Captain’s log: December 31 2019

This has been a hell of a year huh?

You might have noticed a lack of posts lately, that’s because my father was in the hospital and things got a little complicated for a while. He’s ok now, but it’s been a hellacious couple of weeks.

I have a lot to do in the garden next year, but that’s good, work keeps my mind off of things.

So on the one hand the giant fabric bed was a success, in that it gave me a place for shade lovers in August. It’s also given me my first parsnips!

Of course their roots were forked because of not sandy enough soil but they made good soup so who cares.

On the other hand that whole bed needs to be replaced by something sturdier like a proper raised bed, for a whole host of reasons. I’m gonna wait til I get the last of the parsnips. I’d also like to figure out a way to grow spinach that doesn’t get leaf-minered all to hell but at this point I’m not sure miracles happen.

Well the shade herb bed is just a mess. It’s not even a productive mess it’s just a mess. The thyme has gone all woody and the parsley has bolted- but the lemongrass is healthy at least.

I have to rethink what I’m growing here. It’s prime real estate- seems a waste for it to be a mess like this. I also have to rethink the sun herb bed but at least most of the plants up there are more successful.

In both hilarious and infuriating news, the neighborhoods resident tuxedo cat has been lounging around the garden. He doesn’t appear to be shitting in my beds, just sitting in them. And digging in them, which is getting kinda old. He did dig up one of my Napa’s, but the rest seem to have taken deep root so I’m just brushing the dirt off them and calling it a day. I have caught Mr. cat sitting at the base of my tree collard though and that has to stop.

See the baby cabbages are ok, just a tad smashed. Time to break out the plastic forks I guess.

The strawberry mint has gone dormant, which means it’s time to see about getting cuttings from the runners. The Roman mint apparently has not gotten the memo about it being winter. The dill as always, is a mess.

My pink lemonade blueberry baby is growing up big and strong. I’m gonna start pinching out tips to encourage bushing. I want a nice big June crop if I can get it.

Between the wet and the cold the strawberries aren’t the happiest but they’re hanging in there. I do catch the local Towhees in the bed pecking about, but I think they’re there more for bugs then fruit. And if they are getting the occasional berry I’m big enough to share.

The Japanese vegetable bed is very successful. Of course if I’d planned it as a Japanese vegetable bed the tatsoi/koji from next door would be here in place of the Bok Choy, but I don’t really plan anything I just put stuff where I have space.

I’m probably going to pick some of the komatsuna tonight for soup, I still don’t really know what I’m gonna do with the shungiku- I just wanted to try it, but it’s really successful so now I have to think up ways to cook with it.

The win win Bok Choy may be a slow bolter but in winter that doesn’t matter. What does matter is how it’s been reacting to all the moisture and the way it’s been reacting is poorly. All the white stemmed Bok Choy are a soggy mess! I’ve been picking and eating the best ones but it looks like my favorite for spring planting is a dud for winter planting. It’s also really depleted, but some fertilizer fixed that.

The kohlrabi continue to amaze and delight, so that’s nice.

The Brussels continue to grow up, and I’m beginning to see their little baby sprouts! They’re also starting to fall over, so stakes are starting to become a necessity.

I’m just letting the peas go feral and they seem to be doing fine. The mystery Brassica continues to confound me- I thought it was that sea kale but I’m not sure…

It’s certainly a Brassica though as it keeps getting those damn grey aphids.

I’m at a cross roads with the tree collard. We may be at the point where in a month or so I’m going to have to put it in a bed or in the ground. I think because its size is going to be enormous height wise, if I don’t put it somewhere with more space for it’s roots soon I’ll be in trouble. High quality collards though- very tasty, good texture.

This is a carrot bed. You will notice the lack of carrots. This is annoying.

I took one of the strawberry runners and am giving a whirl to rooting it for giggles mostly. I still have a ton of leeks to plant yay! They have made it a few extra weeks in the 6 packs- while the extra bok choy did not. But since they were the white stem type that’s doing so poorly in the rain… maybe not such a bad thing.

My over-wintering peppers look nice and toasty.

And the glorious herb tables look pretty as a partridge. Though I definitely have to re-fertilize the cilantro. Also the rectangle chives still task me.

I have added more houseplants to houseplant rehab around the wonderful tea plant that is loving the rain.

Already it has new growth! I still have the seeds to try and sprout, and as the old year turns into a new one, I look forward to a 2020 filled with Brassicas, leeks, and home made tea.

Here’s hoping next year is kinder to all of us then this one.

Happy new year.


8 thoughts on “Captain’s log: December 31 2019

  1. I noticed the lapse of posting, but attributed it to my absence here. I am now two weeks behind, and may never catch up!
    Are tree collards the same as perennial collards? They are a traditional house warming gift in Watts. I have seen them only a few times since I went to Southern California in the late 1980s.

      1. It is good to know that they are still available, although I would prefer to get a piece of one down south (in the Los Angeles region), since it is a tradition.

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