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Fall Crops

November 9th, 2017

Our temperatures are finally getting down in to the twenties, this Friday night it’s supposed to be in the teens. With the persephone period at hand, crops aren’t growing any more, just sustaining. That means it’s time to harvest various crops that can be affected by the cold weathers. The day before yesterday I harvested lots of things: cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, and fennel. The lemongrass will be harvested today, along with a few other greens.

I’m amazed at how well my fall crops produced this year. If I had planted them a month before I did, they would have done much better, but overall I’m quite pleased. The cauliflower is the size of a small cantaloupe, the broccoli has headed up nicely. The fennel is small, but tender. The butterhead lettuces produced nice small heads, the spinach is perfect for harvest. Overall, I’m very happy with my fall harvest. Each year I get better and better with gardening throughout the seasons. Succession planting is becoming easier and easier.

What are you harvesting this week from the garden?

Transplanting Brassicas

May 10th, 2017

This year I’m trying to keep better track of how long things need under the grow lights. Brassicas are one of those things that germinates and grows very quickly, that means they are very efficient when it comes to grow light usage. Since they can take cold temperatures, they can be put outside very early on, sometimes they never need grow light space. These brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts), were ready in four weeks.

In fact, I could have transplanted them a week or two ago but I didn’t have the fence up around the garden (and those wild turkeys LOVE brassica seedlings). I’m hoping to build myself a cold frame this summer, which will allow me to not have to put any brassicas under the grow lights. I’m always looking to maximize the light real estate I have, any plants that can take the cold are moved to make way for tomatoes and flowers, which aren’t able to take any amount of frost.

What are you transplanting this week?

Bountiful Broccoli

July 8th, 2015

I’ve been growing broccoli for many years, always growing different varieties and seeding them every couple weeks to extend the harvest. Yet I always seem to end up with all my broccoli coming on at the same time. This year, I was intrigued by the ‘All Season Blend’ broccoli from Renee’s Garden. There are three different varieties in one see packet, perfect for those of us who don’t want to buy three different packets and for those of us that don’t want to be seeding broccoli every three weeks for two months.
Renees garden broccoli
Here you can see the three varieties as they currently stand in my garden. I’m harvesting the first variety now, the second will be ready just as I’ve finished with the first, and there are a few of the late seasons that are just starting to show tiny heads.
broccoli 1 (1)
broccoli 3
broccoli 2 (1)
Overall, I’m extremely satisfied with this seed. I’ll be adding it to my must buy list from Renee’s every year (along with ‘Catalina’ spinach). I just seeded more for a fall crop and I expect to have the same success with them as well.

Do you grow broccoli? Do you try to plant in succession or grow different varieties for a longer harvest?

Mixing Edibles and Ornamentals

May 27th, 2009

I’ve been trying to mix my edible plants in with my ornamental plants because I’ve been reading that it’s a good way to deter pests. Not to mention I don’t have much edible gardening space so it’s nice to tuck them in here and there in my flowerbeds where I have an empty spot.
As you can see in this photo, I have a pink peony blooming with some catmint blooming in front of it. In the background you can see a pea climbing up the small trellis.
These are the only peas in the garden that the deer didn’t find, so I guess my plan is working. In front of the catmint I have cabbages & broccoli planted. It’s the only cabbage & broccoli that doesn’t have cabbage loopers on it and that they wildlife hasn’t nibbled.
Not only have I had great success with mixing my edible in my flower beds, I really like the combination. I love the way cabbages look when tucked in among other things. I think I’m going to be doing more and more of this.

What about you, any edibles in your ornamental beds?

Around the Garden

May 17th, 2009

So what’s going on around the garden here at Chiot’s Run?
I expanded the flower bed up front to accommodate a dwarf cherry tree I planted last year. I was going to move a few cat mint plants to the new garden area, but I decided to plant some of my broccoli & cabbage plants there since I’m out of room in the raised beds out back.
My new batch of lettuce and arugula is growing nicely, I harvested a little for a salad for diner last night. We’ve really been enjoying the salad season this spring.
The garlic is doing incredibly well, I’m very excited to harvest some. As you can see, some of it is about 3 feet tall! Unfortunately the deer ate my peas, so no peas for us this spring. I think if I want peas I’m going to have to grow them in containers on my front porch, or put up a really tall fence.

How’s everyone’s garden growing so far this spring?


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.