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Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall Garden 2010

My spring and summer gardens were a bust so as a last ditch effort I decided to try one more time for fall. You know us gardeners. Hope springs eternal.

Since I didn't expect much, I was haphazard with my plantin
g. I saved a few of my tomato, eggplant and pepper plants and transplanted them to another part of the garden.

Note: Gardeners, I know that was dicey. Mature plants rarely survive a transplant, but at this point I had nothi
ng to lose. They already looked terrible.

I pruned them heavily, fertilized, and watered daily. Everything made it, but the tomato plants still refuse to give me fruit eve
n though they are flowering.

The eggplant and peppers were mo
re generous.

I threw a few corn seeds into the dirt as well as the starts from a sweet potato I had bought at the grocery store. Okra, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cucumbers went in too. (The cucumbers have been especially sweet. I'm sorry I didn't plant more. I could have pickled a few.)

As an afterth
ought, I
buried a few seeds for decorative gourds.


Even though I planted them last, they are taking over my garden. It's so robust, I hate to pull it up, but I might have to. Next year, if I plant these, they are going out in the field, not the garden. I've never seen a plant so aggressive.

Has anyone ever grown
decorative gourds? I am seeing all sorts of weird gourds, including one that is as round and smooth as a melon. This is the first time I've tried decorative gourds so it's all new to me.

What is the most unusual plant you've ever grown? And who can tell me about sweet potatoes? How do I k
now they're ready?

True Believers Update: Thanks to everyone who offered to review TB or host me on the blog tour. I had more offers than I could handle.

I could have accepted all the offers, but I worried I might come off sounding canned or insincere, and I didn't want that to happen. I left some of my weekends free so if a burst of genius strikes me I can post it.

If I promised you a post as a guest blogger, expect it at least a week before it airs. I'm still waiting on my links to go live so I can add them to each article.


Joanne said...

It was such a hot summer, but my tomato plants loved it and did really well. I planted flowers too that like the heat, geraniums, zinnias, so they did well, but the lawns? Well now that is another story altogether. Sheesh, they're just gone.

Maria Zannini said...

Joanne: We had over a month of triple digits. Even my tomatoes thought it was too hot.

But like the Chicago Cubs always say, Wait til next year. :)

I'm going to try planting more hot weather flowers next year. I haven't tried zinnias yet. I'll put them on my list. Thanks!

Krista D. Ball said...

A fall garden, huh? How...different!

Pretty much everything came up Aug 31 in order to avoid the frost.

Maria Zannini said...

Krista: Yeah but you live near the tundra. LOL.

I'll bet the trees are changing color now. I love brisk fall days.

Krista D. Ball said...

In Edmonton, there are green leaves one day. Yellow the next. No leaves the next. It's rather strange. Also, most of the trees are evergreens so they don't change colours.

I grew up in Newfoundland, where the coloured leaves were on the trees for a solid month. So, it's really frustrating here, after growing up with that.

Maria Zannini said...

Krista: I miss the turning of the leaves. They don't really change color in Texas either. It must need a particular range in temp that we don't have.

Anonymous said...

Technically it's fall down in Georgia where I live but it still feels like summer. It's a little cooler but not much.

Man, do I love tomatoes!

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Amanda! It's been a weird weather year all around.

Thank you for following! Right back at ya. I added myself to your list--and I see that you're a displaced Texan.

Mercy! How the heck did that happen?!

Marianne Arkins said...

My cucs did fabulously, but they usually do. My tomatoes WOULD have been fab if the deer hadn't snacked on them TWICE.

I don't do gourds -- If I can't eat it, I don't plant it (except for flowers, which don't take up that much room). I did pumpkins one year -- NEVER again. They took over the garden. This year I did butternut squash which works in all pumpkin recipes, and they did fine (I grew them UP inside tomato cages ... they climbed just like cucumbers do).

I'm already sad my growing season is over. *sigh*

jackie b central texas said...

Not anything weird that was planted but have had plantings come up voluntarily from seed from Chili Poteen Pepper plants, which my Mom loves to eat and usually get 2-3 rounds of peppers off of each year from Spring to Winter.. This year we will only get the 2nd one as the plant in my back yard is loaded right now with pretty little green peppers...

My Husband had a garden one year when we lived about 25 miles from where we do now, the deer loved him to death and ate all his okra, peppers and some of his squash plants.. (No fence, we were renting a space for our mobile home at the time and not allowed to build one)

I do love fresh cukes!!
jackie ^_^

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne: I picked up a package of seeds because a friend (who shall remain nameless) said: Ooh, plant these, will make Christmas decorations and birdhouses.

I can supply half the county with birdhouses now. LOL!

I won't do it again, or if I do, I'll just grow loofas on the barbed wire fence.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: I've never tried chili poteen peppers. Are they hot?

Knock on wood, we don't have deer problems. They are hard to stop once they've found the buffet table.

jackie b central texas said...

Yes the little peppers are hot,(Too Hot For Me in fact) they do work great for "pepper sauce" or ground up for seasoning chili and etc...

My Dad would get Mom to put them in a bottle with vinegar and "pickle" them like you do cucumbers and onion and then he would eat the peppers and drink the juice, ICK!

jackie ^_^

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: ...he would eat the peppers and drink the juice...

Holy Moley! That would grow hair on my chest. LOL!

Jenny Schwartz said...

Your post reminded me how much I love the smell of tomato plants. Weirdest thing I've ever grown -- not sure, but I bet not many of you have grown kangaroo paws :D

Maria Zannini said...

You're such a tease, Jenny. I had to look up what kangaroo paws are.

They're rather pretty. I'll bet they look good in an arrangement.

Jenny Schwartz said...

They're among my favourite vase flowers. Like irises, you just stick them in and voila, they arrange themselves. Also, which you probably don't get from the photo, they have a velvety fur. Beautiful.

LLL Reviews said...

Wow. I love your garden.

Gourds are used commonly in Hawaii as Hula implements, bowls, containers, etc.

Where I live cucumber thrive as well. My MIL and I have planted snap peas, eggplant, chili peppers, strawberries, squash, tomatoes, limes- calamansi (sp?), Lettuce, calamangai (sp?), green onions, herbs, and more.

Sweet potato is popular here. I believe my MIL has grown them but she does most of the gardening I mostly help her tend to them.

Food in Hawaii is expensive so growing your own really helps to ease the burden.

Great going.

What factors to you most worry about when gardening? My MIL and I always have to set up cages to keep away from the chickens. Our garden is close to the mountains and so there are stray/wild chickens.

Maria Zannini said...

Chasity: It never ceases to amaze me that food is expensive in Hawaii. Is it because of too many people?

Ref: garden worries
We raise chickens and I let them free range, but I put up a plastic perimeter fence that keeps them out. They could fly over it--but they haven't figured that out yet. :)

My biggest problem is water. I have to supply it during the summer.

DEZMOND said...

hey, I had decorative gourds in my backyard this summer as well and they were also huge but they are also very tasty and edible as well, I've even left a few bags of shredded gourds in the freezer for winter :) You just have to pick the bigger ones before they lose their green colour because after that their bark is to thick.

Maria Zannini said...

Dez: No kidding? Well, I've got plenty to try.

Thanks for the tip!

DEZMOND said...

yep, you can make the most amazing cream soups with them (with some garlic, celery, cooking cream), lovely sauces, pies, just roast them .... They are sweeter than usual squashes and pumpkins :)