Catchy title, right? It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and I’ve missed it! We’ve just been so busy I haven’t had the time to write. Now that January is well under way, I seem to be finding my groove again…
On to the garden… My last post was about how pitiful our fall garden looked. It was sad. Really. My father-in-law suggested covering the garden with a sheet. Genious! I took an old sheet and clipped it to the garden cage with some clothes pins. It was perfect for keeping the hot sun off the plants. The ones that looked like they were about to die seemed to make a comeback. Of course, I had to check frequently. Where we live, there’s a lot of wind. A lot. (In fact, one of our trees is forever bent toward the northeast because of the near constant wind.) Every half hour or so, I’d have to go back out and replace the sheet because the wind would have caught it and blown it out from under the clothes pins. Some days the wind was light and I didn’t have to do much replacing, but on really windy days I had to forget it altogether. Once our weather finally cooled down, I was able to do away with the sheet. By then, the plants had gotten strong enough to withstand any hot days.
We planted broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, spinach, turnips, and garlic in late September, right at the end of the recommended fall planting season. Nothing ever came of the mustard, spinach, turnips, or garlic. I don’t know if the seeds, which I purchased from a local nursery, were bad or if we didn’t do something right (which is probably more likely the case).
By late October, some of the broccoli and cauliflower plants looked big and strong and I was hoping they’d start producing soon…
By late November, one of the broccoli plants had grown a small stalk.
By mid-December, I could see it from the dining room window! You wouldn’t believe my excitement! As for the other plants, nothing was happening.
After Christmas, I went out to see how the broccoli had fared since we had been out of town. It was going strong. I decided to peek inside the center of the cauliflower plants and was surprised to see one of them had a small head growing!
I did some research to see when I needed to cut the broccoli and decided it could stay on the plant a little longer. I put off researching the cauliflower because the head looked so small and I thought I had more time…
Last week When I went out to check the broccoli, I noticed the florets were starting to open. Oops! I almost waited too long! I cut off the stalk and hoped I’d get around to cooking it before it went totally bad on me. (We’ve been so busy with basketball and church activities, I haven’t been home to cook. Sandwiches are getting old…) I peeked in at the cauliflower and was so disappointed to see it had turned brown. I never did read to find out if when I should have harvested it. I need to do that so I’ll know in the future – even though none of the other plants are making.
Last night I made broccoli cheese soup – with our broccoli and a larger, fresher stalk I got from co-op. It was tasty, but you could see the difference between our broccoli and the co-op broccoli. Our florets were larger, on the verge of opening. One lesson learned. It’s time to learn about cauliflower.