In the Garden

Autumn Garden Update

Normally, by now, I’m ready to close up shop in the garden. Pull out what’s left, clear out the brush, call it a season. I’m not sure why, but this year I decided I wanted to extend my gardening into the fall.

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I didn’t need to add much – so many of my plants are still going strong – I just needed to leave them alone and let them keep producing. My bell pepper, jalapeno, and eggplant are all still producing, as well as my now not-so-little volunteer Amish Paste tomato.

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In addition to these existing plantings, I sowed some lettuces, arugula, and radishes in the enclosure. The radishes are doing great, and have grown quite a bit since the photo featured at the top of this post was taken. The lettuces have been a bit more hesitant. I think it may have still been a bit too warm when I sowed them in the beginning of September. Now that things are really cooling down, I might try again with some more  butterhead and mesculin seed. The arugula I sowed in early September is doing great, however. Arugula is fool-proof, I think. It sprouts and thrives no matter what.

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In the Grow Camp, the chard and kale are still beautiful, and even though they are getting a little “long in the tooth” I’m going to let them have fun while they can. The kale still tastes terrific, and even the chard isn’t too bitter. I cleared the the bush beans out of the other side of the Grow Camp and planted broccoli rabe and some more kale.

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Hey, little guys!

How about you? What’s in your autumn garden? Leave me a note below, or tweet me @cloverandthyme!

 

 

In the Garden

Newspaper Pots!

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I recently “potted up” all my seedlings, and this year I tried something new – newspaper pots!

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The little wood tool I used to form the pots is available at many garden centers, and it’s also available at Amazon and Gardener’s Supply.

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After a little experimenting, I discovered it’s best to cut the newspaper just a tiny bit (half an inch) wider than what is indicated on the directions. This way, I could fold down the newspaper about a half an inch at the top to help reinforce the pot.

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As I wrapped the newspaper around the form, I tucked the one end of the pot top into the fold on the other end so it fit nice and snug.

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Next, I folded in the newspaper on the bottom. I found the more little folds I made as I worked my way around, the better. If I just did three or four folds, it flopped open really easily.

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Lastly, I fit my pot into the base of the mold. This helps shape those folds so they stay put.

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And that’s it! I churned out about 20 of these bad boys and put them to good use with my seedlings last weekend. So far, they are holding up well. They seem to retain just enough moisture to keep my “sproutlings” (as my son calls them) happy, without the container breaking down, yet. The plan is to pop these guys right into the next container, be it another pot, or the garden itself, where this container will eventually break down.

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Here’s one of my Cherry Lizzanos one week after potting up.

What’s your favorite seedling container?