Container Garden Update — October 4, 2014

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here.

October 7, 2013 post here.

141004 watering cans2

We still had summer vegetables growing at this time last year. They’re long gone by now this time around, replaced by winter vegetables:

Bunch Onions
Bunch Onions

I’m still figuring out when to start winter veg, and what varieties do best in cold/long storage conditions. As an example, small, fast, round radishes do best in the spring and are intended to be harvested promptly after they’re ready. Longer maturity “carrot-shaped” radishes tolerate being held in the ground much better. Actual carrots have 4 or 5 different broad types as well. This is all new to me — just like I assumed that *all* vegetables did well in the heat of summer, it never occurred to me that different varieties of certain vegetables prefer either fall/winter or spring.

It may be that the vegetables in the EarthBoxes have been direct-seeded too late in the year. In the future we may start them in pots a month or so earlier an then transplant when the summer veg has been cleared out of the way. As it is, the plants in the whisky-barrel containers are well ahead of the EarthBox plants. Pictured below are spinach and cilantro that were started about a month ago (I should have labeled the date next to the new sowing.) I left the dill in place that’s now around two months old.

141004 dill spinach

They’re covered with bird netting because something — I think squirrels — had been digging in the newly exposed dirt. The carrots below are protected from flies with tulle:

141004 carrot

That’s carrots in the foreground, bunch onions under plastic in the middle, and romaine/arugula in the whisky barrel. I’m guessing that the whisky barrels don’t drain well enough for the alliums, which led to the shallots rotting this spring.

Other recently planted boxes include mache/parsley (interplanted); mache/cilantro (interplanted); spinach; pak choi; more bunch onions; mache; dill; and leeks. This afternoon at least one of the tomato boxes is going to become shallots.

It seems everything is doing better in the cold frame, so the open boxes got plastic-covered hoop houses. More pictures next week. Hopefully there will be something to show.

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