Postage Stamp Garden Update Fall 2020

I’ve been busy getting plants started for winter and thought I’d just give a little overview of how things are going.

Flowering Luffa Vines

In June I got a fairly late start prepping and planting up my 11 ft x 11 ft “Postage Stamp” garden (You can hear all about it here). The growing season was pretty much what I expected starting that late in my hot dry climate. The Tomatoes and peppers did almost nothing once we got into the high nineties and hundreds, and have really only started producing the last few weeks. Lots of seeds didn’t germinate, or just didn’t survive past the seedling state

The tepary beans have been growing along pretty aggressively, and I should get a decent harvest a little later in the season. Pretty great for a crop I haven’t directly watered or cared for much at all. I’m not sure how much I’ll get but I’m getting a little excited to give them a try.

They Xylangouro cucumber melons have been the stars of my summer garden. Thanks to those incredibly productive vines I and my family have been enjoying fresh, crunchy, cucumber flavored melons all summer long. Now that they are starting to wane I’ll be sad to see them go, but I’ve got some wonderful things in the work.

In June I started a couple dozen Perennial Kale seedlings (from the Homesteader’s Kaleidoscopic Perennial Kale Grex available here.) which seemed to stay frozen in time all summer. The entire batch just sat there sporting a couple of true leaves and not growing in any visible way. Its nice to know they can survive our summers, even if they basically do nothing during them. Now that the temperatures have cooled a bit they are starting to put on a little size, and I should be getting a harvest in the next week or so.

I’ve been planting more cold tolerant legumes, Christmas Lima, a patch of Broad beans, a couple of varieties of Peas. I’ve also started several punnets in the greenhouse with all the cold hardy seeds I had left from my earlier summer plantings. I’ve started a perennial celery, beets, Turnips, and walking onions.

Now onto some failures. I’ve tried two different plantings of Dwarf Blue Jade Corn, and both were devastated by grasshoppers. I’m not sure why this variety was so attractive to them when they completely ignored the atomic orange I grew earlier. I also discovered that I’ve developed a mild oral eggplant allergy, and my SO has a violent reaction to mustard greens. So next years garden will have a little extra space for experimentation.

I may be overhauling it next year, moving my trellis away from the east facing wall and building it up along the northern side. I may also restructure my beds into C/keyhole shapes rather than rows. I might also switched to raised beds. I don’t need the extra drainage, and the added heat could be a liability, but growing in conventional rows has lead to alot of toddler foot traffic near my plants that I’d like to avoid. We’ll see.

So how was your year?

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