Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Slack gardener mends her ways

Nature is persistent, I have decided, because gardeners rarely are.

I showed my garden to a friend yesterday, and while I am certainly proud of the bounty it is producing, I also must admit to being a little appalled at the weeds that had sprung up, seemingly out of nowhere. Also, things were looking a little dry. Is it possible I had been feeding the turkey and playing fetch with Gracie at times when I had previously been puttering in the garden? Nothing wrong with that, certainly. But the garden needed help.

This morning I knelt next to a row and found that, yes, my new crop of cilantro had germinated (taking its sweet time, I might add! Isn't it a little late in the year?! I might have to repot some of it as a houseplant), but it had been completely obscured by weeds. I pulled everything that wasn't cilantro and suddenly it was a model of garden elegance.

I filled in gaps in the carrot and purple sprouting broccoli rows. I hate uneven germination. I don't know if the new seeds will do anything, but why not give it a shot?

I also planted entire rows of the following:

• Shogoin turnips (a Japanese snow-white variety that comes highly recommended for this area; am looking forward to this way more than is probably appropriate)
• Batavian endive (cheap seeds from the dollar store--why not try?)
• arugula (ditto--I will plant the "good stuff", AKA the Astro arugula, in the spring when I know it will succeed for sure)

And now the progress report:

Last week I had moved the slug-plagued red cabbage from the front flowerbed into the garden proper, where there is no slug problem to speak of. It looks as though it is getting its footing now. The green cabbage is beginning to form heads. I am watching the Brussels sprouts to see if I can spot any teeny sprouts along the stems, but no luck yet.

The tomatoes from my August planting are finally approaching ripeness. All I need is another week or two for the biggest ones to redden. I've been watching the weather predictions like a hawk, and if I see a hard frost on the horizon, I'm pulling all the tomato plants so they can finish ripening indoors. I think I'm gonna make it!