Garden Update 2020: August 25

I think the picture above is broccoli or lettuce. Either way I am pleased to see that there are sproutlings. I see some clusters, but in my defense I planted quite a few in each spot because some of the seeds were question mark seeds.

Zucchini? Cucumber? Squash? I suppose we’ll find out when they start to make vegetables. I did group them together and I am glad to see they are shooting up. I think they are doing a little bit better than my pumpkins- which I planted August 1st. These were planted on the 12th? Or maybe the 8th? I can’t remember honestly, it feels like so long ago.

We have corn, but I feel like it should be taller. I am a very judgemental gardener. I am staring at this corn as though it were 2ft too short.

These are my pumpkins. We bought some stuff to put around them in order get them to look less yellow. They seem to be doing fine. I think they have a 110 day period before they fruit. It makes sense it would take a little bit longer to get them to work.

My other row of pumpkins. Now I had some real concerns about this row. It drains much quicker than the other side and my soil is so tough it doesn’t hold water for long, but with aggressive watering I think they will make it. Fingers crossed.

Are those baby radishes? I planted these babies on August 15. We had so many radish seeds that it was awkward, but any rows that did not produce on the 8th or 1st and here we have tiny things.

I do believe these are Brussel sprouts. I do not know for a fact. This is only my second growing season and in the spring I was a murderer. It happens. This time it will be different. Hopefully, they fight for survival.

I think that is a random pea plant, but I am not one hundred percent sure. I just want to let you know that I am terrible at the whole naming stuff and keeping up with it. Then again, I think that is half the fun- the surprise of finding out what it is when you start to get some vegetables on the plant.

We got a few bean survivors. I am thankful for anything my dogs didn’t eat. It turns out that it is pretty common. Thank goodness for the few plants we have, hopefully they survive the rest of summer.

Zone 8a: Ten Odd Plants

So i went to the Almanac and starting looking into what will actually do well in my area. Yes, I would like some sort of mutated version of Permaculture, Agroforestry, and pretty things that attract bird and bees and things to my property.

Yes. I would absolutely love to have exotic fruits and vegetables that make people say oh-la-la, but I truly want to produce enough to feed my family and not get mad at the birds for trying to survive.

My losing battle against a blueberry bush

I often have to remind myself that nature happens. So, after long debate, I have decided that I was fewer plants that will not survive well. Also did you know that a grown blue berry plant can drink anywhere between 10 to 20 gallons of water a day. Each source is different but they all tell you blue berries require a lot more attention.

My juniper bushes are doing well. I just added fresh dirt to it. She was young when I got her and she has not given any berries. My other juniper was murdered by my dogs. I feel successful because this one doesn’t have any brown on it. I call that a solid win.

I can do a lot of apples, that is on the list and there are a lot of kinds of apples that grow in Zone 8a.

Blackberries are doing amazing. I have first hand knowledge that grapes do as well. Online they say pomegranate, persimmon, peach, apricot, pear, banana, and citrus. There are tons more.

Here is the list that I have came up with and found grow here (that I never thought and I find to be a little Odd):

1) The Arabica coffee plant- this plant is responsible for sixty percent of coffee production. It is a shrub and takes seven years to full mature.

2) The Camellia Sinensis plant- is tea, but it is pretty clear you should be careful of which one you get and make sure that it fits into your zone needs. I thought that was pretty cool. It isn’t cold resistant, but with extra winter care it can be an amazing addition in zone 8.

3) Ginger – and to be clear I mean Zingiber officinale, the edible ginger. These are tiny plants that usually don’t grow taller than four feet. They do better in zone 9 to 12, but you can grow them in 8a. Fun fact: if you let your ginger grow for 2 to 4 years you’ll get flowers on your little plant. As you know ginger is a useful plant and a great spice too.

4) Sassafras tree– is not just a tree with an amazingly cool name. This tree also has many uses. The roots can be a tea and the twigs and bark are edible. I don’t know if they are delicious, but I have never had sassafras tea before. Sassafras is also a spice and can be added to dishes.

5) Peppercorn– this is a perennial vine and it is marked as 8b, but with care anything from 8b can be grown in 8a. Here were are some fun facts about the history of the perennial. I just want black pepper and it just seems cool.

6) Cascada Hops– they are vines and have launched the modern Craft beer revolution. It allegedly grows fast and produces earlier. They don’t need anything special because their zones are 3 to 9. Make some beer or wine.

7) Yerba mate– it can be brewed similarly to tea. It can get huge at 28 ft tall and has uses (not including shade).

8) Turmeric– in zone 8a we are in the low end of growing zone. It says 8, but we all know that means 8b. We are a little cold

9) Red Leaf Tea plant– full of antioxidants, this is like the tea above but this one is equally amazing and a specific breed of the one above. They are drought hardy and fit perfect in my zone

10) Star Anise– starts growing in zone 8 and ends in 10. In our zone it’ll need full to partial shade but it is a fun, uncommon thing we can grow in zone 8a

So at the end of the day I want three of each. I am excited to get some of these growing.

I am still looking but this is a great start.

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