Monday, November 21, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mine grows nicely in November, thank you very much.

This is the big experiment winter, now that the greenhouse finished.  Remember, I live in New England, so I'm supposed to be done with the gardening.  I have always been able to keep broccoli and Swiss chard going right until Christmas, so this is nothing new.

Planting new seedlings of both in the greenhouse IS new.

I am not heating the greenhouse.  It's not very tight and it would be silly to waste the money.  I'm not selling my produce or anything.  I have everything closed up and lots of black fabric.  It gets really warm during the day, sometimes too warm, but once the sun goes down, it's as cold inside as it is outside.

 It's hard to believe that we've had some frost and cold nights and these things are just blooming their brains out.  I took all of the rest of my outdoor flowers into school because it makes the front foyer look nice but I wanted to keep a few in the greenhouse and see what happens.

 Poor tomatoes.  They're trying to turn red but they aren't quite getting there.
 All summer, k-ster tried to get lavender to grow.  It was a real struggle.  and then suddenly, in September, things took off and they are now flowering.  In November!  They definitely didn't get the message.
 New broccoli.  I think they will be fine in the greenhouse and I predict actual broccoli florets in January!
 Very tiny Swiss chard seedlings.  I have them in this old wheelbarrow.  I planted some potatoes in the top part and the Swiss chard is here on the flatter part.  My theory is the black plastic of the wheelbarrow will make everyone happy.
 This hibiscus has had a very hard life.  I won it in an auction a long time ago and everything was fine until the summer I went to Belgium.  I went for a month and k-ster was in charge of the garden.  I left everything so that all he would have to do is water it. I put a lot of mulch down and figured whatever weeds would grow would be manageable once I got home in August.

He went to work with a self timer on the hose and thought he had it all figured out.  What he didn't know is that this poor hibiscus was in a pot that had no drainage.  It was a pot inside of a pot.  No idea how this happened.  It was sooooo swampy when I got home.

That was 2003 and it never flowered again.  I've been growing these sticks with some green leaves for all this time.

In August, I went to cut down the sticks and see if I could make it thrive from the bottom again and lo and behold, there were BUDS!  I got a few flowers then and now I have one more! 
 These are zinnias that I got from a 25 cent packet from the dollar store.  They have NOT been a disappointment!  I cut off the old blossoms and they keep growing taller and producing more.  These are not as tall as I am 5'2" and still plugging away!

 Out in garden #1, I still have Swiss chard and broccoli.  I put a lot of grass clippings around them when I mowed last weekend, so they are all snug for the cold.
 They are the lone soldiers left in the garden.  I'll probably harvest the chard one more time and then it will be done.  But I pick the broccoli as the florets form and they just keep producing more.
I picked this bagful today.  We eat the flowers too!  I have 9 plants and will probably get enough for the two of us to eat a few more times.  I haven't blanched the broccoli like I did with the green beans because I always seem to have just enough for supper, never enough to put away for later.

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