Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Garden Update #26

Monday, September 29, 2008

Garden Update #26

The weather here in Mid-Missouri is starting to feel more fall-like, which I suppose shouldn't surprise any of us since it is already almost October. Man the time flies.

The garden updates are likely going to start getting shorter as in not too long, we will only reporting on the indoor winter garden. The pepper plants are trying their hardest to produce another round of peppers before seasons end, and I hope they succeed. Any peppers on the plants at this point will stay on there until they've ripened so we can save their seeds - and we also enjoy ripe, hot peppers. We have finally decided who "made the cut" and will be coming in over the winter - we will be bringing in the poblano, cayenne, jalapeno, and second year serrano. All the other plants will be "disposed of" and their pots will be put to use for the indoor container garden and, of course, next year's garden. But, I would expect that we will still have about a month of container gardening left. We're going to have to start keeping an eye on the weather to keep up on any freeze advisories that way we can bring all the plants inside if need be.

Onto the pictures. Some of them might not be so great. It is hard to get good lighting sometimes.

Banana pepper.

A bloom on the cayenne plant. There are so many! This plant has really been prolific, we love it!

The chocolate bell pepper. This plant has really not been prolific. This is only the second pepper it produced, it only got big enough, or so it seems, to produce one pepper at a time. We will not be growing them again next year.

The New Mexican Chile. It doesn't seem to be getting any bigger, so hopefully it will start to ripen soon.

The petite bell pepper. As much as the plant has produced, it hasn't really been much in the grand scheme of things. Sure it has produced tons of peppers, tons, but they are all so small it takes a lot to really be able to cook with them. I think we'll try another variety next year.

A poblano pepper! We now have two peppers on the plant.

The regular bell peppers. The lower one is almost completely ripe, wahoo!

Serexican Chiles.

A couple pictures of the serranos. This plant has about 6 or so chiles on it right now.

We've had a bit of progress and a little back pedaling with the indoor winter garden - nothing that can't be dealt with though. Let's start with the bad news. The mini-bells met their maker. For some reason, they never stood up, but we held out hope that with various tactics, we could coax them in to standing up. That didn't work. Then, a kitty decided to knock over the plant stand it was one, and that was the end of it. I still have some mini-bell seeds, so when space opens up in the hothouses, I will be starting those.

Our second basil and catnip plants died as well. We didn't have enough hothouse space for all four plants, so we had one of each out "in the elements" and one of each in the hothouses. Well, we know how that experiment turned out. I think we are going to get a few more containers to use as hothouses. We have quite a few things in backlog waiting to start, but don't want to rush the plants out of the hothouses.

We are still waiting to start: more mini-bells, a second round of catnip and basil, cilantro, kale, chard, and spinach (if the seeds ever arrive). We'll be starting some baby greens at the end of October, but won't need a hothouse for them. I think the basil and catnip should be ready to come out of the hothouses in a couple of weeks. We are really itching to get the chard and kale started though and we need the ability to have more than two things starting at a time. It wasn't so bad with the peppers as they weren't already in their "final" containers, they were in small containers waiting to be transplanted. When you are growing herbs and greens, you generally sow the seeds directly into the container they will be growing in. I think we just need to get a couple more containers.

In terms of progress, the wheat/barley/oat grass blend for the cats is doing quite well, so well in fact that the cats are now free to nibble on it.

The cherry bomb peppers are getting larger, and the tomatillo starts seem to be making a comeback. We put them back in the window and leaned them up against the frame and they are really looking nice, with more color and lots of new growth.

The transplanted peppers seem to be taking to their home quite well. Even the ailing jalapeno plant is showing signs of improvement. We want to wait until the plants are quite a bit larger before we introduce them to their permanent environment. We want them to be big enough to take a little bit of love from the kitties.

We transplanted the One Ball squash this weekend (which, besides going to the farmer's market, is the only thing of note I did, me and the chair hung out quite a bit) and they seem to be doing well too. They are already reaching for the top of the container to find sunlight. I had feared they would just shrivel up and die, but so far, so good. We'll see how they do.

I didn't get any pictures of the tea garden at work, I've been sick (luckily finally starting to feel a bit better), and wasn't at work on Friday. I actually hope that it is still alive, I missed work again today, so it will have been four days since the starts received water. They are quite vulnerable to dryness. I'll just have to hope they are alright, not much I can do right now.

Enough of my yammering, on to the pictures.

The beginnings of a microclimate. There will be peppers and greens flanking the squash as well, once they are big enough.

The newly transplanted One Ball Squash.

Kitty fodder.



The two cayenne plants.

Cherry bomb peppers and tomatillos.

Cherry bombs.


The two jalapeno plants.

I will get my first installment of my monthly Unplug Yourself update tomorrow, though it may not be until the evening.

'Til next time.


VeggieGirl said...

Fascinating garden update, as always!!

Bianca said...

So how do you keep your kitties out of your indoor garden? I'd love to try growing things indoors, but my cats would pee in, eat, vomit in, and totally destroy any living plant in my it possible to have plants with six cats?

Beany said...

Good to know what the weather is like. Southern Indiana today was in the mid 90s as was Southern Ohio last week. Hoping the weather doesn't change too much this month so I can make it through the state.

I love the pepper pictures, they look delicious!

VeganCowGirl said...

Your peppers look amazingly colourful - so rich! I adore your little microclimate! So cute.

jessy said...

our pepper plants are trying to produce again, too! i hope they all succeed! :) that stinks on the mini-bells! our kitties like to knock over plants as well! they just rub up on everything and they're so big the tip stuff. grrrrrr! i've got my fingers crossed for your next round of catniup & basil! sounds like you've got a lot of progress with a lot of your indoor goodies, though - i love the idea of baby greens. mmmmmmm! perhaps dan & i will try and start some arugula. i love that stuff so much!

glad you're feeling a little better, Jennifer! i look forward to another Unplug update! yay!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Veggie Girl - Thank you.

Bianca - Blind faith that they will do the right thing. ;-) No, really, that is what the wheatgrass, other grass blend, and catnip are for. We figured we can't discipline them into leaving the plants alone - they'll just go after them when we are sleeping/not home, so we decided to try to distract them. So far it is working, but we'll see.

Six cats? I'm not sure.....

Beany - If you want an "up-to-date" weather forcast for Missouri when you are closer, you can always email me. The weather here changes so often. Last week it seemed like we were having an Indian summer, it was downright warm, and this week I am busting out the sweaters.

I've really been enjoying following your bike journey, can't wait to here about Ohio!

Thank you.

Vegan Cow Girl - They are nice and colorful. I personally am quite fond of the color green in its various shades.

Haha, thanks about the microclimate, it will be a lot more "filled in" in the coming weeks.

Jessy - Wahoo for the peppers on the rebound. Isn't it exciting. Yeah, I was a little sad about the mini-bells, I'm always sad when plants die. But I have more seed, so hopefully I can get them going soon.

Thanks, we have had quite a bit of progress. The baby greens are what Brett and I are most confident about getting to actually produce this winter.

You should start some arugula!

Thank you, each day I feel a little better.

I'm on the permculture post, it will be up tonight.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

I'm so curious about the one ball squash... So basically it is a small round zucchini, isn't it? I wonder if I could get some seeds... And maybe I could plant some spinach, since it's so difficult to find in the market...
This might be a good project to relax a bit.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Alice - It is like a round golden zucchini, yes. There are also "Eight Ball Squash" which is like a round "regular" zucchini. Apparently they are really prolific and fruit sets on every flower. Not sure about that one - especially growing them inside, but we'll see.

I know that Park Seed sells them, not sure about international shipping, but you could check it out.

Spinach would be a great thing to grow - it is cold and shade tolerant (though it does like the sun). I am trying to grow that inside this winter too - that is if our organic seeds will ever arrive. They have been back ordered for a month or more!

It is relaxing, I love it. My routine when I first get home from work is to get in to my "comfy clothes" (work clothes suck), and then make a beeline for the indoor plants. How are they doing? Do they need water? Have the aphids gotten to them? It is a great way to wind down.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering how you managed to keep your kitties out of your plants! Mystery solved!

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