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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Starting for Fall 2011





Seeds from the top left hand corner (going clockwise):

- Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli
- Rapini Broccoli
- Giant Noble Spinach
- Gigante Spinach
- Purple Sicily Cauliflower
- Cour Di Bue Cabbage
- Mammoth Red Rock Cabbage
- Brussel Sprouts in the middle

The toilet rolls contain: Russian Red Kale, Oak Lettuce and DiCiccio Broccoli (this method taken from Whole Larder Love). The DiCiccio broccoli is the only non-heirloom so far.

The past two years have seen me planting my leafy greens entirely too late in the spring and not really getting anything out of it except a few baby greens- so instead of trying to follow the traditional cycles used by those in cooler climates, I'm following the weather (with guidance from local SoCal veg blogs like Root Simple). When does it rain? When do the grasses return? How long do the grasses stay? When do we get the slight frosty dew outside? I've picked varieties to match the climate as best I can - Italian types where I can, sturdy plants that can survive a swing in temperature through January, short day onions (more on these later), lettuces that can sit in containers and be brought in to avoid any heavy rainstorms. And all are foods that we will eat - I didn't want to risk ordering parsnips or mustard/collard greens and then have them go uneaten. These are sensible vegetables to grow, but not quite in our meal rotation yet.

Not all of these plants are supposed to be started in containers (kale and spinach, for example), but as the containers I'm using are designed to rot down in the soil, I'm not sure what can go wrong. I have plenty of seed and time to direct sow them next month with the others if it all goes awry. The good thing about non-summer planting here is that there's plenty of time for learning and eating. Hopefully more eating this time.

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