Saturday Gardening Thread: Otherworldly Plants [KT]

Misswillmott.jpg

Hello, gardeners and friends of gardeners. Hope today's gardening thread will help get you tuned in to the Halloween spirit, one way or another. We have a ghostly legend, some Halloween veggies (Halloween veggies?) and other timely information.

First, our real-life ghost. The plant shown above is known as "Miss Willmott's Ghost". The very rich, elegant Miss Willmott is reputed to have scattered seeds of this plant, Eryngium giganteum, in other peoples' gardens. The essay about her life from The Independent is interesting. Though this obsessive plant collector was blessed with gobs of money from her parents and a godmother, she was not given much business sense. She ended up broke. Not much is left of her gardens in England, France and Italy.

Her name remains in the scientific names of several plants and the name of her British estate, Warley, in others. And we still have Miss Willmott's Ghost.

The photo above is what Miss Willmott's Ghost looks like in less than full sun, at Sissinghurst. Take a look around the site at the link. Great information and photos from a Frustrated Gardener in the UK.

Miss Willmott's Ghost is usually a biennial, which means it blooms the year after the seeds start to grow. Sometimes it doesn't bloom until the third year. But it never blooms more than once. It self-seeds easily, so you can have blooms every year if you want them, though. Or maybe even if you don't want them. Don't know that everyone appreciated Miss Willmott sowing seeds in their gardens.

Some of our favorite nursery plants are biennials. Here's a little pep talk on biennials from The Telegraph:

If we could create our ideal seed-sowing conditions we would specify minimal drama: no treacherous warm spells followed by sudden and shocking frosts, no need to hover with heaters and horticultural fleece, no mass moving of seedlings in and out of shelter day and night. Almost precisely the opposite of the springtime conditions in which we do most sowing, in other words.

. . . Annuals dice with the edge of winter and spring because they need to germinate, flower and go to seed all in one year. Biennials do the same stuff over two years, allowing us a little slack.

The photo above came via Louis the Plant Geek, in Brooklyn, who has a good rundown on growing Miss Willmott's Ghost in the USA, plus lots of interesting facts and several dramatic photos of the plant. He lists it as suitable for USDA hardiness zones 4-7. He recommends allowing this plant to self-sow among established plantings.

Eryngium-giganteum-071006-.jpg

Although it may not be suitable for the Southeast, Sunset rates this plant as suitable for the desert (as if more spiny plants are needed there) and all the way to the coast in the West. It accepts more regular water than some of the perennial Sea Hollies. It will be taller and more dramatic in rich soil with ample moisture, and there is a chance of floppiness especially in part shade. It may not make it where winter soil is soggy.

Here's a knockout duo if you're going for a cheery effect in a sunny spot, Echinacea and Miss Willmott's Ghost. The notes say that this low-maintenance combination is attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds and birds. Pest-free and disease-free. Drought and deer tolerant. Both flowers are good in cut arrangements.

miss willmottt.jpg

Miss Willmott's Ghost will collapse after it blooms, but the coneflower should keep blooming if deadheaded. You could keep the butterflies, birds and bouquets coming into fall by adding some robust annuals like Mourning Bride (Scabiosia) 'Black Cat' (or Back in Black), Cosmos 'Dazzler' and some dill.

blackcat.jpg

Vegetables for Halloween?

Once an uncle of mine offered scoops of mashed potatoes to young Halloween visitors when he ran out of candy, but I'm not suggesting that today. There may be some ways to have some fun with veggies on Halloween. Maybe even in the produce aisle if you are trying to decide what to grow in the garden next year.

Recognize this guy?

chitulu.jpg

Anybody grow any of the veggies that make up our friend there? I think that top one is celeriac. I tried growing that once. Got some leaves but no usable root as I recall. Anybody else have better luck with the veggies shown here?

Here's a novel use for eggplant, an Eggplant Skull.

16.-eggplant-skull.jpg

Paleo Halloween: Eggplant Impletata inspired by Bram Stoker's Dracula.

The intermediate steps in preparing this stuffed eggplant recipe include salting it and allowing "bitter juices" to exit the fruit. "Not much of an issue with small eggplants from my garden". More on this topic next week.

eggplant salt.JPGeggplant salt 2.JPG

Falling Leaves

Anybody need a little good luck? Maybe worried that a member of the mainstream media might have put a hex on you? You might try catching a falling leaf. On Halloween. Or on another day.

Autumn-Leaves-sunshine.jpg

Delving into the annals of folklore, I discovered that in Cheshire it was said that to catch a falling leaf before it hit the ground on Halloween night entitled the catcher to make a wish. However there are many other versions of this little piece of autumnal lore. Most commonly, in many areas, it is simply considered lucky to catch a falling autumn leaf, and certainly this was the version that I was familiar with as a child growing up in the 1970s in the North of England. . . .

We had some good comments and equipment recommendations for dealing with falling leaves last week in the comments. Pat* noted that hard-to-mulch Sycamore leaves keep falling until February sometimes. Gradual leaf fall does not seem to be Gordon's problem.

20171021_131942.jpg

Halloween Photos

Sherpa_K2 sent in some spooky flower photos:

black dahlia.jpg

holly2.jpg

Here's a clue to how he did them:

holly4.jpg

Gardens of The Horde

The smoke from the wild fires seem to have encouraged spider mites. Hosing off trees. We have pomegranates. Red Fuji apples are so-so this year. Pink Ladies will taste better a little later.

Anything going on in your garden?

I won't be around for comments until later today. Have fun while I'm gone.

If you would like to send information and/or photos for the Saturday Gardening Thread, the address is:

ktinthegarden
at g mail dot com

Include your nic unless you want to be a lurker.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:20 PM




Comments

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1 Good afternoon greentumbs, glad to be back

Posted by: Skip at October 28, 2017 12:20 PM (aC6Sd)

2 Getting quite cool in the morning here ( just breaking into the 30's) but still have pepper plants going, but nothing close to rippening in a week. Before frost prediction will cut off all the green peppers and bring them in. Had last serving of wax beens maybe a good week ago, for not costing a nickle for the seeds they were good.
All in all this year cucumbers and sweet peppers were a bust, tomatoes breaking even ( had help with a few volunteer plants) but Anaheims produced, shame I don't have them in a greenhouse because frost seems to be there only demise.

Posted by: Skip at October 28, 2017 12:28 PM (aC6Sd)

3 Also drained all the garden hoses and should bring them in, we are supposed to get heavy rain tomorrow and earlier cleaned out all gutters.

Posted by: Skip at October 28, 2017 12:35 PM (aC6Sd)

4 the grass is still growing here in SE Pa. With the bonus that the leaves are falling and fill the bag that much faster. peak leaf-fall about a week away

Posted by: Buzzsaw90 at October 28, 2017 12:36 PM (vChNs)

5 >>>Recognize this guy?

Pretty sure he was banned. Hope he's doing ok out there in benighted CA.

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at October 28, 2017 12:37 PM (/qEW2)

6 Went to Fresh Market yesterday in search of their excellent pumpkin pie. Of course they were sold out. However they did have a Frankenstein pumpkin: monster mold placed on gourd as it was growing to create the Frankenface. Pretty neat but they wanted 50 bucks for it.

Posted by: kallisto at October 28, 2017 12:43 PM (n6gcM)

7 Is there an english word for a nervous, unconvincing smile? Because we need Jeff Flake's picture next to it.

Posted by: BourbonChicken at October 28, 2017 12:48 PM (rnAwa)

8 yeah, cold here too ... 36 now, just got the first fire in the wood stove going. 26 tonight so bringing any freezable jugs inside (farm chemicals), draining hoses, things I could have done when it was 70 but naw. lol

My flower border has a lot of pink flowers now blooming ... not sure how well they will endure the cold, but so far so good. And all the purple top turnip seed I threw down mostly for erosion control produced a bumper crop ... they are good when they are golf ball size or a little bigger. Chop two or three into eggs or anything else I cook.

Guess I need to pick any remaining tomatoes before the hard freeze. But get some 60s again in a few days. cheers and happy Halloween to you guys and ghouls.

Posted by: illiniwek at October 28, 2017 12:50 PM (/aIFg)

9
Anybody else have better luck with the veggies shown here?

Carrots and celery on top shelf. No ID on the purple stuff. Must be the royalty of veggies. Out of my class.

Posted by: Headless Body of Agnew at October 28, 2017 12:53 PM (e1mEI)

10 Hard freeze overnight. All the green tomatoes are safely in the house and old blankets will be placed on the cold frames. 2 Nights in a row will see low 20s, then a slight warm up with lows in the mid 30s. Hope everyone is enjoying the waning of the daylight as the dark of winter nears.

Posted by: colfax mingo at October 28, 2017 12:55 PM (0n18S)

11 This week was my first attempt at making mayonnaise. I sharpened the blade in the food processor and cleaned and peeled some horseradish roots. It was a learning process, but I ended up using 4 egg yolks and melting and adding some lard because the canola oil I was using just wouldn't make it come together. The olive oil I had wasn't that good tasting, and since this was a spur of the moment decision anyway, I didn't want to make a store run ( orcspend any money on a chemistry experimment.) To make a long story short, I I ended up with almost a quart of creamy smooth horseradish mayonnaise that is, in my humble opinion, excellent. I guess you never know until you try. Next time should be quicker, but not necessarily any easier.

Posted by: bergerbilder at October 28, 2017 12:58 PM (lIZQs)

12 as we await the mueller lottery drawing to find out who will be stoned for the sin of hillary clinton losing the election, we are reminded of old man warner's bit of folk wisdom (as recounted by shirley jackson): "lottery in june, corn be heavy soon."

better late than never i guess.

Posted by: musical jolly chimp at October 28, 2017 01:05 PM (AxFdW)

13 ... actually, the response to the publication of "the lottery". one of the most famous american short stories, was at first negative. the new yorker was inundated with complaints and cancellationsd the author, shirley jackson, received hate mail.

Posted by: musical jolly chimp at October 28, 2017 01:09 PM (AxFdW)

14 Cursed be the ground for our sake. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for us. For out of the ground we were taken, for the dust we are...and to the dust we shall return.

Posted by: Insomniac - Just a Poor Boy, Nobody Loves Me at October 28, 2017 01:11 PM (NWiLs)

15 Anybody else have better luck with the veggies shown here?

Carrots and celery on top shelf. No ID on the purple stuff. Must be the royalty of veggies. Out of my class.
Posted by: Headless Body of Agnew at October 28, 2017 12:53 PM (e1mEI)

The purple stuff is raddichio. sp?

Posted by: CaliGirl at October 28, 2017 01:11 PM (Ri/rl)

16 This is OT but important -I noticed EMT that Skip said his cat likes to eat pumpkin donuts. Something I learned from experience with my cat--I let him eat refried beans when he was younger. Starches are very bad for cats. He became diabetic when he was 11 or12. He died before I realized what was going on. Very sad.

Posted by: Glenn John at October 28, 2017 01:14 PM (9ASZc)

17 I've struggled with Cover Crops for my garden.

I live in SE Indiana ... just across from Louisville. I've never put anything down over the winter that worked at all.

Any suggestions ?

Posted by: ScoggDog at October 28, 2017 01:19 PM (fiGNd)

18 I had a big tuxedo cat growing up that went absolutely apeshit over sour cream doughnuts. Could tell whether there was or was not a sour cream present in a closed box. He partook in many over his 22 year lifespan. But, then, tuxedo cats are Dutch, so they like their Olykoeks.

Posted by: Cat Ass Trophy at October 28, 2017 01:25 PM (BoMuO)

19 YOU GUYS! YOU GUYS! YOU GUYS! I have a (very small) gardening success story! I'm so proud, so i must tell you. Hang on . . . .

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 01:27 PM (UoSKV)

20 Cinnamon ( my only cat now )only got the crumbs, she likes baked goods but crumbs are her only treat.

Posted by: Skip at October 28, 2017 01:27 PM (aC6Sd)

21 Any suggestions ?



Snow.

Posted by: Cat Ass Trophy at October 28, 2017 01:28 PM (BoMuO)

22 Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 01:27 PM (UoSKV)

Hanging on ...

Posted by: ScoggDog at October 28, 2017 01:28 PM (fiGNd)

23 My mother gave me a small Christmas cactus about 7 or 8 years ago, I guess. It was in bloom when she gave it to me, but after that it became recalcitrant. I kept it in a corner in the kitchen where it got indirect light, for years. About 3 years ago, I got one (1) bloom on it. In July.

Last year in the spring, inspired by this gardening thread, I looked up how to care for it, and saw that I could keep it outside for the summer. So I did. It immediately grew long, luxurious whatever-they're-called (leaves? I guess).

I brought it in at the end of September and did what the directions told me, but never got any buds. Sigh.

. . . .

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 01:30 PM (UoSKV)

24 Snow.
Posted by: Cat Ass Trophy at October 28, 2017 01:28 PM (BoMuO)


And rocks. I seem to be good at growing rocks.

I've tried a couple cover crops - they just never take off. Maybe I'm planting at the wrong time.

Posted by: ScoggDog at October 28, 2017 01:30 PM (fiGNd)

25
They must be shaking down the cells for shivs.

Posted by: Ace Tractor Seat Supply at October 28, 2017 01:30 PM (ajiE5)

26 I brought it in at the end of September and did what the directions told me, but never got any buds. Sigh.

. . . .

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 01:30 PM (UoSKV)


The buds are the best part ... oh hell, you were talking about a cactus.

Never mind ...

Posted by: ScoggDog at October 28, 2017 01:31 PM (fiGNd)

27 So this year I toss it out on the deck again, and pretty much forgot about it. At the end of August, we had a big outside event and my son moved it to the far end of the deck, in a corner, by the stairs, and I honestly forgot it was even there.

Earlier this week, Mike Hammer made a comment about having to bring in some plant because there was a frost warning, and I thought, oh my goodness, my poor Christmas cactus is probably dead. So I ran out to the deck in the dark in my jammies and brought it in. Didn't even look at it, really.

. . . .

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 01:32 PM (UoSKV)

28
I've never had anything but success with my Christmas cactus. It thrives on my level of neglect. A little water every couple of months. Starts perking up in early December and blooms every year.

Posted by: Ace Tractor Seat Supply at October 28, 2017 01:33 PM (ajiE5)

29 I finally looked at it a couple of days ago, and it looked pretty bedraggled. Half of it had fallen off of something (probably those stupid tree rats, we have a million), but but BUT there were not one (1), but TWO (2) buds on the other part! Two! I doubled my previous record!

And today, they are both in glorious bloom. And they're corally colored. So I guess it's really a Halloween cactus. The end.

Oh, and Gordon, are you my husband? Because that picture of the leaves on the ground looks like my yard.

Fin.

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 01:35 PM (UoSKV)

30 I've never had anything but success with my Christmas cactus. It thrives on my level of neglect. A little water every couple of months. Starts perking up in early December and blooms every year.
Posted by: Ace Tractor Seat Supply at October 28, 2017 01:33 PM (ajiE5)
---------

See, this is what everyone says, but mine just sat there and taunted me for years. Years. Where do you keep it?

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 01:37 PM (UoSKV)

31 And rocks. I seem to be good at growing rocks.

I've tried a couple cover crops - they just never take off. Maybe I'm planting at the wrong time.
Posted by: ScoggDog at October 28, 2017 01:30 PM (fiGNd)

We do cover crops in between the rows of the grapes. I think it is some sort of grass blend.

We also plant oat hay in the winter and pray for rain. I'd have to ask but I think it's good for the ground to practice crop rotation and disc the cover crop in the ground.

Posted by: CaliGirl at October 28, 2017 01:39 PM (Ri/rl)

32 See, this is what everyone says, but mine just sat there and taunted me for years. Years. Where do you keep it?

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 01:37 PM (UoSKV)


In a cool-ish living room. North side of house. Lots of light but no direct sunshine.

Posted by: Ace Tractor Seat Supply at October 28, 2017 01:40 PM (ajiE5)

33 " live in SE Indiana ... just across from Louisville. I've never put anything down over the winter that worked at all.
Any suggestions ?

Posted by: ScoggDog

might be a little late to get anything to germinate. I'm thinking of something that provides benefits as well as just covers the ground. Peas or beans might put out some nitrogen, "tiller radish" iirc grow down and help "till the soil". Farmers do winter wheat that grows a little even under snow, or rye maybe or other things that would die off so you don't have to kill them in the spring.

You-Tube probably has great ideas ...

Posted by: illiniwek at October 28, 2017 01:42 PM (/aIFg)

34
We have not had the best of luck planting Eryngium varieties at our summer place. The flowers are striking and different, but the self-seededing and return in subsequent years has seldom lasted more than one additional year.

I recall reading somewhere that they are related to carrots.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) at October 28, 2017 01:43 PM (pNxlR)

35 In a cool-ish living room. North side of house. Lots of light but no direct sunshine.
Posted by: Ace Tractor Seat Supply at October 28, 2017 01:40 PM (ajiE5)
-----------

Thanks. That sounds kind of like the kitchen, where I kept mine, but maybe it prefers to move uptown to the living room. I'll try that.

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 01:44 PM (UoSKV)

36 I've picked what I imagine to be the last of the figs, I gave some to a restaraunt near me and I kept some.

I have a lot of pomegranates, so many I keep feeding them to the chickens.

My guy that works here has been busy on the ranch so I have cuts on my hands from pulling weeds. Oak leaves hurtl.
I need to start wearing gloves. I broke the hoe, the ground is so hard. I can't get the malba (sp?) without a shovel.

I'm only about a quarter finished in the orchard.

Posted by: CaliGirl at October 28, 2017 01:45 PM (Ri/rl)

37 bluebell in between teasing the horde with her story:

https://youtu.be/wlwnbcxBuzI

Posted by: Blanco Basura at October 28, 2017 01:45 PM (IcT7t)

38
I should have added that Eryngium varieties are commonly referred to as "Sea Holly" in catalogs.

We have been collecting seeds from two milkweed varieties in our yard this year and are gearing up to make some major seedling plantings in our beds next spring. I have had great luck getting areas established with them in years past.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) at October 28, 2017 01:48 PM (pNxlR)

39 Blanco, ha ha ha! Yeah, it probably wasn't very exciting to anyone else but me, but you have to understand that I possess the Black Thumb of Death when it comes to gardening. I even kill mint. Sad, I know.

CaliGirl, I can't believe you're feeding pomegranates to the chickens. We love them here and can only get them a short time, and they're expensive.

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 01:50 PM (UoSKV)

40 Love those photos! And may I say:

Cthulhu lives!!

Posted by: JTB at October 28, 2017 01:52 PM (V+03K)

41 One of the uncarved pumpkins on my front porch rotted. GROSS!!!! I wore gloves to clean it up. GROSS!!! Went to a farm stand this morning and got 6 dozen eggs, some zucchini, a small butternut squash, a few persimmons, and two pork chops. That should tell you how my garden is doing.

Posted by: lin-duh falling at October 28, 2017 01:53 PM (kufk0)

42
I have been doing some major rearrangement of our beds, primarily moving hostas from sunnier to shadier areas. Once the sunny spots are opened up, I will be moving our yucca plants and Red-Hot Pokers (Kniphofia uvaria) to the beds out front.

Our largest backyard bed is infested with thistle(s) and a relative of Morning Glory, primarily the former. It is going to get a major de-weeding workover next year.

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) at October 28, 2017 01:55 PM (pNxlR)

43 What is the half life of roundup? If I round up my garden will it be ok to plant in the spring?

Posted by: lin-duh falling at October 28, 2017 01:57 PM (kufk0)

44 Just read the linked story of Miss Willmott. Fascinating look into the world of a woman who had more money than sense. At least she created oases of beauty in three different countries when she was at peak production.

Posted by: kallisto at October 28, 2017 02:00 PM (qV5PD)

45 My friend/farmer guy hunts here and put down turnips (a biennial) one year in my deer food plots. They came up great with nice rains. The next year I had these wonderful yellow fields. but the weed pressure must be too great because they didn't keep coming (self-seeding) as I'd hoped.

They would come up where I scraped up some bare ground, so the seed was there, but apparently couldn't fight off the grasses and other weed competition. It's a jungle out there. ha wild carrot survives here and there ... not much "carrot" on them though, and not as pretty.

Posted by: illiniwek at October 28, 2017 02:00 PM (/aIFg)

46 39 Blanco, ha ha ha! Yeah, it probably wasn't very exciting to anyone else but me, but you have to understand that I possess the Black Thumb of Death when it comes to gardening. I even kill mint. Sad, I know.

CaliGirl, I can't believe you're feeding pomegranates to the chickens. We love them here and can only get them a short time, and they're expensive.

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 01:50 PM (UoSKV)


There is no way in hell that you've killed mint. It's unpossible. We have so much that we've purposely killed it, only to turn around and found it pointing and laughing at us.

Posted by: Tami at October 28, 2017 02:03 PM (Enq6K)

47 The leaf lettuce is still renewing itself, so there will be a bit more salad with the window sill tomatoes. The romaine seedlings that are left are haven't given up yet. The tomato volunteer is growing. But we are supposed to get the first really cold weather this week, so that may be the end. We'll see.

The romaine might not work Turns out the damn squirrels like to bury their acorns in the otherwise empty Earth Boxes. They have no qualms about displacing the seedlings.

Posted by: JTB at October 28, 2017 02:06 PM (V+03K)

48 There is no way in hell that you've killed mint. It's unpossible. We have so much that we've purposely killed it, only to turn around and found it pointing and laughing at us.
Posted by: Tami at October 28, 2017 02:03 PM (Enq6K)
----------

I know. Pathetic, isn't it? My husband obviously didn't marry me for my gardening skills. Or my housewifery skills. Good thing I can cook.

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 02:08 PM (UoSKV)

49 Much as I admire the artistry of the carved eggplant, part of me keeps yelling "You're wasting my baba ganoush!"

Posted by: JTB at October 28, 2017 02:09 PM (V+03K)

50 Ace sighting on a Saturday....

Posted by: Tami at October 28, 2017 02:10 PM (Enq6K)

51 Posted by: illiniwek at October 28, 2017 12:50

Your a bit south and west of us IIRC. We haven't had a frost here yet in N IL but it looks like tonight will be this fall's first one. Hope the cover on the VegTrug is enough to keep some things going until it warms up again.

Posted by: Farmer at October 28, 2017 02:13 PM (lfXAE)

52 Just spent two hours of futile leaf blowing and acorn raking on a breezy day. Also cleaned the gutters for the rain we are supposed to get tomorrow. Now to do a little work on the book of recipes!

Posted by: Weasel at October 28, 2017 02:14 PM (Sfs6o)

53 Weasel, I sent you something else so you can goof off a little before you get to the book of recipes.

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 02:16 PM (UoSKV)

54 53 Weasel, I sent you something else so you can goof off a little before you get to the book of recipes.
Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 02:16 PM (UoSKV)
-------
another pie??!!

Posted by: Weasel at October 28, 2017 02:17 PM (Sfs6o)

55 No! I mean, yes! In an email. You'll have to figure out how to reconstitute it on your own. I'm busy.

Posted by: bluebell at October 28, 2017 02:18 PM (UoSKV)

56 The poblano I brought in 2 weeks ago has dropped most of its blossoms, looks like it's not gonna make it. Oh well.

We've eaten the last of our 'windowsill tomatoes' (they were yummy!) and I forgot to plant the garlic. Probably too late for that now (?) but I can still cook with it.

This weekend is likely the last of our sunny days and mild temps, so... time to drain the hoses and shut off outside water.

Might need to mow just once more and then it'll be The Holiday Season.

If I have time, I'll put up Christmas lights while it's *nice* out! Just won't plug them in until after Thanksgiving.

Posted by: JQ at October 28, 2017 02:20 PM (yD/Pf)

57 There are two fields within walking distace with pumpkins, and noticed lots broken up. I hoped no one purposely destroyed them or deer got them. Maybe they rotted in place as well.

Posted by: Skip at October 28, 2017 02:22 PM (aC6Sd)

58 The damn internet connection keeps cutting out. GRRRRR! I'll post when I can.

Posted by: JTB at October 28, 2017 02:26 PM (V+03K)

59 Dang, last week I was all fired up about gardening. It was 80 degrees. Now, I realize no flowers can live through the winter here and I'll be damned if I'm going out there in 30 degree weather and trying to stick bulbs in the frozen tundra. Decided to unpack some of my artwork instead - some of it has flowers.

Posted by: Vince Foster at October 28, 2017 02:37 PM (14URa)

60 Milady:

"When you take vegetables off the plant, they start to rot.

"After you pluck fruit, they continue to ripen."

Me: Where did you pick up that handy definition?

Milady doesn't remember.

Thought I'd pass it along.

Posted by: mindful webworker's black thumb at October 28, 2017 02:49 PM (fBape)

61 "There is no way in hell that you've killed mint.
It's unpossible. We have so much that we've purposely killed it, only
to turn around and found it pointing and laughing at us.

Posted by: Tami

ha... good phrasing. I guess chemical warfare would work, but I like them enough that their persistence is almost enjoyable. Around here they mostly just crowd out other "weeds".

Posted by: illiniwek at October 28, 2017 03:19 PM (/aIFg)

62 I'm pretty sure I'm not married to you, Bluebell, although my wife is not so good at indoor gardening. That pile of leaves is just from the maple. The oaks to the north and the catawlpa to the south have not yet begun to shed.

Posted by: Gordon at October 28, 2017 05:38 PM (jdYyS)

63 In the spirit of news that the brother of one of my friends was brought home from the hospital because he's dying from cancer and that tends to put things in perspective: I apologize for snapping at you in an earlier thread, KT.

Moving on, if anyone could make the drive down Route 50 in VA from Winchester to Aldie, you won't be disappointed at the fall foliage. Some of the farms around Upperville are in the middle of some dressage events, though, so bear in mind you might get stuck behind some horse trailers for a bit. You can see them from the road though, so equestrian fans will be able to indulge themselves a bit.

Posted by: Saber Alter, rising from the dead at October 28, 2017 06:41 PM (YZ7Go)

64 Thanks, Saber Alter. I wasn't paying very close attention and went off on a tengent. I'm serious about wanting to know more about the native plants you have studied, too.

About life putting things in perspective, today I provided transportation to a wheelchair-bound woman with MS, a lovely personality and a teenage daughter who is acting out because she is angry that her mother got sick. This lovely woman is younger than I am. Makes you appreciate the little things more. Fall foliage, for example.

Posted by: KT at October 29, 2017 12:54 AM (BVQ+1)

65 Sorry to be so late - we were busy most of the day making apple cider, then we had an evening engagement. So, Idaho's Treasure Valley report:

The apples are falling faster than we can grind and press them. Both trees are producing well, *but* the apples are all on the small side. We're concentrating on cider production, since we have plenty of pie filling (and a reasonable amount of applesauce) laid by. We have most of 2.5 gallons in the refrigerator now (saved in half-gallon milk jugs), which is enough to start a batch of hard cider - husband went and got all the necessary items for that. We'll keep grinding and pressing, using husband's homemade equipment, until either the equipment fails or we run out of apples - or, I suppose, until it decides to snow. I certainly have enough jugs saved to store our results! (The compost heap is benefitting from the "crapples" we pick up as we sort through the fallen fruit.)

It was actually a nice warm day today, 67 F, but by next Thursday, it looks like rain and chill are on their way here. I still have some fall carrots and spinach, so I have to keep an eye on the nighttime temps, to know when to pull them. We still need to cover the strawberry beds, blueberry beds, and the asparagus bed with grass mulch before it gets really cold - and I want to pull the Roma tomato vines soon, too.

The irrigation was turned off this week - later than usual. Eventually, the neighborhood landscaper will come around to blow out the irrigation lines - and I'll have to remember to drain the garden hoses and store them in the shed. For now, we still need the one out back to keep hosing off our apple grinder and press - what a mess cider production makes!! I had to take a shower afterwards, since I had apple cider, and possibly apple chunks, in my hair!

I spent part of the past week roasting, seeding, and stuffing our poblano crop for chiles rellenos. (Found out from checking the grocery, they call this type of pepper a "pasilla", even though that's something different.) We had made a batch of relleno sauce using a can of diced tomatoes with chiles, then decided to use our last batch of tomato sauce to make more relleno sauce and can it up in half-pint jars, to go with all the frozen chiles. Now all we have to do to make them into a dinner, is pull a bag of them out of the freezer, make their batter, warm a jar of their sauce, dip 'em and fry 'em up.

We also canned up 4 pint jars of pickled jalapeņo rings, one with seeds and 3 without, mostly for husband's benefit. Some of the jalapenos got pureed with a stick blender to spice up the relleno sauce, and the rest are still in the refrigerator awaiting a bright idea...

I did most of my raking earlier this week (I donated blood on Thursday and they recommend you not do anything strenuous for a day or two). Our crabapple is done shedding - we worked on the "donut maple" (has a hole in its structure when viewed from the patio) - and husband used the sweeper-cart behind the riding mower to gather up sycamore and oak leaves to burn.

Side note - does anybody else name any of their trees?? We have Jupiter (the HUGE silver maple), Eric the Half-a-Maple (Monty Python reference), and the "donut maple". The 4 sycamores are just "the damn sycamores", though I tend to number them starting at the mailbox and working across our street frontage.

Another side note: it sure would be nice if others were to mention where they're reporting from. I always mention I'm in Idaho's Treasure Valley - which for those unfamiliar, is the Boise area, in the southwestern part of the state - but it would be nice to have an idea what climate zone, or what area of the country, others are in, particularly when they mention what they're planting or harvesting.

Posted by: Pat* at October 29, 2017 01:00 AM (FtfVi)

66 illiniwek at October 28, 2017 12:50 PM

You have a wood stove?

My farming/academic grandfather kept a wood stove even after they got an electric stove. Liked to lean on it to ease his arthritis.

Posted by: KT at October 29, 2017 01:08 AM (BVQ+1)

67 Congrats on the Halloween Cactus, Bluebell. Two blossoms is a start. Notice that the plant was in a threatening situation before it bloomed. Sometimes that will trigger bloom in a plant.

Posted by: KT at October 29, 2017 01:12 AM (BVQ+1)

68 Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) at October 28, 2017 01:55 PM

Sounds like A LOT of work. Do you have more than one kind of yucca? Sounds like the start of an interesting bed.

Posted by: KT at October 29, 2017 01:28 AM (BVQ+1)

69 lin-duh falling at October 28, 2017 01:57 PM

Yes, it should be safe to plant in spring if you use Roundup now. It is safe to plant most things just a few days after using Roundup. It works when applied to growing plants.

The temperature should be within a certain range for Roundup to work. Check the label.

Posted by: KT at October 29, 2017 01:33 AM (BVQ+1)

70 JTB at October 28, 2017 02:09 P

One of these times we are going to get your baba ganoush recipe. I hope.

Posted by: KT at October 29, 2017 01:36 AM (BVQ+1)

71 JQ at October 28, 2017 02:20 PM

Someday you'll have to tell us more about the windowsill tomatoes.

Might want to check with your nearest extenstion agency about whether it is too late to plant garlic.

Posted by: KT at October 29, 2017 01:39 AM (BVQ+1)

72 illiniwek at October 28, 2017 02:00 PM

I've seen turnips offered in wildlife mixes before. Never thought they could be counted on to self-seed, though.

I am glad you got some usable turnips. I like turnips raw.

Posted by: KT at October 29, 2017 01:42 AM (BVQ+1)

73 Hi, KT.

Nothing special about the 'windowsill' tomatoes: they're just the greenies and half-ripes that came off plants I removed a few weeks ago.

Posted by: JQ at October 29, 2017 02:28 PM (yD/Pf)

74 Oh, and I have a spot to tuck in some of the garlic. If it grows, yay, if not... I'm out about fifty cents.

Posted by: JQ at October 29, 2017 02:30 PM (yD/Pf)

75 Anybody else have better luck with the veggies shown here?

Agreed the head is celeriac. The body is red endive and the "tentacles" are purple carrots.

Posted by: Hoff at October 29, 2017 03:27 PM (CV+tP)

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