Friday, October 31, 2014

State of the garden - End of October 2014

My sister just brought me this enormous orange chrysanthemum! It's packed with leaves and flowers, should be perrennial, and all that was wrong was a little crack in the plastic planter, and the dude at the store said "it's dry", so he was going to throw it away! So my sister picked up one for her and one for me, and I just watered it really good and duct-taped that crack.

To show you how big it is!

Here's the rest of the garden. One of the tomatoes is already in the compost--the one that never did fruit and was super-sensitive to water and light changes anyway. The other two are still leafy and upright, so I'm letting them keep on, but I think the last few tomatoes are never going to red up; it's too cool at night and too little sun during the day now. They're cherry tomatoes, only a few of them, so it's not enough to make a green tomato salsa or some fried green tomatoes.

The peppers are finally actually making some peppers! I found two secret peppers under the leaves yesterday, so I'm going to leave them and see what happens.

There's one lettuce left, and I'm going to let it go and see if it survives the winter and flowers like last year, even though the one last year didn't make a single seed (infertile hybrid, I'd guess; those were store bought seeds). 

Mom's tail-flower (impatiens?) still have leaves but is looking a bit skinny and weird. The strawberries are super-full of new leaves! I'm gonna have to divide it next spring! The prickly pear and the jade plant are getting a little chilly looking, but it's still warm enough that I think they'll be fine.

I had planned to set up a winter-spot soon, but we have to move in two weeks, so I'm waiting to put the garden to bed / bring in the tenders until we have to move the garden anyway.

Ooh, and one of those green tomatoes spit and dropped during the rain the other day, and the seeds looked big and fat, so I stuffed the whole little tomato into the empty dirt in one of the other pots--if I'm going to get volunteers, they can at least volunteer in my own garden and not the dirt that used to be mine!

My little hawthorn baby! Look how pretty it is with it's first fall foliage! I think we don't have any haw in this area, because of all the reds and yellows and oranges around, I haven't seen anything this particular watercolor combo of shades. Next spring it'll be three or four years old (they said its 1-2 yr seedlings), so there might be a chance it'll flower next year. Prob not much chance, but maybe, if haw is a three-to-five-years-to-flower sort of plant.

The huge baby crabapple and the tiny crepe myrtle are both losing their leaves; the crabapples planted around our complex have already mostly lost their leaves, so maybe this is a different sort, or maybe it's just benefitting from being pampered by me all season.

The strawberry! Look how lush! This and the one really-good tomato were both planted in those peat pots with the plastic rim on top, and I just planted them whole. I think the plastic rim catches water and the peat feeds the roots, because both did better, overall, than the ones just from seed flats. So I think next year I'll be buying as many in the peat pots as I can, even though they cost more than the flats.

I got a lovely donation of seeds from a wonderful girl in Denmark named Lynsey (biodiverseed on tumblr), and among those were one fat moringa seed and some lovely fresh sea buckthorns, so they're sitting under the lamp on the side table right where I sit for tv so I remember to water them. Hopefully, our house is warm enough that they'll grow.

The seed-bundle! This was labeled "edible and medicinal seed bundle", and I paid a few bucks for shipping, and it was so much more than I expected! In spring, I'll be planting those peppers and the passionfruit, and most of the rest is currently in the fridge for a winter that I can be sure won't get too cold, last too long, or involve too many hungry squirrels. 

So the plan currently:
- when I move the garden over to the new apartment in a few weeks, I'll bring in the cacti, the strawberries, peppers and flowers.
- I'll also pile up leaves around the baby trees, and I'll probably wrap up the pots in heavy duty plastic bags some, for extra measure. I figure the mulch influences will keep them a little warmer and feed them as it breaks down.
- if there's anything left of the tomatoes, I'll take the strongest branches as cuttings and root them in a windowsill somewhere. None of our windows face the right direction to be ideal, but real light should be better than fake light, and they're replacing all the windows with new insulated ones, so it should be warmer.
- in December I should be able to plant all the stuff in the fridge...and will hopefully be able to afford pots to put it all in! (I'm saving yogurt cups and stuff in case Christmas uses up all my monies).
- in February, I'm starting on the stuff from non-stratified seed--those peppers, the passionfruit, as many fun kinds of tomatoes I can get to grow, herbs, etc. I'm going to wildly over plant all my decade-old seeds in the hopes of getting just a few hardy sprouts, and I'll grow them out to get seeds for next year.

And in the meantime, I have a mango seed to plant this weekend, and I've been collecting up seeds from all the apples I've been eating and the ones all around us outside, there's potatoes sprouting in te compost that I'm going to let stay and see what happens (maybe living potatoes are what the compost needs to speed it up?), and I have my eye on pomegranates and, later, chestnuts when they hit the fancy grocery over here. And my sister is keeping an eye out for more about-to-be-mercilessly-tossed flowers, since with kids, she goes shopping a lot more often than I do, to a lot more stores!

How's your garden doing this late in the year? What're your winter plans? And, really, your spring plans? Because we all know you're already thinking about next year...
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