Thursday, November 11, 2010

Central Texas Veggie Garden Update: November

I almost have harvestable broccoli! Holy cow, how cool is that? I planted my first round of broccoli transplants in early September and they're showing signs of crowns. I fertilized with a nitrogen fertilizer when they were about 9 inches tall, and then the other day with Flower Power to promote the development of their crowns. That's how i do most of my veggies - nitrogen once they've put on some height and need greening power, and Flower Power (high middle number) when showing signs of flowering and setting fruit. For long season plants like tomatoes and cukes i will redo the Flower Power fertilizing every month or so, plus seaweed in their water  or compost side dressing for a little extra vigor at any time i please.

I planted some more transplants and seeds last weekend:
  • Radish
  • Carrot
  • Broccoli Raab
  • Chamomile (seeds and transplant)
  • Kale (seeds and transplant)
  • Broccoli (transplant)
  • Chard (transplant)
  • Lettuce
  • Pansies and Calendula for some edible/medicinal pretty 
Baby radishes peeking out
 I must admit: the past few years i have diligently laid out my gardens on graph paper, taken detailed notes of every seed and transplant planted and when, watering schedules, fertilization, all a gardener's work entails. This season I'm beign more indiscriminate in my record keeping. I try and water germinating beds every morning and the large gardens twice a week. I'm tucking seeds and seedlings into bare patches as they come available. I harvest what's ripe and carefully watch the weather to see if a freeze may be imminent. Peppers and tomatoes are still filling lots of space so i've been cramming my brassicas into tight spots and tucking seeds in the crannies as i see fit. My companion planting methods have gone out the window for hte most part and it's fun to see so much green slammed into so small a space. We'll see if my 'tuck it where there's space' method works out for me... at the very least i'll have plenty of green matter to choose from, whether it does well or not. ha.
    When does one harvest kohlrabi? I dunno, this is my first year.
    Meyer Lemons starting to turn yellow. It's the time of year to watch for below 40 degree weather. I'll have to figure out some way to get this now massive potted plant into the house for winter.
    The cucumbers continue to give me big old fruit, my tomatoes are heavily laden with green globes of optimism that i have to hunt for amongst their bushy limbs, and all my pepper plants are busting at the stem: many batches of hot sauce are being simmered and preparing to age, get strained, bottled and processed. I'm putting peppers into everything right now and will freeze what i don't turn into hot sauce, muffins, or jam. I'm preparing to save the seeds of my favorite tomato plant and will be mulching the garlic areas as soon as i see a few more little garlic sprouts peeking up. They aren't as happy this year as they've been in past years which may be due to my skipping a layer of turkey compost on top of the seeded beds. Live and learn.

    Early Wonder beets, desperately needing to be thinned. I'm waiting for the greens to get a little bigger to use in a sautee or pickle crock
    Happy cayennes ready to be sauced or dried
    Who's that hiding in the grass?
    Three lovely Homestead tomatoes!
     This is a fun time of year - harvest of the fall/winter crops is imminent, some summer bounty is holding on til the last second, and the garden is teeming with new and old life in a more controlled manner than the crazy tomato forests of mid summer. Plus it's nice outside! Get out there and enjoy your garden, it doesn't get much better than this in Austin gardening.

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