Archives for posts with tag: ruby cabbage

Today, October 24, is Food Day, and I couldn’t be more pleased to be the featured Farmer of the Week on UrbanFig.com, Backyard Farming for Urban Dwelling. UrbanFig features a different urban organic farmer every week, and this is my week! Please check it out by clicking here, or the title below. Also included is my recipe for Chinese Cabbage Slaw from my Purple Cabbage episode of “Late Bloomer.”

FARMER OF THE WEEK ON URBANFIG.COM

kk_lb-kaye-1

Kaye Kittrell with her Tomatoes

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Thanks for stopping by! I’m going out to plant some broccolini, chard and beet seeds. How are you celebrating Food Day?- Kaye

Taking a look around this morning, I notice a few things. My first orange pepper is almost orange! Look closely and you will see the water spots from my hand-watering with a hose. I’ve got to get soaker hoses set up one of these days.

My butterfly bush is loaded with seed pods ready to burst with a million cottony seeds. What am I supposed to do with this thing? I only have room for the one plant right now.

I found this mystery volunteer in my strawberry patch (which isn’t doing so well). Know what it could be?

I think it’s pretty clear this cucumber plant has succumbed to disease or is this just insect damage on the base of the stems?

Leaves of this plant near the base look like this. I removed these two.

This goes to show you how durable Ruby Red Cabbage can be. This was my seventh of eight cabbages harvested in June. I was lazy and didn’t take out the rootball when I cut off the cabbage. It started to grow leaves and I left it alone.

Two weeks ago, I decided it was in the way where it was and I dug it up and moved it. It looked limp for a couple of days, but I kept watering it. This morning, it looks like it’s forming a cabbage in the center! If you haven’t seen my purple cabbage episode of “Late Bloomer,” please watch! Now, if I can just keep the slugs off of it! Thanks for dropping by. Advice welcome! – Kaye

Everyone passing by my garden has told me they had trouble growing corn here, and I am no exception! Though, I naively thought I might be. As I was out shaking the tassels (someone said they did that to promote pollination), I discovered my second corn plant has been attacked.

I did not notice this yesterday when I was out working to shore up the tomatoes.

Super nasty. In fact, most of the plant is covered. So, I’m wondering, since it’s right beside strawberries, a cucumber, bean, basil and herbs, if I should just chop it down. If I hose it off, all those eggs and larvae go into the soil.

As I’ve discovered on the corn plant that I planted at the same time across the sidewalk (no aphids detected), there are very few kernels, which I heard results from poor pollination.

Brooke thought it tasted good anyway. And on another ear, this critter was happily munching. She was eating on the cob, however.

Moving on to a little garden success. I harvested my 7th (of 8 total) red cabbages, and will eat tonight.

Even the backside is beautiful in the sun with the silvery green leaves.

And this is how the Amaranth seed plumes look today. Absolutely everyone passing by my garden asks me about the Amaranth.

Please let me know what I should do with the corn. Thanks for reading! – Kaye

If you enjoy photography, and gardening, life can be endlessly interesting. A plant you photograph one day may look different the next. There’s always something to photograph. This came up suddenly overnight. Powdery mildew? But, it’s on backs and fronts of leaves, so I’m not sure. I trimmed off the affected leaves.

We ate this grand cabbage last night. I was too tired to make slaw, so I steamed it.

I started with eight, now I’m down to two. This is the next to last one. I better get some more started!

I’ve had a lot of trouble getting berries. I covered some plants with netting. Here’s the only ripe one this morning.

I have let my purple basil seed tops grow. I couldn’t bear to pinch off anything so pretty.

My sunflowers are particularly glorious this sunny morning.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day! – Kaye

Kaye triumphs over a host of garden pests to harvest, on Mother’s Day, her first ever cabbage. With neighbors, Sophia, C.L. and Larry. Click on youtube to watch high resolution. Thanks for watching! – Kaye

After working all afternoon to plant my ten new organic corn seedlings, my neighbor, C.L., came over with a welding mask so we wouldn’t miss the eclipse. It’ll be 12 more years till the next one, so thought I would take a few photos. I shot through the green glass till the sun sank behind some clouds and I was able to get this photo.

I had spent a few hours conditioning my soil (that means putting my adobe soil through a wire screen, removing rocks, breaking up the clods, layering with alfalfa like a layer cake), and then planted eight seedlings in this 6’x 3′ slice of my parkway.

Yeah, I crammed them into the spot where I had 3 purple cabbages. I harvested two of the purple cabbages (which you will see in my next episode of “Late Bloomer,” “Purple Cabbage Saga,”) and transplanted the smaller one, so that I would have a clear rectangle for corn. I hear they love to be crowded together so they cross-pollinate. They are all the same variety, Double Standard. Nearly each seedling has two shafts. I happened to look closely at my more advanced cornstalks and discovered black aphid eggs! I got out my spray bottle and blasted them.

While I had my sprayer out (loaded with water, a few drops of plant-based dish soap, a sprig of fresh rosemary, and a splash of apple cider vinegar for good measure), I inspected my six remaining cabbages and found two were LOADED with grey aphid eggs! Does anyone have a non-toxic solution for aphids, or must I have my bottle in hand every time I step into the garden? Thanks for reading! – Kaye

Because our internet service was down all yesterday, Mother’s Day, I was not able to post this. I had intended to write that, because Mother’s Day is so closely associated with flowers – indeed, I received a flower arrangement – I would set aside my preoccupation with vegetables for a day and post the newest arrivals in my garden. What’s blooming?

Potato blossom:

Trumpet vine:

Nasturtium:

Truthfully, I was preoccupied with vegetables, and started the day filming the cutting of my first purple cabbage for a “Late Bloomer” episode, making it into cabbage slaw with Chinese dressing, grass-fed meatloaf with fresh oregano from the garden, and potato salad in fresh goat yogurt and fresh dill from the garden, which made a very nice, cold supper after a long day digging in the garden.

I knew I would never have the energy to cook supper after five hours of digging a 6’x3’x1′ trench, removing all the dirt, sifting it for rocks and to break up the clods, and replacing the dirt, alternating layers of alfalfa to create better drainage of my adobe brick urban soil. This will be the new bed for my corn seed, which I will plant later today. I had a little help with that.

Hope you had a great Mother’s Day! Thanks for reading! – Kaye

I love going out to the garden in the morning to see what’s happening. Sometimes it’s a good thing, like getting a good look at my first corn tassel shooting up. I planted two Double Standard seedlings March 24.

Or, discovering my first tomato on one of my five seedlings, all different varieties, planted in the ground March 25. See “Rainy Day,” Episode 4 of “Late Bloomer.” I searched for the tag, and couldn’t find it, so I will have to be surprised what kind of tomato this is. I love coming back inside with the smell of tomato plant on my hands.

Next, I decided what we would be having for dinner, purple cabbage slaw in Chinese dressing (if you want the recipe, just ask!). I think this one is ready, at six inches across, don’t you? And it’s nice and firm. I have really babied these two cabbages (you have no idea!!) since I planted the seedlings on February 1. I’ll be covering my purple cabbage saga in an upcoming episode of “Late Bloomer.”

Then, there are the issues for which this late bloomer has no answers. Two zucchini got fat at one end, and are rotten on the other. Yuck. Are these just misfires, or what?

And my once GLORIOUS Lemon Queen Sunflower (this plant had 26 blooms and got as many compliments from neighbors), is sagging, and I don’t know if it’s the natural cycle of sunflowers, or it’s because I trimmed off the very top one (the shaft is hollow, by the way) after it wilted (thinking I would keep it looking nice, haha), and now the whole plant is sad. The sadness started at the top and worked it’s way down.

I just received my “Sunset Western Garden Guide to Edibles” (about time I studied up on what I am doing!), and there’s only one page on sunflowers, and my neighbors seem to disagree on what went wrong, if anything, and what I am to do now. Thoughts? Thanks for reading! – Kaye

I just returned from nightly slug and snail patrol.  It was about 8PM, and I spotted this slug on my largest cabbage.

I ran and got the camera for those of you who wonder what critter is eating up your vegetables at night. It almost got out of sight before I got the camera in focus.

It’s quite a challenge to photograph something tiny, at night, holding a flashlight. Anyway, you can get a good idea of what they look like by this close-up on a plastic fork. Check out the slime.

This one was slithering right by a few melted pellets of Sluggo, so don’t count on that dropping your population too much. The best thing I’ve found to lower the population is nightly patrol, picking them up. One night, I got 30 snails and 20 slugs. You can relocate them if you have the patience, but I saw online that they can travel a mile a night, and do a LOT of damage to your garden, so, my method is extermination by boot heel.

Raccoon just spotted in my driveway!  Oh, dear!  It scooted out of sight.

I went back out at 10:30, and I found a mother and baby on my young cucumber plant, along with about 5 snails in different parts of the garden.

Thanks for reading! – Kaye

If you have watched “Curbside Cauliflower” – Episode 2 of “Late Bloomer,” you know I am growing cauliflower in the parkway, and you heard me say, “One morning, you go out and it looks like this…and the next morning, this is staring back at you.” And there is a photo of a fully-formed white cauliflower peeking out of its protective inner leaves. Today, I had the same experience with my one-and-only cauliflower, which I planted on March 8.

This is my first green cauliflower, about three inches in diameter at this point, and though I was in the garden doing maintenance for several hours yesterday, did not notice it. This is what is so wondrous about growing your own vegetables! Unlike my five cauliflower plants before, this plant has been nearly pest-free and only has one hole in one leaf. But, I have been out several nights with a flashlight picking up snails and slugs! Days to harvest, 80-100.  It’s been 50, so I think it will be ready early.

Here’s a view of my ruby red cabbage patch this morning. (There is one green cabbage hidden from view by the Princess Flower bush.) The two largest on the end I planted on February 1. Days to harvest, 55-85. It’s been 86 already for the two biggest, so I am deducing the topsy-turvy weather in March put them behind 10-14 days. The other six were planted on March 8, so they are behind as well.

That’s okay, because you don’t want everything ready to harvest they same day, or it will have to sit in your refrigerator. I discovered with my first round of cauliflower, if you leave them in the ground too long, a cutworm will think you’re not really interested and make a home in the middle of it, and when you cut it open to eat it, he’s gotten a head start!

I apparently have powdery mildew on my yellow zucchini plant.

Powdery mildew can affect almost any kind of plant. Remove affected parts, improve air-circulation, and prevent over-crowding. That’s a mistake I made. Zucchini seedlings are deceptively small and the plants really spread out and the leaves are huge. I planted way too much in my 6’x3′ raised bed. There are the two zucchini, a cherry tomato, 1 sugar pea, 1 green bean, four strawberry plants and a pepper plant, which is completely shaded by the huge zucchini leaves. Too much! Don’t do this!

I read powdery mildew is host-specific, which explains why my green zucchini plant right next to it is not affected. However, powdery mildew thrives in high-humidity, which we’ve had a lot of, so, I could find it anywhere in my garden. I read that spraying with a solution of 10% milk in water can get rid of it, so I’m going to try that. Because I have an organic garden, I’m always looking for non-toxic methods of disease management.

In spite of the powdery mildew on my yellow zucchini, it appears to be producing well!

Episode 3 of “Late Bloomer,” “Catch-up Day,” will be coming today, so check it out! Thanks for reading!

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