Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 12/8/14

Autumn is finally in full swing here in my Sanctuary Garden. This past week, the days’ temperatures climbed into the lower 70s, but autumn weather will return this coming week after the cold front that passed this weekend. The leaves are falling, many limbs are bare, but there is still some new growth in my garden.

WHAT’S NEW:

Next to my pots of parsley, I had a couple of tiny pots that I never emptied. (The herbs in them were half dead when I got the pots for free, and I couldn’t save them.) Well, it seems the wind carried some parsley seed into the pots and I have parsley seedlings. Time will tell if they’re flat or curly parsley.

Wind-seeded parsley seedlings

Wind-seeded parsley seedlings

While watering my key lime trees, I noticed a key lime that split open. I’ve never seen that happen before. Funny thing is, it’s been about 10 days since we had a frost, and the trees were covered. Odd thing, isn’t it?

Key lime - split on the tree

Key lime – split on the tree

IN THE GARDEN:

The peas I planted (when it wasn’t planting time) are actually doing well. However, the peas in one planter are doing better than the peas in the other. Same peas, planted at the same time, in the same type of soil, fertilized the same way, getting the same amount of sun (the trellises are about three feet apart). The one on the left has 4 plants (vs 3 on the right side), but all the vines on the left are fuller and longer. I have no idea why.

Dwarf gray peas

Dwarf gray peas

My chrysanthemums got severely frost-bitten in the last hard frost, but life springs eternal – new growth is coming from the roots.

Chrysanthemums with new growth

Chrysanthemums with new growth

My raspberry canes have lost more than half their leaves now.

Caroline raspberry canes

Caroline raspberry canes

My elderberry trees have lost just about all of their leaves now.

Elderberry trees

Elderberry trees

My apple trees still have all of their leaves. I thought they would’ve lost them by now.

Apple trees

Apple trees

My yard is full of leaves from my sweet gum tree and the neighbor’s oak trees. I never did plant my cover crops; by the time I had the time, it was too late. So, rather than raking the leaves, I’m going to use my mulching lawn mower, bag up the clippings/mulch, and cover my fallow beds. The grass clippings and mulched up leaves will make a nice blanket for my soil until spring.

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves

My beau has quite the knack for finding sand dollars on the beach here, and he keeps them on a wrought iron table in my garden. In the center is an iron basket filled with beach rocks and pine cones. This is my pretty autumn garden art.

Autumn garden art

Autumn garden art

IN THE KITCHEN:

Remember all those pumpkins I tried to save after the hard frost killed my vines? Well, I had to throw away about eight of them because they became soft and leaked. The frost got to them and they rotted instead of ripened. However, these are doing well so far and are turning orange.

Seminole pumpkins ripening in the window

Seminole pumpkins ripening in the window

I had so many lemon drop peppers, I dehydrated a batch that were ripe and another batch that were unripe (but still hot). Here are the ripe ones in my dehydrator.

Lemon drop peppers in dehydrator

Lemon drop peppers in dehydrator

GARDEN BOUNTY:

Of course, being December, the harvesting isn’t what it was a couple of months ago. Still, I harvested 2 pounds of turnips, a half pound of radishes, and 3/4 pound of turnip greens this past week. (I love the “two-for-one” I get with turnips – the root and the greens!)

My golden globe turnips are taking their time ripening, but here is my first one.

Golden globe turnip

Golden globe turnip

I planted my purple top turnips a couple weeks after the golden globe turnips, but they seem to be ripening more quickly.

Purple top turnips

Purple top turnips

I harvested a few more radishes, too.

Icicle radishes, plum radish, & daikon radishes

Icicle radishes, plum radish, & daikon radishes

What’s happening in your garden this week?

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