Monday, December 13, 2010

Fall Garden--December 2010

My fall garden is growing nicely this year.

The weather has mostly been mild and damp and the plants are growing slowly and steadily... all except the turnips which sprouted up and have gotten huge.

The beets look bright and pretty

This is my first set of broccoli from seed and it is coming up very nicely.

I grew broccoli for the first time this spring and was very pleased with how well it did. The floret (head?) was not as big as what is sold in the stores, but the flavor was so good. Kind of like the difference between a 'store bought' tomato and a garden tomato... the same is true for broccoli.

My artichoke plant is still going strong, actually, these are the babies of the original plant. This plant is in a far from ideal condition in terms of garden layout and planning, but it has done so well I do not have the heart to move it.

On the wire fence are snow peas, then a row of turnips, which mostly overshadow my poor spinach, then broccoli, beets, then a crazy misplaced artichoke, then cabbage, brussel sprouts, carrots, and more peas... I think.

My volunteer mullein is doing so well in the rich garden soil. This is a native medicinal plant, I just need to remember what it is used for. It is welcome in the garden for now.

I was very excited to see the first three fresh pea pods of the winter garden and promptly ate them before taking any photos--December 12, 2010. Lots of blooms cover the peas so unless we get some very cold temperatures, I should have peas for quite a while longer.

The poor spinach I planted too close to the turnips and it keeps getting shaded. So far, the spinach seeds are the only ones that I have seen a clear breakdown in viability of the seed my MIL purchased in 2007, none of the old seed came up, only the newer seeds. So for future reference, don't expect to be able to 'save' spinach seed for more than a year or two without clear impact on your germination rate--or any germination at all.

Carrots, they really need to be thinned, but I always tend to start at the turnip end of the garden and end up having to chase a toddler before I work my way over to the carrots.

I'm also growing garlic for the first time this fall. To do really well, garlic needs to be planted in the fall in Texas to be able to harvest the following summer. I have never done this successfully before. This garlic is actually the grandchild plants of some grocery store garlic that sprouted in my pantry and I planted out last summer. The heads grew some nice greenery, but never bulbed out. I divided the clumps and replanted them in a sunnier location this fall.

This is my 'dumpster dive' sprinkler. It makes me so happy to watch it spinning crazily and know that I got it for free. Wha-HA-HA.

This is the Hedgehog Aloe Vera plant I bought on a whim last January just before our big debt free party. It had pretty orange-red-hot-poker style blooms when I bought it and I assumed that would be the only time I saw it bloom, but apparently it likes the neglect in my yard and I see buds again.

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