Planting Living Herbs. When I brought them home from the grocery store, I put the rootball into a cup of water and thoroughly moistened the foliage after spreading it out around the rim of the cup (left). After an hour - to make sure that the rootball was thoroughly saturated - I gently pulled it apart into 3 or 4 pieces (however it easily broke apart on its own), and planted each part.
Chard is growing heartily after recuperating from summer heat. When harvesting, pull each leaf from its base to leave no remnant to attract snails and slugs. Toss tough older leaves into the compost pile, harvest the tender mid-size leaves, and leave the really young inner leaves to develop further for the next harvests.
AT THE 12/11/21 PLANT SALE -- Plumeria in 4 colors
The great thing about all these too-hot-to-be-Fall temperatures is that the peas just about jumped out of the soil from planting barely a week ago. This contrasted from several years ago when the soil was so chilly that it took four plantings two weeks apart before any came up – and then they ALL came up at the same time. And with night-time temperatures no lower than the mid-50s, lettuce and chard and broccoli and other greens are already gracing our dinnertime salads. I’m determining to plant more cool-season veggies as long as this warmishness continues, instead of assuming it’ll shortly get too chilly.
Planting Living Herbs
I’ve made a nice discovery – purchasing packaged living herbs from the grocery store and planting them into the garden. The price is a real bargain – about $2.50 for the living herb packet – that has some 20 or more little plants in a 1” rootball – instead of paying $5 for a single plant in a 4-inch pot at the nursery! I started with sage a month ago and just harvested and dried some leaves. Yesterday I planted oregano, marjoram and thyme.
I’m counting on the weather remaining warm enough so these herbs thrive through the winter. We’ll see whether we can take advantage of climate warming this way!
Potting Up Germinated Seedlings
From the trays where I’d started many kinds of seeds, I’ve been potting up the individual plants into 4-inch containers so they can further develop more extensive root systems before transplanting them into the garden where they’ll mature. For the first week, I kept them in the bright-light-but-no-direct-sun. Then, I’ve moved them to a spot where they’ll get direct sun from about 9am to 1:30pm. Next move will be to the pathway next to where I’ll transplant them to mature. After another week, when they’ve developed their second set of true leaves, I’ll get them into the ground.
Sowing Directly – Beets, Carrots, Kohlrabi, Parsley
These seeds get sown where they’ll mature to enable their long thin rootlets to establish themselves directly downward into the soil without having to try to straighten up after being curled up in 6-packs or 4” pots. This is critical for carrots since that rootlet is the part that ultimately enlargens and then we eat it. Not so much for the beets and kohlrabi and parsley since we don’t eat the root, but sowing their seeds directly helps them establish themselves sooner and more strongly than if they have to deal with reestablishing that long thin root later as a result of being transplanted.
Chard and Lettuce Harvests
Chard planted last spring is again lush and plentiful now that it’s recuperated from summer’s heat. And lettuce planted weeks ago – mostly buttercrunch type that’s my favorite because it’s so crunchy and flavorful – is putting out lots of leaves. When I harvest both, I pinch off each leaf as close to the plant’s base as possible to leave as little remnant as possible that might attract slugs and snails. Tough older leaves I toss into the pathway to move later en mass to my compost pile. Tender younger leaves go into my harvest basket. Really young leaves at the plants’ centers are left in place to develop further for the next harvest.
December 11 Plant Sale, 10am-2pm,
Baker’s Acres, 18552 Erwin Street, Tarzana 91335
I hope you’ll come to the Southern California Horticultural Society plant sale. Entry is free. For more information, www.socalhort.org
For more Monthly Tips, see December.
For more seasonal past blog discussions, see my homepage listing.
You may be particularly interested in this one: Holiday Décor From Your Garden - 11/19/19