes and carrots are growing, I see what are hopefully signs from the lettuce/spinach (now that the beans are gone), and of the dozen peas I planted one sprouted. We might get some more peas before frost, but I'll not hold my breath. Peppers continue to come in. I am drying out most of the hot peppers in preparation for making more of my infamous "Satan's Coke Habit" hot pepper powder, and enjoying the green/red bell peppers fresh off the plant! We've even had a cucumber or two come in, though those poor vines never took off like I'd hoped - the squash choked them out for too long.
I'm hoping and praying for there to be enough warmth left for at least a few more weeks without frost, and then the cold work of adding the compost and setting up next year's expansion begins. Once the last flower is gone and the vegetable garden put to bed, aha, for the winter, I'll likely put this little feature on hiatus until February or so, when I plant my first round of seeds, unless you're that interested in hearing my thoughts on my houseplants and how my Winter Experiments are proceeding. You'll have to let me know, though.
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