Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fall Garden Is Started

The first eggplant bloom!

Last week we finally had a return to our normal temperatures for the year. We had several days in the 80s. It finally feels like summer - hot, sunny, and humid - so ironically it means it is time to plant the fall garden. Last year I started too late and only one broccoli barely made it to heading and it was small. I figured I'd start earlier this year. I started the seedlings on the 10th of June and potted them up at the start of July. I planted the first of them out today. They were a bit big, but I've been lazy so they are just now getting in.

I put three Chinese cabbage, three broccoli and one kale in the bed. I amended the soil with some compost and just a little fertilizer. This bed used to have my garlic in it. It looks so pretty.

Then because the slugs are hungry and keep coming in from the lawn. I put down a thin layer of used coffee grounds and covered that with a lot of crushed egg shells. I'd been accumulating them for quite a while. Now the bed looks pretty bad.

Luckily it all gets hidden behind a row cover so I won't have to see it. I row cover all my brassicas. It is that or spray because of these pretty butterflies. All the flowers I have blooming to attract my beneficials also attracts butterflies. They seem to love the lavender.

I have more transplants of the same plants to go in when my Super Sugar Snaps get pulled. I'm spreading them out just in case there is an issue with a pest overtaking one area. Yes they are covered, but that doesn't mean pests don't get in. Slugs and earwigs have no issue crawling in under the cover and both can decimate my Chinese cabbage.

All last week I was drying herbs. I'm continuing this week with parsley. This little patch of weeds is by my compost pile. It is mostly clover and parsley. It has a bit of my other self seeding plants like coriander and chamomile. Most of the true weeds (the ones I don't eat) are shaded out by the heavy foliage, but a few of them come up too. I really need to get in and take it all out. But for now I'll just pick out the best of the parsley. I also have some in the herb garden.

It made for quite a nice little haul and I feel like I barely touched it. Last year was the year without much parsley. This year I'm innundated. I don't need more to dry for winter though. This was sufficient to fill up my jar with fresh dried herbs. It was washed and went into the dehydrator. Now it is all packed up.


  1. Does it work with eggshells? I have saved shells because I read somewhere that it is good for the soil but is it effective against slugs as well! WOW I got to try it at once. They have been a real pain this summer, despite my daily slug-hunt.


  2. With all that parsley, you should consider making Chimchurri sauce or Arroz Verde (green rice), those are great ways to use up large amounts of parsley.

    Glad to see your garden doing so well. I didn't realize one would want to start planting fall crops this soon. I learn more and more each year, hopefully at some point, all I've learned will be implemented successfully.

  3. Tyra, it discourages, but does not prevent. They don't like the sharp edges, but they love my Chinese cabbage so I'm guessing I'll get a few. I'm hoping I don't get an army, but it might happen.

    Jennifer, I'm not a real fan of very strong parsley taste. I love it as part of the melding of flavors but not as the main ingredient. Now cilantro I would do that with :> I love cilantro rice. Too bad mine has all bolted. I should seed some more for the fall but haven't done it yet. When you start your fall plants is totally up to weather. We actually don't get frosts until the end of October, but we are so far north that the sun really isn't strong enough and every thing grows very slowly in the fall. So I'm starting earlier this year.

  4. When we have a lot of parseley, it's time for hummus, felafel, and tabbouli. Yum.

    Sounds like you've got all of your ducks in a row right now.

  5. Your eggplant bloom is beautiful. Our weather is finally starting to warm as well. Still a little below seasonal but the humidity is coming in. Friday is suppose to feel 86f with the himidex. Good luck with your fall crops!

  6. Your eggplant flower is beautiful, Daphne! I haven't started anything for my fall crops yet- and soon it will be time to start my crops for winter harvesting. I'm just not too sure that I want to if I'm moving. Knowing me, I'll start something anyway!

  7. Hi, Daphne:
    I'v got a twin to your egg plant blossom. I've never grown them before. Can you tell me how soon after the bloom first shows up you can expect to see the actual egg plant? Is yours Black Beauty?