Fall is in the air. Our night time temperatures have been in the 40′s and mornings are cool. Time to start thinking about putting the gardens to bed for the winter.
Plants are slowing down but still getting sufficient harvest from kale, collard, eggplants, Chinese long beans, sweet potato vines, cucumber, lettuce, bittermelon and angled luffa for the week’s needs.
Tomatoes plants got the late blight. Salvaged whatever tomatoes I could (above photo). Pulled up and disposed of (properly) all the plant parts.
Remember the broccoli and napa seedlings I planted in window boxes on September 3? They are growing but attacked continually by cabbage worms.
Battling cabbage worm daily. Try to pick them off the plants when they are tiny (about ¼ – ½ inch), but they blend in so well with the plants’ stems and leaves, I frequently don’t see them until they are 1 or more inch in length (the eye sight is not what it used to be), by them a great deal of damage has been done.
Can you find the cabbage worm in the photo above? That’s a big fat one.
Top box, forellenschluss lettuce
The name means “speckled like a trout’s back” referring to the maroon dappling on the leaves which will become more pronounced as the plant grows
Middle box, lettuce cimmaron
Bottom box, oak leaf lettuce
The above heirloom lettuce seedlings were thinnings from Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden on September 7. Not wanting the thinnings to go to waste, we, the volunteers, took them home. They were quite wilted by the time I got them home and doubted they would survive if planted directly into the ground. So I decided to plant them in window boxes where I could keep them in the shade until they showed sign of growing then gradually introduce them to the sun. Now they are happy in full day sun.
Pleased with the lettuce in the window boxes got carried away and decided to start some other seeds in window boxes. May be too late in the season, but because the boxes are portable and easy to move, when the weather starts to get cold, I will move the boxes to the driveway. This way I can easily bring them into the garage if frost is predicted.
Top box, little finger carrot and Chinese radish-beauty heart
Sowed, 9/9, carrot germinated, 9/14 (very hard to see the 2 rows of tiny sprouts). The plants you see in the middle of the box are radish seedlings, germinated 9/11. Did not expect the carrots seedlings to emerge so early so I sowed a row of radish in the center between the 2 rows of carrots.
Middle box, choy sum
Sowed 9/7, germinated 9/10
Bottom box, Shanghai bok choy
Sowed 9/7, germinated 9/9
I was surprised how fast all the seeds germinated in the boxes, faster than those sowed directly in the ground.
Need to do some serious thinning. May wait until the seedlings are larger and do a bit of transplanting, will see, all depends on the weather. If we have a long Indian summer there is a good chance I will get an harvest even a good one.
Many of my friends have downsized and no longer have outdoor garden space. Some of my friends are not physically able to garden anymore. But all of these friends have the same desire. That is to continue to do a little gardening. I hope this post will give them some ideas to start window box/container gardening.
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