Monday, September 21, 2009

Fall Seeds Started

This weekend it finally felt like fall weather is coming.  The temperature peaked in the low 90's and the humidity was down making for great gardening weather.  Saturday morning was dedicated to my older son's tennis tournament (he won!), but the rest of the weekend I was out in the garden.  It was overcast for most of Saturday which is perfect for transplanting, so I tried to get the last of the seedlings in the ground.  I planted Yu-Choy (see photo), Choho, Kyoto Mizuna, Endive (Broadleaf Batavian), French Sorrel, and Dill.  I still have a few seedlings that need some room in the garden including Wild Arugula (Rucola Selvatica), Anise, Yellow Pear tomatoes started from cuttings, and Common Sorrel, but they'll have to wait until next weekend.

The garden looks so much neater without the hundreds of grower pots that filled every free inch a few weeks ago. and I am out of potting soil, so I decided to start the next batch of seeds directly in the garden.  I have mixed feelings about direct sowing.  It is much easier once the seeds are started because there is no transplanting required, but the seeds germinate much better in potting soil and grower pots.  Also, I do a lot of interplanting so its not always easy to find room to start all the seeds in one place.

I decided to clear out the last of the cowpeas and edamame growing in the back yard, creating a nice patch ready for new seeds.  I started beets, brussel sprouts, broccoli, fava beans, turnips, royal burgundy bush beans, Trevisio-type radicchio, red orach and rutabaga in this area.   In our windowbox, I planted nasturtium and mache seeds.  I also planted the rest of the rhubarb seeds among the existing seedlings.  Now it's just a matter of watering and waiting to see how all the seeds do in the garden.

Sunday morning was for harvesting.  First came eggplants -- sfumata, thai long green, cloud 9, and thai hybrid tiger.  I left a lot to be picked later this week and still filled a huge mixing bowl with eggplant.  I also harvested okra and a massive quantity of lima beans.  I have several types of lima beans which I was careful to plant in different parts of the garden, but they took so long to produce that I just combined everything in one bowl as I harvested yesterday.  So much for my original plans to make productivity and flavor comparisons.  Lima beans require a lot of patience -- they were planted out four months ago and this was the first real harvest.  I had already ruled them out for next year as a result, but I have admit that the taste of fresh lima beans is pretty amazing, so maybe they were worth the wait.  David made a Chinese tofu and butter bean dish that was fantastic.  I'll post the recipe tomorrow.

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