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  • Writer's pictureTraci Arellano

Rockstars at the Garden

This week's rockstars are the Early Red Acre Cabbages and Mammoth Sunflowers. The cabbage greens have taken over their box, though we can't see their heads yet. We harvested a few broccoli crowns and learned that when you see yellow flowers starting to form, to cut the floret off quick because it will make the texture mealy. However, the broccoli we ate from our garden was the best broccoli on the planet! There are still florets on the stalks that look promising and should turn into crowns themselves. I will keep you updated on their progress.

The Blue Lake beans did not make it...RIP. The seeds germinated and it looked like we were well on our way, when suddenly a week long cold snap moved in that took them out. Bummer. I said a little bean prayer and then planted organic cucumber seedlings in Box 2 (see pic) and marigolds in Box 1 (see pic).

"Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) are commonly planted as companion plants in vegetable gardens. These brightly colored annuals produce flowers from summer until the first frost in autumn. The strong aroma from the marigolds tends to mask the smell of the vegetable plant, which confuses garden pests."

The sunflowers are so hardy...definitely a Rockstar! The cold snap didn't affect them at all, and when I grew them in Phoenix, the heat didn't affect them negatively either. I am definitely a fan of the sunflower. Other notables was the head of lettuce that I discovered yesterday. All this time I thought it was green leaf lettuce with a leaf bent over, when in fact it was a head of iceberg lettuce. The head is the size of a baseball (see pic)!

Ultimately the plan is to put down a groundcover over the circulation areas; however, HBCG bylaws doesn't allow bark and I don't want to put a lot of money into pea gravel. Do any of my fellow garden nerds have any great ideas for me? I foresee our garden plan becoming much less structured, with a looser form, as we continue to maximize our garden plot real estate. I did plant 3 Spanish Lavender plants (Lavandula stoechas) by the east fence. I couldn't resist them when I was at Home Depot. This species are mounding, so they shouldn't get much taller than 2'. Lavender blooms smell wonderful and the bees go crazy for them. They were already being blessed by a few bees while I was putting the plants in the ground.

Lastly, this week was my Gramma's birthday and she loved pansies. In her memory I planted a beautiful white pansy (in the north sunflower bed) as an Ode to Frieda. I think she would have liked that :)

Let me know what you think of this blog, if you want to share tips or add a garden win of your own. Like and share also if you think other veggie nerds would enjoy it.

Happy, healthy eating and continued Good Growing!

#squarefootgardening #lettuce #beans #autumnbeauty #pansies #sunflowers #seedlings #broccoli #communitygardens #gardennerds #organicgardens #veggievirgins #beginninggardeners

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