Friday, September 24, 2010

Big changes in a short time

In the last two weeks of hot days and cool night the fall garden has flourished. Here you see rapini seedlings only a couple of weeks old, already past the size when I should have thinned them, but I will do that today. The Chinese Cabbage and Bok Choy that were small transplants in my last post are today these huge, beautiful plants, challenging one another for space. I think I will be harvesting some outer stalks of the Bok Choy this weekend.

One plant that has grown in leaps and bounds has taken it one step too far. The Romaine lettuces are tall and beautiful, but just in the last 3 days have started to elongate in the stem, a sign that the hot days were too much for them and they are going to bolt. They are plenty big for a number of good salads this week, then I will pull them out and replace them with new seedlings, or will seed a new row of lettuce. Plenty of time still for lettuces this fall!

Finally, two weeks ago my basil had gotten tall, and pale, and was mostly seed heads. It also was full of spittle bugs (yuck). Instead of pulling it up, however, I just cut it way back, and here you see the new, beautiful fresh basil leaves that replaced the spent stems.

And one last thing: these are Padron peppers, fried whole like they do in Spainish tapas bars. I received seeds as a gift from a lovely friend. The only problem? These were HOT. I mean burn your mouth and throat and gullet hot. They are producing now, but I don't know if I will be brave enough to try them again. I don't know if it was the drought (probably), or the soil, or what, but these usually mild mannered little guys ate me alive. I'll let a few mature and save the seed to pass on to brave souls.