Fall Is The New Spring

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!

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Soup season!

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.

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you like to eat. so do your plants!

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!

better to eat than go hungry!

Truck Farm!

a truck farm

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

summer solstice!

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!

Onward and Upward

Finished

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.

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the Royal Wedding isn’t the only thing going on in the UK…

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.