Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Eating Out the Peter Pepper Harvest

At last! After an entire spring and summer of toiling, fertilizing, fretting, we have fruit. Well, pods really. The blossoms that were able to set during that miraculous temperate snap we had last month have happily made it to maturity. Wee little weenie shaped nubbins of firecracker power! We’ve gotten a grand total of 7 all year, with 6 of them coming from this very harvest! Not terribly impressive so far, but the current 6 all came from one plant.

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Fortunately, with things finally reaching pleasant daytime temperatures, the remaining plants have decided that there has been a second spring and are currently producing a fair number of blossoms. Alas, I do see a fair number of them yellowing and taking a dive off of their branches. But I’m hoping that with a little extra fertilization (no nitrogen during flowering) that they’ll start setting to fruit. With only a potential couple months left before night time temps start dipping into the 40’s and the plants decide to go dormant. We’ll see if I’m crazy enough to set up a small greenhouse for them.

As for the remainder of the garden, the tomatoes have been complete punks. 2 cherokees, 3 or so baby san marzanos. The black krims that I started from seed have just been potted, mainly to see if I can get them to produce before it’s far too cold for ‘maters. The okra plants are doing quite well and throwing out about a pod a piece every 2 days. Fun for vanity growing, but if I really intend to eat it, I’m going to have to sow a raised bed’s worth. But hey, at least I know that my Okie greenthumb is still intact. The herbs are rocking, the basil forest is quite happily crowded, thyme and oregano are branching out and attempting to creep from their containers. And the sage is finally starting to mature a bit around the edges, with plenty of stunted babies to pick at.

The newest experiment is bringing up some French breakfast radishes from seed. They’re supposed to reach full maturity in 30 days. Most gardening sites I read swear by them as an easy and fun crop to grow. They keep a couple small beds in a offset rotation every 15 days and have tons of fresh radishes. I’ve even found that I’m fond of them in the French manner with a little butter and sea salt. The creaminess of the butter cuts that spicy bite a lot of radishes have and the salt makes you enjoy the juiciness of the flesh. Bet you never thought of a radish as juicy before. Try some fresh out of the ground and you’ll see!