As the autumnal equinox arrives and most people are prepping to put their gardens to bed for a long winter’s nap, I am sorting through my seed packets deciding which cool weather-loving herbs and veggies I want to plant for my late fall harvest. Here in Brooklyn, unlike the rest of New York, we are considered zone 7 so people forget that there are quite a few edible plants that will fare very well in cool if not cold weather. In fact, last winter I had arugula that popped up in the middle of January. No sh*t. So planting now, whether from seed or seedling is actually a great and feasible idea.
Frequently planted herbs such as basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, chives and parsley should still be kicking so if you already have these established they should last into the winter. If not, planting an herb bed or container garden will give you lush fresh ingredients for fall soups and upcoming holiday meals. And most of these herbs will come back in the spring as they are essentially perennials. This will save you the trouble of planting again once the winter breaks.
Additionally, now would be the time to pull all the lingering summer stuff out and sow a variety of veggies that thrive is cool weather. Since the temperature has dropped about 10 degrees in the last few weeks, my lettuce has perked right up, is growing at a rapid rate and looking happier than ever. I just pulled my sad tomato plants out and sprinkled a variety of lettuce seeds in the now empty pots so I will have a crop clear until the first heavy frost (and sometimes beyond if I’m diligent about covering the pots overnight).
Other hardy veggies that can go in now and leave you reaping the rewards throughout the fall are watercress, chard, kale, spinach (pretty much any leafy green veg), and peppers. So get back in that dirt and get to planting. You’ll feel pretty satisfied when you’re eating fresh-from-the-garden sides and salads at Thanksgiving dinner. Happy Equinox!
As the equinox bears down upon us and the leaves start to turn, my appetite craves anything of the soup variety. The Classic Lentil stew is my most favorite soup from my vegan cookbook and even carnivores would agree it’s wholly satisfying. I do a few tweaks. I use an entire bunch of parsley since saving it is pointless for me and the juice of half a lemon. I also use a 28 oz can of tomatoes since I like it a bit more tomatoey. I like to make my own stock because it’s easy, fast, cheap and ends up tasting to your preference. I find a lot of store bought stocks and broths are too “carroty” and therefore too sweet. I like mine celery and onion based, heavy on the bay leaf. Oh, and salt to taste. The recipe isn’t salty enough for me. And I also suggest cooking it longer; until the potatoes are almost melting. Adding a tablespoon of sugar doesn’t hurt either if you want to cut the tomato acidity.
a little plant food goes a long way!
add just a little plant food into your watering routine for both indoors & out you will see great results!
disclaimer: i do not suggest using plant food on herb/vegetables or anything you may end up eating.
some quick suggestions:
ozmocote: great for out door planting bed, it’s a time release fertilizer
dynagro: great for indoor house plants, window boxes use each time you water april through october
hollytone: is super for acid loving plants like those evergreens
rosetone: well, clearly it is for roses!
dynabloom: this is a great food for orchid plants… which aren’t so hard
if you have something lying around, under the kitchen sink use it!
This truck is always parked in my neighborhood. I tried to go to the website but it was blacked out so I just googled the words “wicked delicate”. I guess they’re a Brooklyn-based production company and there are a few shorts on youtube about the truck farm itself. Check it out. http://www.youtube.com/user/wickedelicate
on this first day of summer… remember to water your garden! watering in the morning is best if you can but better to water than not at all. watering your garden in the evening is sort of like taking a shower, not drying off and crawling into bed… and that is sort of, well… eeewwwww. so get up, grab a coffee, get out and water!
I finally decided to renovate my little plot at the new apartment. Since we’ve moved in I’ve just had all my plants in pots sitting on top of pavers which lined the floor of the garden “bed”. I’m not sure whose idea this was, whether the landlord or previous tenant but I’m guessing it may have been an attempt to keep the shoots from the nearby tree from taking over. They weren’t really effective in that manner since the shoots were popping up in between every paver. Anyway, I removed all the paver under which was some sort of filter cloth which i also removed and lo and behold there was some pretty nice dirt under there with earthworms galore. I bought about 20 bags of topsoil and compost to fill it out and planted my existing plants into the bed, leaving room for annuals and maybe a few more flowering perennials. It’s still a mess out there but here are a few photos documenting the process.
Our UK correspondent Mia has sent along a photo update about the progress in her garden…
Hi it is Mia.
I have just potted my plants this one as you can see is my corn it grows very tall. First I put soil in the pot after that I took out the plant and put it in to the other pot and made a hole in the soil and put the plant in it and then cover it up so you can’t see anything. After you have done that you have to water them.
As it turns out, that big ole tree in my new backyard is, well, dead. So there goes the shaded garden. Now I will be plagued with bird crap and broken branches all the live long day. Not to mention the threat of the thing falling over into my bedroom. Sigh. In other news, here’s some new pics of the ever-developing garden.
ok… i don’t mean the birds, though it is spring and while visiting NC there was an abundance of birds out and about. i’ve created a mini slideshow of my road trip to NC with a stop by LA Reynolds Garden Center, The Greensboro Farmers Market & Mama Quade’s house where I have been spoiled with warm temps and beautiful spring blooms!
now back to the birds… did you know we’re tweeting??
follow us @3girlsandagrdn see you around the twitterverse…
Here in Brooklyn I’ve been spoiled for the last three years with my south facing, relatively unencumbered, sunny garden. I’ve easily been able to grow vegetables and herbs and even an occasional fruit. But now, settled in the new place I realize there is a monster of a tree that will eventually blanket my yard with shade. Some typical shade-loving perennials are hosta, ferns, brunia, hellebore, heuchera and hydrangea just to name a few. They are all pretty hardy and should come back each year depending on variety although i’ve found some ferns can’t take the cold winters up here and never rear their fronds again. You should choose some shrubs and perennials for depth and texture and then add annuals for color and tone. Here are some great annuals for shade: Impatiens which will fare well all season long. Coleus which comes in so many amazingly colorful varieties nowadays. The Polka-dot plant is just plain cool and gets pretty tall. Ipomea aka sweet potato vine is perfect for container plantings. Lobelia is a cute and delicate flower that is great for borders. And of course the ever-classic pansy or it’s little sister, viola, can be used to fill a window box.
I admit I planned on documenting the transplant of some of my old plants to the new apartment but I was so distracted and busy by the move I shirked my duties. Mea culpa. Here are some pictures of the current garden. A few are new additions but mostly old pals I couldn’t bear to part with. It’s no where near complete but it is only April so there’s still time. On a side note, my computer display is broken so I don’t really know how this final draft is going to look. Here’s to hoping!