October 18, 2022 at 3:20 pm #36885
We haven't had a killing frost yet, but plant growth has slowed way down, so we cleaned up the garden this morning, except for the brussels sprouts. They were another fail this year, none are bigger than an inch diameter. Also, the fences are put away, so the deer will find and eat them. We are still picking raspberries, but getting only a couple of cups every 3-4 days now. The Brandywine tomatoes we picked 2 weeks ago have ripened on the kitchen counter, but I don't like them. The wrinkly growth makes them a challenge to slice or cut up, and the flavor is poor compared to the other varieties we grow. I won't grow them again. Spinach, lettuces, and onions are still growing in planters on the deck. We had BSTs for lunch (spinach) that were OK. Herbs are growing in the sunroom, and I will soon start new herbs in the Aerogarden and lettuces in planters under the grow lights.October 18, 2022 at 4:09 pm #36888
Our garden got zapped last night, everything is all limp now.
I've got the Aerogarden cleaned up and just about ready to plant.
I'm waiting to find out what the frizzy lettuce that my wife brought home from the hydroponics lab last week is, I think I might try growing some of that, along with some dwarf snow peas, in one side of the Aerogarden. (It apparently isn't frisee/endive, and it doesn't appear to be bitter like most of the chicory family is.)
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.October 18, 2022 at 5:52 pm #36891
I haven't grown brandywine tomatoes for several years. IMHO, they need HOT weather to be flavorful, so you need to get them started as soon as possible so they can set fruit before the hot weather arrives, because they won't set much fruit during the hot part of the summer. In August they're pretty good, but after early September, they're more bland and other varieties are better for after the cooler weather sets in.
Also, they crack a lot and you wind up cutting the shoulders off. I think they're harder to peel, too.October 18, 2022 at 9:33 pm #36896BakerAuntParticipant
No killing frost has hit our garden yet, but one of the local farmers market vendors, who is about 10 miles away had a freeze that destroyed a lot of their crops. Our weather has fluctuated rather than gradually cooled, so that was hard on the plants.
My husband brought in the rest of the green tomatoes. We will see if they ripen in the area where we have the woodstove. They certainly were not ripening on the vines! He picked all but two of the squashes, leaving one honey nut and one from the aberrant honey nut seed that produced the large, more butternut variety. We are hoping they will get closer to ripening before they must be picked.October 20, 2022 at 6:13 pm #36914
We had a frost last night, 10/20; our average frost date is 10/15. All we have left in the garden is Brussels sprouts, and on the deck are onions in planters. We have another 2-3 nights of frost in the forecasts, so after that I will cut down the sprouts. I'll probably leave the onions til then also, and then pull up and leave in the sun to cure for a few days. I've been pulling them as needed for the past few months.October 20, 2022 at 10:24 pm #36919
The only vegetables we still have outside are some leeks we planted in a pot, I may pull them this weekend. Some of the flowers still look like they're blooming, but I don't think they're annuals. The rosemary pot is in the garage, I'll move it inside soon, I'm waiting to make sure there aren't a lot of bugs on it.
I read an article online recently on how to keep rosemary alive indoors, one of the things they suggested for powdery mildew (which it had a major case of last spring just before we took it outside for the summer) is to have a fan on it to keep the plant less humid. I may set up a small fan on a timer in that bedroom, if it runs an hour or two a day that's probably plenty.October 21, 2022 at 9:29 am #36920BakerAuntParticipant
We had the short freeze on overnight Wednesday. My husband had brought in all the squash, even though there is still a lot of green in one of the big ones. I do not know if it will ripen on the enclosed porch. He missed one of the green tomatoes, and it froze. He covered the bell peppers to protect them. Our temperatures are supposed to soar into the 70s this weekend, so maybe they will get some sun and turn red.
The cherry tomato plant in its pot has been brough in and still has some tomatoes. The green onion pot is also on the enclosed porch.
My husband is trying to start some spinach on the porch. We will see if it germinates and thrives.
I am making a note about using a fan with rosemary, Mike. I have never been able to keep a plant going for very long in the house.October 21, 2022 at 10:33 am #36923
We bought a big rosemary pot at Costco a couple of years ago and have managed to keep it going through at least one winter, usually taking it outside in June once the danger of frost is past, then bringing it back inside in late September or early October ahead of the first forecasted frost.
We keep it in a south-facing bedroom window in the winter and try to make sure it is watered every week or two. I think the main reasons we've lost rosemary plants over the winter in the past is because they weren't getting enough sun and because they were either over-watered or under-watered, more likely the latter due to being forgotten about.
We did transplant it into a bigger pot soon after we bought it and it has flourished well both indoors and on the back patio.
I think my wife's sister still has a big rosemary plant that she's kept going for a long time, but she's a much more serious gardener than either of us, and has even published a book on gardening in hot weather.October 21, 2022 at 12:29 pm #36924skeptic7Participant
When I lived in an apartment, I kept a rosemary in a pot for three or four years. When I got a house I planted it outside on the South Side of the house. The house is in northern Virginia and it did well enough outside for a number of years in that location. Other rosemary plants -- children of the original were planted on the east side of the house and tended to die back during cold winters.October 21, 2022 at 1:43 pm #36925
I found out what type of lettuce the curly lettuce my wife got from the hydroponics teacher at UNL was (picture upthread):
Salanova® Hydroponic Green Sweet Crisp, available at Johnny's Seeds.
It does not appear to keep in the refrigerator well, it wilted faster than UK Prime Minister Liz Truss (who was compared to a head of lettuce by the British press--the lettuce won.)
I've ordered a small amount (25 seeds for $6.70 plus shipping) of them to test in the Aerogarden, along with some hydroponic-ready butter crunch lettuce and some snow peas.October 21, 2022 at 2:21 pm #36926
I was able to grow spinach in the Aerogarden, but unlike leaf lettuce it does not seem to work well with the 'thin and return' method, you get one or maybe a few pickings of leaves but that's about it.
If I wanted to grow spinach on a regular basis, I'd probably set up a different type of hydroponics garden, one designed to grow a crop and be replanted as it is harvested. That would probably work better for head lettuce too, the spacing of the pods in the Aerogarden is too close together for head lettuce, they need to be 6-10 inches apart.
Spinach should grow in a greenhouse environment during the winter, and it actually grows better at cooler temperatures, so your covered porch might work if it gets enough sun and doesn't get TOO cold.
If I was redesigning our house, I think I'd plan on a solarium or greenhouse coming off the first floor guest bedroom, the front of the house faces south so there's really no good place for a greenhouse behind the house.
As it is, the south third or so of the bedroom has been where my wife keeps some of her plants and where we had the Aerogarden at first, so unless someone's staying in that room it comes close to being a solarium anyway. But having a separate room would make it easier to manage and more convenient for someone staying in that room, having the window shades up and/or grow lights that come on at dawn makes it hard to keep the room dark for sleeping.
We moved the Aerogarden downstairs because having it in a south-facing window meant it was getting too hot at times. Now it is in the NE corner of our walk-out basement.October 28, 2022 at 3:36 pm #36996
The vegetable garden has been cleaned out sufficiently for the winter. In the spring I'll move the cages, pull up the ground cloth, till in some peat for fertilizer and probably more gypsum and then put things back together again before planting.
I also started a new set of Aerogardens today, 9 leaf lettuce, 12 head lettuce (pelletized) and 3 pea pods.
Thinking ahead to 2023, I may do about the same mix of tomatoes as this year, will likely do white eggplant again, but maybe not the purple ones, not very good yield from them. If I do melon they'll likely be Athena or Kandy, we like those better. I might do a spaghetti squash, that's not something I've grown before.October 28, 2022 at 5:51 pm #37001
We ate spinach and onions from our deck planters today. A low temp of 22* is predicted for tonight, so I covered the spinach with a sheet folded in half. Lows in the 40s are predicted for the next week or so. The spinach does grow back after I cut the bigger leaves, but it's slow so we get a meal only about every 10 days. I have eaten garden spinach in several past years with Thanksgiving dinner. Today my husband picked 4 bushels of apples (drops) to make cider this weekend. He got Empires, Cortland, and Northern Spy, which is our usual combo of sweet, tart, and tannic.November 12, 2022 at 5:20 pm #37138
When I replanted the Aerogarden two weeks ago, I started three pea pods. One of them is doing fine, I replaced the other two last weekend because both had developed a white mold, which is fairly common, especially with legumes, and is called 'damping off'. One of the retries seems to be doing OK, the other had damping off issues again, so I'm trying it a third time, but am pre-soaking the seed in a small container using a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide, which is supposed to help with damping off mold issues on seedlings. I don't see any sign of the mold on the 21 lettuce plants, so it doesn't seem to have spread to the rest of the garden.
Next Thursday is the open house for the UNL hydroponics class, I'm looking forward to seeing how their gardens are growing, and I've got a few more questions to ask them this year. I may take some pictures as well.
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