The Fall Garden: The finishers and the slow growers

22 09 2008

Well, in the ongoing Battle: Dirt Sack Vs. The Evil Blight, I may have to give The Dirt Sack some credit.  I’d say it is putting out as many tomatoes and takes up hardly any ground space.   I’ve pulled several romas off of it and dozens of the Chocolate Cherry tomatoes.  Was it worth the added expense and extra watering?  I don’t think so.   As soon as I take it down, I will respond to the recall.  It really was a terribly made piece of equipment.  That said, I do think that there is a lot of potential for upside down tomatoes.

Meanwhile The Evil Blight does seem to finally be striking at least one of the plants on the ground. I have found a few romas that were squishy without ever ripening, and many of the leaves are starting to turn yellow as seen below. I’ve cut the what-appears-to-be-blighted parts back and thrown them away.  I’m giving the tomatoes another week and a half.  Then I think their numbers will be up.

I keep wondering when the green beans will be done.  I am letting a couple of the plants go to seed in hopes of not having to buy seed next year.  The rest of the plants are still putting out plenty of beans for a side dish every few days, so we’ll just keep eating them until they are done.

Meanwhile, the leeks keep on growing extremely slowly. The biggest are about thumbs-width, depending on the size of the thumb.  They still have another month and a half before I was planning on eating them, but man do they crawl along.  Someday I would like to have an entire bed of just leeks, though.  Whether they will justify taking up a row in such a small garden is yet to be determined.

The brussels sprouts are absolutely fascinating.  The one big one has gotten HUGE while the smaller ones have stayed, well, small.  I’m not expectings many spouts from the three smallest ones; they simply have not grown that many axial leaves.  I think that despite being spaced fairly far apart, the two largest ones got such a leap on the smaller ones that the smaller ones just got crowded out.

What I find SO fascinating, though, is WHERE the sprouts come from!  Why they appear at the base of the leaves is a total mystery to me.

Wrapping it up, the purple sprouting broccoli is trucking along slowly in the front yard.  While I think they could do with more direct sunlight, this is actually about the size that I was hoping the cabbage would be.   Provided they don’t get frozen out, we’ll have fresh broccoli come March.





Jumping on the brasscia bandwagon.

3 08 2008

Ahhhhhh, the brassicas.  Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, collards,.brussels sprouts, and more.    In my ongoing efforts to spread out my harvest over the year, I’ve planted cabbage, kale, purple sprouting broccoli, and brussels sprouts.   For plants all from the same family, I’ve been having some problems getting them going.

The cabbages seem to doing pretty well.  I planted them a little late for this variety, so my fingers are crossed that they will head up and not bolt.  So far, so good.  Likewise, the purple sprouting broccoli in the photos in the thread below show nothing but promise. Unfortunately, I haven’t had as much luck with the kale.  From all accounts, kale is supposed to sprout and grow readily.  I had started several seeds on 24″ centers, but it looks like I will just have one plant.  I sure hope this little guy makes it.  I have no idea why the seeds on this center sprouted but not on the other two centers.

Which leads me to this question:  Why do some seedlings and young plants seem to thrive in one spot but not in another right next to it?  For example, I have this handsome young brussels sprout.  I’m still curious about where the sprouts will come from, but it’s always good to have something to look forward to.

Now, compared to the other three in the row.  I’m told that starting brussels sprouts from seed can be challenging, but once they’ve sprouted, what micro-conditions let one plant thrive and the others just survive?  They were all planted at the same time, and I think the same level of fertilizer and sun.  So…..is the big one growing TOO fast or are the little guys lagging behind?