The Gardening Saga Continues

The rainy saga continues as I fight pests, experience crop failure, replant in containers, and hope for the best. This year I am spraying BT, scouting for armyworms, and using spot applications of organic pyrethrin dust to ward off the cucumber beetles. The purple sweet potatoes are growing well and spreading quickly.

What’s Blooming? Hardy Hibiscus Zinnias

Despite the pest pressure, I have managed to get some beautiful blooms this past week. I have another hibiscus grow-out in progress that I will update later on. I will plant more daylily seeds very soon. I love growing plants from seed and already have a few selections planted in the yard. The soft-leaved hibiscus has grown tall and is providing shade for the chicken pen just as planned.

Zone 8b Container Vegetable Gardening in winter

It’s Time to Harvest the Lettuce!

Lettuce Sanguine Ameliore 
 Strawberry Cabbage Lettuce

Lettuce Sanguine Ameliore has pretty reddish markings on the leaves.

In this video, I am harvesting some delicious fresh lettuce. I was impressed by the Strawberry Cabbage Lettuce from Baker Creek because I forgot to cover it and found the leaves were frozen solid, but they thawed out just fine!

I have planted strawberry cabbage lettuce, alpine strawberries, Kyoto red carrots, Red Cored Chantenay carrots, Japanese Minowase Daikon radish, Early Wonder Beets, and Cipolle di Tropea onions. I am enjoying growing through the winter but will have to watch the weather and be prepared to cover my containers with blankets if the weather forecasts a freeze. So far, the plants have survived 30 and 31 degree nights without covering, but I don’t want to make the mistake of not covering if it gets into the 20s, and that is rare but can happen. I may have to cover my plants overnight a few nights throughout this winter, but most nights will hover in the high 30s and 40s.

Lettuce Sanguine Ameliore ” Strawberry Cabbage Lettuce”
Lettuce Sanguine Ameliore 
 Strawberry Cabbage Lettuce image 2

I also spent some time doing fall garden clean up. I have enjoyed using the Sunbelt weed fabric but have found it still requires some weeding and maintenance. I have kept all fallen leaves and debris swept off and kept the edges trim with the weed eater. I think I would rather sweep my garden than pull weeds any day! The result of not keeping the weed mat clean is that weeds will grow in the mulched debris. I will place some rabbit manure in the holes left from last year’s plantings and cover that with hay to prevent weeds from growing over the winter.

Burpee Lettuce Loose Leaf Blend and Daikon radishes
Burpee Lettuce Loose Leaf Blend and Daikon radishes