Harvest Monday, October 8, 2012 + Container Gardening

The lettuce I transplanted into window boxes  on September 17, are growing nicely but the forellenschluss lettuce (top box) and the lettuce cimmaron (middle box) are overcrowded.

Thinned out some of the forellenschluss lettuce (top box, will thin again in a few days) and the lettuce cimmaron  (middle box). 

Instead of pulling out the entire plant, I cut each at the soil level (if you look real closely in the middle box, you can see the round stumps). Doing so, I accomplished 2 things.
1. The remaining plants now have room to grow.
2. The stumps will grow side shoots.

At a later date, I will harvest the remaining plants and give the side shoots room to grow, thus extending my harvest. The oak leaf lettuces were planted at good distances, so I will harvest the outer leaves as needed and leave the remainder of the plant to continue to grow, again extending the harvest.

Harvested a large bunch (enough for one meal) of red amaranth, all volunteers. Doing very well with volunteers this year. Maybe I should not plant anything next year and just rely on volunteers.

Found a few red onions, they are small but usable.

Other miscellaneous harvest included 4 angled luffa, 5 bittermelon, a bunch of collard and kale and some volunteer cilantro. Most were given to friends so no photos.

You may recall my writing about my garden friend, Durga, and her container grown Ping Tung eggplants on 8/31. Click here and scroll down.

Her Ping Tung eggplants continue to do well and she is so happy.  I forgot to count, but it appeared she had about a dozen fruits on the plant.

The photo above and the photo at left were taken on October 2, 2012.

She is definitely growing them again, among her exotic container plants, next year.

Both Durga and I fertilize our container plants every other week.

                                                          Fall Blooming Daisies

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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62 Responses to Harvest Monday, October 8, 2012 + Container Gardening

  1. hotlyspiced says:

    That’s so generous of you to give your produce to friends. I bet you have a long-list of friends! I’m growing lettuce too, although on a much smaller scale! xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      I remember you starting a garden recently, looking forward to reading about the progress. You are heading into the growing season and we are heading out.

  2. There is always something interesting to see in your garden Norma. I bet your friends accept your produce with open arms.
    🙂 Mandy

  3. Annie says:

    What a healthy looking amaranth volunteer harvest you have….that’s really a bonus!

  4. Daphne says:

    I always have trouble with container plants. I just don’t water them enough. So I try not to grow them. I have to for mints though. I don’t want them to take over the whole garden.

  5. Patsy says:

    Once again you have a very inspiring harvest to show! I have not done much with container growing but would like to. I have to say, my attempts this year were dismal, but I think I gave the containers too little attention. Yours make me want to keep on trying!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Patsy,
      Container plantng is easier for fall crops because it is cooler and the soil does not dry out as quickly. Summer is a bit more challenging especially when I am away for extended period.

  6. I can’t believe how well those containers are doing! I tried growing a few things in pots this year and they just didn’t do very well…not sure if it’s a water issue or a fertilizer issue, but I just might try again next year! We’ll take the extra space where ever we can get it, but only if it actually produces 😉

  7. Dave says:

    Those container Ping Tungs are amazing! They look better than the ones I grew in the ground. I do love those eggplants. It’s one of my favorites.

    I’m going to try amaranth next year. I am curious as to how you use it. You always have such tasty ways with veggies!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      Yes, Durga’s container grown Ping Tungs are gorgeous and the plants do not have any flea beetle damage.
      I cook my amaranth like I do spinach, very simple. Sautee in a bit of oil with onion, garlic, a slice or 2 of fresh ginger and bit of salt. May need a splash of water or broth to prevent burning. The stem is edible too but may need peeling.

  8. kitsapfg says:

    The container plants look very healthy and happy. I need to start harvesting my lettuces as they are gettng quite big in their containers and the act of harvesting gives them more room too spread out too.

  9. Kim says:

    Good Morning Norma, how long until frost do you think? What is your fertilizer of choice?
    Is the lettuce staying sweet or is it getting bitter? Only thing I still have growing is basil.

    Happy Gardening

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kim,
      My fertilizer of choice: liquid, I use fish emulsion (it smells, so I do not use it indoor), granular, I use Espoma plant tone.
      The lettuce is tender and sweet. My basil did not do well this year.

  10. Jenny says:

    Beautiful harvest of lettuces and that container of eggplants are amazing.

  11. I love the tip about cutting at ground level to let the stumps grow side shoots on the lettuces! What do you fertilize your containers with, Norma?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello B and B,
      The side shoots will not grow as big, but is usable, tender and sweet.
      Before planting I mix a bit of Espoma plant tone (this is a granular fertilizer) into the potting mix (I use Pro-mix potting mix). Liquid fertilizer I use fish emulsion (it smells I do not use it indoor).

  12. Stoney Acres says:

    Your harvest is looking wonderful again this week! We planted lettuce a few year ago in containers like yours and we were pretty happy with how they grew. I guess I will have to try it again next year. Maybe I’ll try it in the spring, that way I can move the plants out of the intense heat when June arrives!!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Rick,
      Thanks. The nice thing about these window boxes is that they are easy to move and I just line them up along the garage wall if I need to bring them in because of weather.

  13. Eva Taylor says:

    Just lovely Norma, I am do inspired by the container growing! Did I mention that I’m buying a fig tree next spring? I’ll roll it into the shed over the winter (I’ll put in a lightbulb on a timer to help regulate the heat (or chill) in the shed. I’m also doing the Egg plant for sure!

  14. mac says:

    Eggplants don’t do well in pots for me here, I think it’s the heat that bothers the roots despite regular watering and feeding.

  15. I have only been fertilizing my container plants 1x a month – maybe I should bump it up to 1x a week?

  16. ChgoJohn says:

    Even though we’re well into October, you’re garden is producing well enough that you can give some of your weekly harvest to friends. And those potted eggplants are doing so good! Another good week, Norma.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      That was the last of the summer bounty for sharing. Should check on my parsnips and other root crops, they need frost to sweeten them.
      Yes, Durga’s potted eggplants are gorgeous, better than my garden grown ones.

  17. I believe that I have said it before, but I need to repeat myself: you are a great gardener! I love these red amaranth. AMAZING!

  18. Your harvest seems to be coming along beautifully, the eggplant is so cute, for a minute I thought they were purple chilis!

    Choc Chip Uru

  19. Shawn Ann says:

    Beautiful daisies! Those are some nice red onions too. I have just replanted some lettuce with hopes that I can keep some going in the pop up green house for a bit. It never did take off in the garden with the late hot temps! I got 1 head out of a bunch of seeds planted. Looks like you are doing well.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Shawn Ann,
      Having daisies blooming this time of year is the most cheerful sight. I am pleasantly surprised and pleased at how well the lettuces are doing. I think it is because the boxes are so portable I can move them around to the most desirable locations.

  20. The red amaranth looks wonderful.

  21. Eha says:

    You have truly convinced me I should try grow amaranth: such beautiful plants. I only know this as a v healthy grain 🙂 ! You truly do get a remarkable amount of beautiful organic stuff from what does not look like a huge garden! I’m still planting: am up to about 60 or so pots – they are all situated in the one sunny, windless area and are no trouble at all to water and fertilize! One has breakfast, washes one’s teeth and goes out to see whether pot watering is needed – a matter of 5-10 minutes, honest injun 😀 !

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eha,
      Actually many people grow amaranth as an ornamental among flowers. It is a healthy grain but the leaves and stems are packed with nutrients also. I am amazed at the number of containers you maintain.

  22. Wow, Norma, your garden looks positively perfect! Every plant had perfect leaves.. not one was bruised or wilting! You must spend most of your time tending your plants. I would do the same if I had a garden like yours. There is nothing more restful than gardening, I think. What do you make with amaranth.. that’s a new one for me? xx

  23. I look at those eggplants and I want to grab them and make Moroccan eggplant jam right now. I love your garden.

  24. Hi Norma!

    That a great harvest, I wish I had all those veggies growing in my garden right now. I am kind of waiting that the rains stop to start with the herbs and especially the lettuce and rockets.

    wow those eggplants are exotic. I have never seen that type before!

    I am curious what will you make out of the daisies or are they just for the eyes?

    I wish u a great week ahead! =)

  25. I never knew you can grow lettuce in a container.Will have to try that next year

  26. I have a bad habit of overcrowding my garden, and I can see clearly from your post the difference that it would make if I improved my “gardening ways”. I’ll be watching your site to see what you do when you “close up shop” for the year (e.g. pruning back bushes etc.) for some pointers.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barb,
      I have that overcrowding bad habit also as you can see from 2 of the boxes. I know better and promise myself to do better, but ….. I hope to find time soon to “close up shop” for the winter before it is too late.

  27. Cake Whiz says:

    Seeing your fresh harvest and the care you put into your garden is just wonderful . you friends are very lucky to have you as a friend who shares her produce 🙂

  28. Charles says:

    Oooh, looking at all that makes me dream of a delicious fresh salad with those leaves, feta cheese, roast up those little beauties of eggplants and a nice fresh dressing – yum!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charles,
      You can plant all that you saw in the post on your balcony, including the Ping Tung eggplant. Once you tried Ping Tung you will not want to eat any other eggplant.

  29. All my eggplants are doing wonderfully too! We are growing: Orient Express (dark purple Japanese eggplant), Orient Charm (lavender purple Japanese eggplant), Raveena (light green Japanese eggplant), and Bianca White Globe eggplant. We are having such an abundance that whatever we cannot sell, we are making a delicious roasted eggplant dip, similar to Baba Ganoush. I have had great luck with Ping Tung eggplants in the past, great variety.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello YTF,
      With so many varieties, I can just imagine how beautiful your eggplants display is at the market. What made you stop growing Ping Tung? Do you prefer Orient Charm?

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