Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 10/13/14

What a week of weather extremes in my garden! A few days ago, we had a low of 49 degrees, which is lower than our normal. Then, this past Saturday, we had a high of 92 and broke the record for that day. I spent the weekend sweating as I planted purple-top turnips, mustard greens, bloomsdale spinach, and watermelon radishes. Crazy! (At least my fall planting is finally caught up – except for the onions and garlic.) Not only is the weather exhibiting summer and fall temperatures at the same time, but my garden is also producing both summer harvests and fall seedlings.

WHAT’S NEW:

I’ve got seedlings everywhere! Don’t you just love watching your seeds come forth every season? I do!

I have one fern dill plant left along my front walkway, and it self-seeded. I have a dill seedling growing up alongside mama dill.

Dill seedling self-seeded

Dill seedling self-seeded

Last weekend, I planted scarlet kale and reine des glaces lettuce along my front walkway. Both are starting to push through the soil. The scarlet kale seedling is already giving a bit of a foretaste of its scarlet color; can you see it?

Scarlet kale seedling ~ 7 days after planting

Scarlet kale seedling ~ 6 days after planting

I planted two pots of peas (four per pot) under my teepee trellises. I know it’s the wrong time to plant them (too late for the August planting, too early for the January planting), but I thought I’d try it anyway. They are now starting to poke through the soil.

Dwarf gray peas sprouting ~ 7 days after planting

Dwarf gray peas sprouting ~ 6 days after planting

My golden globe turnips are coming up. They are buttery rather than spicy, compared to the purple-top turnips I planted yesterday.

Golden Globe turnip seedlings ~ 7 days after planting

Golden Globe turnip seedlings ~ 6 days after planting

I planted four kinds of radishes in the same bed with the golden globe turnips – plum radishes for salads, and daikon, icicle, and beer radishes for salads or soups. It seems I’m getting a good germination rate out of all of them.

Radish seedlings ~ 7 days after planting

Radish seedlings ~ 6 days after planting

Last year, I planted some ornamental ginger plants that my beau had given me, and I didn’t even realize they were blooming until this past Saturday. Here’s a picture of one of the pink flowers. (I have white ones, too.)

Ornamental Ginger flower

Ornamental Ginger flower

IN THE GARDEN:

Last year, I bought yellow and purple mums to keep around my patio. I didn’t think they’d make it through the summer and bloom again, but they have! The yellow mums started blooming a couple of weeks ago, and now the purple mums are blooming.

Purple chrysanthemums

Purple chrysanthemums

While I have fall flowers blooming, I actually found this summer fruit — a new watermelon growing! My early moonbeam watermelon (orange-fleshed) plant started growing again, and I found this watermelon a few days ago. A watermelon, in October. I love it!

Early Moonbeam watermelon growing

Early Moonbeam watermelon growing

My pepper plants are flowering and fruiting better than they have in months. Look at this mini red bell pepper plant loaded with fruit!

Mini red bell pepper plant

Mini red bell pepper plant

Before I plant, I amend my soil by adding organic fertilizer (chicken manure based) and Azomite rock dust (for trace minerals). I then mix it into the soil by hand. Yesterday, while amending one of my beds, I didn’t realize that I had covered a toad in Azomite. I actually discovered him as I flipped him into the soil. Poor guy. I don’t know who scared whom more! Although he was covered in rock dust, he appeared to be just fine and hopped away after watching me for a while.

Toad covered with Azomite (rock dust)

Toad covered with Azomite (rock dust)

IN THE KITCHEN:

I harvested so many green bell peppers, I kept some for fresh eating, some to put into the batch of hot pepper relish I’ll be making this week, and some to freeze for winter cooking. I love my Ziploc food sealer.

Green bell peppers ready to freeze

Green bell peppers ready to freeze

I harvested quite a bit this past week. Click here to see my garden bounty.

What’s happening in your garden?

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