Thursday, August 18, 2011

In the height of the San Diego warm season it is time to start a few fall seeds

Our second crop of warm season plants are all setting fruit and it looks like the eating will be good throughout the rest of the summer. We still have plants that we started in March and April but should have probably been started in June. They are finally starting to take off. Uncontrollably. 

The out of control sugar baby watermelon
These are on the east edge of our largest raised bed. We should have waited until June to plant them because it just wasn't warm enough in March for them to take off. Now they are going gang busters, they're escaping through the fence. I think this is a perfect place for them because the vines are in space that is not occupied by anything else. I will probably plant dwarf vines here again next summer.

This is a mish mash but mostly tomatillo is taking over
The tomatillo could have probably waited until June too, I don't think it was warm enough for it to thrive when we planted it in April but it is taking over everything in the bed now. The plant is too large and threatens to overcome some of the tomatoes. I ate our first tomatillo today and while it was tasty, I will not give one a spot in this raised bed again next year. If we like it, and it proves to be popular at the market, then I have another spot in mind for it where it can take over without threatening other plants.

I can't believe summer is almost over but luckily in San Diego our warm season extends into what many across the country consider fall so we'll be basking in tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers that we planted in July for another couple months. 

To recap; this is what the largest raised bed and front garden looked like 3 months ago
And this is how it looks today
"Three months!? We still haven't attracted any real food, like squirrels!"
Gidget may not be happy but overall, I am very happy about the progress
Here's a view of the north west corner from 3 months ago
And here it is today
"It pains me, but I have to agree with Gidget. What is with all the massive plants, and where is the real food?"
So now that the warm season is spectacular, and we have a couple more months, it is time to start some of the fall seeds. The last time I wrote about the upcoming season change, I told you I ordered our fall seeds from Botanical Interests and Seed Savers Exchange.

Our fall seeds
Somehow I didn't order any cauliflower seeds but I meant to because I want to get them started now, along with some cabbage and broccoli seeds so they are ready to go in when the most mature of our current tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are ready to come out. These are the 3 crops that we will grow in the fall that will need the longest fall season. I will have to buy some cauliflower seeds from the nursery, most likely the Seeds of Change brand.
Cabbage and broccoli that I will start in 4.5 inch pots now to transplant in a month or so
Many of the other seeds will need to be started in just a few weeks. Some of them will wait till October. 

It is fun to look forward to eating a luscious watermelon in a couple weeks and to the cabbage plants that we'll be harvesting months from now at the same time
A beautiful spider web from last night
I didn't mention how beneficial spiders are to the garden yesterday when I wrote about insect management but I thought I should, especially after seeing this amazing web last night. Spiders will eat many of the destructive insects that want to feast on your plants.

This rose is glorious today. 
The roses will bloom from March until Christmas. Even though they are prone to fungus and other problems, it is worth having a beautifully scented sidewalk in front of Gidget's Garden. It's so much fun to see how many people come by just to soak in in the fragrance.

The beautiful butterflies and months almost receive forgiveness for being so destructive as caterpillars. 
"I'm totally cute. What about a little love for me?"

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