Hello friends! It’s been a while since we last looked at my garden. In mid-October I shared a seedling update and we are now in the first week of December with some mighty plants! As a reference, I’m in USDA plant hardiness zone 8a, which means our extreme minimum temperature reaches 10-15 degrees (F). Currently in December, our days are in the 70s with nights in the 50s. Some days are warmer and others cooler. Lows in the 30s are in the forecast for next week and they look to finally be sticking around…we’ll see.
Remember those tiny mesclun mix seedlings that were the first to sprout? Well here they are now, over taking their little square foot plot. Noted, these will get a 1 x 2 ft plot next time! I desperately need to harvest some of these and make a salad or two, to allow some breathing room for the others in the mix.
As you can see, it’s definitely Fall season and the Silver Maple’s are losing their leaves quickly. I’ve already tried clearing the bed of these leaves, but what’s the point!? The tree’s are still going through the seasonal change.
The Black Seeded Simpson lettuce was slow to grow, but they are finally filling in. They still share their plot with some self sown basil seedlings.
Speaking of Basil, as you can see, the warm weather has allowed them to stick around. I harvested a huge portion for pesto last time around and they have since doubled back in size. Leggy, but still deliciously fragrant. In the background you can see the purple blooming stalks of the Thai Basil.
I’m so proud of the spinach growth! I tried spinach transplants once and they did not last. Because of this, I was weary of how the seeds would do. But check them out! That’s some grocery store sized leaves right there! Almost 🙂
The carrot tops are putting on a beautiful show. I can even see some orange carrot parts peeking through the soil. They are still relatively small and I feel my oregano plant blocked sun from some of the seedlings. As the Maple trees lose their leaves though, more sun is reaching this bed.
Behind the carrots, you can see the cilantro is doing well. I have harvested a few sprigs already and they smelled incredible! They were very floppy for a long time and I wondered when they would grow a thicker stem for support. This happened pretty recently, which is when I decided to start harvesting.
I have two Kale seedlings that are doing well. Still a bit small though. The one in the front is larger but has some wilting leaves. The one in the back (out of view) is smaller, but slowly catching up. I did abandon my watering routine for a couple of weeks with the time change, so I’m hoping they pull through. I just fertilized today so maybe that will help. The scallions are doing ok, I’m not quite sure what to expect with them. I will do some research and find out more about their growth.
The Swiss Chard and Romaine seeds never sprouted. I even tried a second round of seed sowing, but nothing at all. Either it’s just too warm or the seeds are too old. I also lost some of my transplants. The Cauliflower transplant that was in this bed kept losing leaves and never regained it’s strength. By the time it was down to a nub, I decided to just remove it. Same goes for the red Brussel Sprout plant, it lost leaves until there was nothing left. My Broccoli Raab died due to lack of watering, shame on me as I was really looking forward to seeing this broccoli produce. It had such interesting foliage, I was sad to see it go. It is definitely less hardy than the other varieties.
My Green Magic Broccoli transplant on the other hand is very hardy. It has been growing fast and is looking well. I love the large leaves of the broccoli plant and I can’t wait until I see the broccoli head growing out of the center.
Now something interesting happened with my other Brussel Sprout transplant. Since planting in early October, I’ve noticed it growing quite strangely. At first I thought I planted it wrong, maybe too deep or not level with the soil. Something was off!
Here’s the transplant to remind you of what it looked like two months ago:
…and here it is now! Do you see what I see!?
Something tells me this isn’t Long Island Brussel Sprouts! I sent a picture to my mom and she told me that it’s Kohlrabi. Kohlrabi! What’s that!?
Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family and the entire plant is edible. It’s texture is similar to that of broccoli, but tastes similar to sweet radish (or so i’m reading). It should have a crisp inner texture like water chestnut! I’m not sure yet what I will make from it. Some sites suggest a slaw, or pureed into soup, or roasted with other veggies like eggplant and potatoes. I’m leaning towards putting the stems and leaves in an Asian stir-fry for one recipe and slicing the bulb julienne style for slaw with a different recipe. Have you tried Kohlrabi before?
Here’s some great resources to learn more about Kohlrabi:
Kohlrabi Is Weird! And Here’s What You Can Do With It
Harvesting Kohlrabi Plants: How And When To Pick Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi: The Cool-Weathered, Out-of-This-World Vegetable
Finally, a little update on the garlic… They all sprouted and doing well 🙂