This week I managed to do some much needed cleanup in the cold frame beds, and get a few more things planted for fall. The beds had been mostly neglected the last few weeks while I dealt with other things, and I was anxious to take care of them. The basil growing in one bed was blooming, flopping all over the place, and needed cutting back. I took the opportunity to harvest some for drying at the same time. I didn’t cut it back as far as I sometimes do because I wanted to leave some for a batch of pesto later on. But I got rid of the blooms and cut it back enough it should respond with new growth.
I picked the choicest leaves and branches for drying, and the rest wound up on the compost pile. I had a nice Tubtrug full when I was finished, and that is now drying in the dehydrator. I also found room in the bed for a few Slobolt lettuce plants. Hopefully they will size up before the basil regrows and starts taking over the bed again. Below is a side view after the cleanup. That’s radishes growing in the bed next to the basil (top of photo).
After I finished that, it was off to the next bed which had celery and weeds growing in it. I had decided the Giant Red celery was a little too strong tasting for me, plus it made fairly thin and stringy stalks. So I decided to pull it (and the weeds) up and make room for some kohlrabi plants. I’d rather have nice tender kohlrabi than a tough stringy celery anyway. I left the green Tango celery which makes thick green stalks and usually does well here.
I had room enough to set out some kohlrabi on one side of the celery, and the rest of the Slobolt lettuce on the other side. Then I mulched the plants with shredded paper. It’s hard to tell from the below photo but I got a dozen kohlrabi plants and six lettuce plants in the bed along with the four celery plants. That’s not a whole lot of celery but it will be nice to have once it sizes up a bit more. I’ve already cut a few of the outer stalks when we needed some.
I also managed to start thinning the radishes and carrots, before my back and knees told me it was time to quit for the day. I’ll finish that task later. Below is a shot of the beds where I have the carrots, radishes, basil, celery, kohlrabi, lettuce and kale growing. They are all lined up down one side of the greenhouse, where they get morning sun and afternoon shade. Each bed is about four feet square, though the one with carrots in it is a tad bigger. Most of these beds have something growing in them year round.
I planted the bed with kale last week, and it is already taking off and growing nicely. That’s Red Ursa in the below photo, and I also have Beedy’s Camden growing there too. I hope to be able to overwinter this kale and collect seeds from the Beedy’s Camden.
The last task I got done was sowing some turnips. They are in the bed where potatoes grew earlier this year. Most of that bed is sowed with a buckwheat cover crop, plus I have some lemongrass and lemon verbena in the ground at the far end. They aren’t hardy here but they will make lots of leaves for tea until the frost gets them. I may dig up one of the lemongrass plants and stick it in a container for winter use. The turnips are white salad types like Hakurei and Oasis, plus the red-skinned Tsugaru Scarlet I grew last year. I’m trying one new Italian heirloom variety called Mezza Lunga Bianca Colletto Viola. That is way too much name to remember! According to Seeds From Italy it translates to ‘half length, white with purple neck’.
Next on my gardening to-do list is some cleanup in the main garden area. I hope to get that done tomorrow, before some forecast rain moves in.