The Fall Garden: The Greens

22 09 2008

I have much-neglected about writing about the fall garden, which is really too bad.  It’s doing shockingly well, too well, perhaps.

Back in August, I put in some baby pak choi, cabbage, and kale starts.

The pak choi grew at ridiculous rates.

I hadn’t planned on eating any of it by now, but two of the five plants were about to bolt, so I ended up having to pull them out!   I used 1 1/2 heads for a stir-fry.  Tonight, I’m going to try using the leaves from one or two in a vegetable soup in place of spinach.  The leaves are surprisingly spicy compared to the baby pak choi I’ve bought at the market.  I think it must be a different, stronger-flavored variety.

I put in six Red Express cabbages.  I think they may be growing too fast:

The goal was to get them big enough to surive being frozen out, then have them head up in the spring.  This is one of the smaller ones.  I’ve read that if they’re too big going into spring, they’ll bolt rather than head up.  I really didn’t expect them to grow this quickly.

Meanwhile, there is kale to be eaten, and I haven’t even begun to think about what to do with that yet:

Here is the chard AFTER the two major haircuts over the last few weeks.  It looks like there will still be plenty of meals coming our way.





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?