Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Around the Yard - Early Sept 2013 - Edibles Edition

Finally we come to my "Edibles" Section of the yard (never you mind that I have herbs all over the place so it's not a TRUE 'edibles only' section). The garden proper looks sad.  I mean, comparatively...as in 'compared to other peoples' gardens.'  I think it's because I never fertilize.  I hardly ever add compost, and I don't think I've refreshed the mulch in a few years.  So yeah.  I PLAN on pulling out the summer plants, digging out all the mulch, adding some soil & compost, and then adding both the mulch I still have and fresh mulch.  Of course, this plan would work much better if I didn't have herbs and other plants that will survive year-round.  

Looking toward the photinia

Looking away from the photinia

A few years ago, I made the mistake of adding lemon balm to the garden.  It was intentional - it was one of my science experiments.  The experiment was to see if it repelled the squash vine borer.  I didn't notice any difference, as in, all my squash was still destroyed.  We did, however, discover that lemon balm works relatively well as a mosquito repellent.  Temporarily, at least.  And I'd rather smell like lemon than sweat.  And so, the lemon balm was given reprieve after reprieve.  Then I added Garlic Chives, and two Chile Pequin, and Swiss Chard, and Thyme, and Oregano.  And now I have have very little space in my gardens for important plants like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  Ironically, I just recently pulled out all the lemon balm because I don't really use it for anything and it doesn't seem like any of the beneficials like it either.  

Maybe I should move the herbs to a different location (perhaps to the area by the possumhaws).  I should really clear out the area where I actually PLAN to plant chile pequins and move them this fall.

Potato Box plants...none of which are potatoes.  Naturally.  Also, I don't remember why there's a pipe-cleaner twisted around the one post.  I'm sure I had a good reason at the time.
We also have a potato box full of plants that aren't potatoes.  Because of course we do.  We created the potato box because my mom said that I just HAD to do a potato box.  We have grown potatoes in it twice.  and I've never had to go more than 3 slats high.  The grand plan, of course, is to plant the seed potatoes in the ground, as the plants grow, you add a slat and some dirt.  Then the plants grow more and you add another slat and more dirt.  Continue so on and so forth until you've got six slats and a shit-ton of potatoes (also, 'shit-ton' is the SI unit, just so you know).  Actually, I wonder how this would work on a smaller scale for tomato plants - you know, since tomatoes create roots where the stem is buried...would you end up with more tomatoes?  I feel another experiment coming on.

Anyhoo, back to the potato box plants that aren't potatoes.  In case you haven't already noticed, the husband and I are, generally speaking, lazy.  Why put away your garden stuff when it's past the season which you're using it for when you can just leave it out there creating an eye-sore in your yard?  We tell ourselves that we've left it there to help the Arizona Ash stump decompose quicker.  In reality it's just that we're lazy and we keep saying that we'll try potatoes again.  In the mean time, I use it as a regular planting bed.  Right now it's got a Habanero, Eggplants, an Orange Fogo Pepper, and a Cossack Pineapple ground cherry.  Let me tell you about the ground cherry.  I got the seeds from The Great Outdoors when I went to get a Christmas gift for my mother in law.  They were on clearance, and they were right by the register.  I thought they were some type of tomato-like plant.  And I guess they technically are since they're in the same family.  The fruit looks like little tomatillos, and they are sweet and tart.  I like them.  The husband isn't as much of a fan, but he'll eat them.  The plant we have has been doing pretty well and making a bunch of fruit.  They're like peas, though - you have to have a bunch of plants to get enough to do something with otherwise, they're just an item that you stand out in the garden eating the ripe ones when you see them.

The eggplants just recently started flowering, so I don't know if we'll get anything from them this year.  The habanero and the orange fogo will be dug up in about a month and I'll try to keep them alive through the winter so I can use them next spring.


Claude said...

The only beneficial that likes lemon balm are honey bees. That I know of at least. We tried to repel the squash bugs with petunias. Kinda worked... I didn't put them in early enough and waited till the damage was done, but I'm told that if you plant apetunia in the same spot you put the seeds, it works fine.

Ally said...

I like the potato box idea. One of these days I'm going to try the trash can ( or other similar method) and compare the production to my usual garden trench method. I like to experiment too. Let me know how your tomato experiment works out.