ON the first real fall feeling day of the year, I planted another round of turnips, beets, collards, lettuce and radishes. The first planting of the fall has been mostly disappointing as very little has flourished. The peas and radishes are sort of growing but other than that, the rest of the crop has been a bust. I’m not sure if it’s the heat we had in September or something else. I’ve been pretty consistent with the water so I don’t think that’s the problem. The turnips did well in the spring on the south side of the house so it’s not seeds. Hopefully this round is better.
The planting from August has also been disappointing with only lettuce being harvested so far. The package of green beans must have been bad because they haven’t flourished anywhere I’ve planted them. The lima beans came right up but haven’t produced anything yet. The collards and spinach never even germinated.
When the house was built, the builder saw fit to put in five elaeagnus bushes in the front beds. These plants make great hedge rows but terrible bushes for the front of the house. Last year, I removed 2 of them and early this year I took out the other three. The bed in front of the guest bedroom has sat pretty much blank since then other than existing flowers. Today, we planted three Russian sages plus some coleus that won’t survive the winter but should make nice accent plants.
The Russian sages aren’t going to be big enough to cover the entire area but should be a nice start on remaking the bed. They will have pretty purple flowers that will go well with the Stella D’oro day lilies and the knockout rose. Eventually, I’d like to rebuild the front walkway into something a little more interesting than an expanse of concrete but for now, this will have to do.
On the other side, the azaleas that I planted last year to replace the first two elaeagnus bushes promptly died in last year’s summer from hell. I replaced them today with Mexican feather grass which will be nice in front of the dining room window.
Other plants that went in today include three poblano pepper plants, one more jalapeno plant, two mint plants in preparation for the Kentucky Derby and mint juleps, a pineapple sage and some cilantro. Something came along and ate my sweet basil to the ground so I’m hoping the cilantro is less appetizing. The onions, tomatoes and jalapenos should be ready about the time the cilantro matures so backyard pico del gallo will be in order.
I had a salad last week made entirely from lettuce, chard and spinach from the backyard. Homegrown lettuce has infinitely more character than store bought does which also occasionally includes crawly things you don’t expect though fortunately, this wasn’t one of those times. The peach tree is still holding peaches as of April 21st so I’m praying my spray program is working.