Random Thoughts

Five Things Friday

New seeds for fall

The five little things that made my week…

1. It’s seed-starting season! About 60 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers going in the ground for fall.

More strawberries coming

2. The strawberries are starting to come back.

Freshly picked kumquats

3. Freshly picked kumquats.

Cactus

4. Adore this cactus right outside my bedroom window. It’s over two stories tall!

Bags of worm castings

5. Can’t wait to dig into these boxes that my friends at Boogie Brew sent over! For the last couple of weeks, I’ve had bags and bags of worm castings sitting in the garden, and I’ll soon be giving you the lowdown on how I prep a new season of planting.

Linda Ly About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »

24 Comments

  • Linda Ly
    Linda Ly
    October 19, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Most of them are started indoors ahead of time, especially if the seeds are tiny or take a long time to germinate. But beans, peas, beets, and radishes are always sowed directly in the garden.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Charlotte Green
    October 19, 2014 at 4:23 am

    Hi Garden Betty! I am still collecting my tomatoes from last summer planting and still canning. It must feel very refreshing to plan a garden anew.

    The plant in your photo number 4 is not a cactus, it is Euphorbia. If you nick the plant it will exude white latex that can be a skin irritant. By the way, what is the beautiful tree in the background with the pink flowers?

    Great photos! Keep up a good work!

    Reply
    • Linda Ly
      Linda Ly
      October 19, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      It’s interesting that you point that out. While it’s true that euphorbia and cacti belong to completely different families, some euphorbia are simply known by their common names, e.g. candelabra cactus (what I have), coral cactus, and pencil cactus. It can sometimes get confusing because there’s also a species called Euphorbia cactus!

      The tree in the background is a silk floss tree (Ceiba speciosa). I love its flowers but the fruit pods are quite a sight – they’re very large and filled with cotton-like fiber!

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Charlotte Green
        October 20, 2014 at 4:45 am

        I was guessing Euphorbia ingens or Candelabra Tree, but didn’t dare to suggest it in my comment without seeing the whole plant. Thank you for satisfying my curiosity.

        Your silk floss looks gorgeous against that bright blew sky. You are lucky to have exotic plants on your land.

        Reply
        • Linda Ly
          Linda Ly
          October 21, 2014 at 6:40 pm

          LOL, I’ve always thought plants in other regions were “exotic.” Grass is always greener, right? 🙂

          Reply
          • Avatar
            Charlotte Green
            October 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm

            You are right, the grass is always greener. However, it’s greener on my side of the fence :). I will not trade my homestead with anyone else. As I am sure you like were you are, and you won’t trade your slice of heaven with me or anyone else. And it’s a good thing :).

            I do like the unusual (exotic) plants though. Having lived in the Bay area, worked in Peru, Ecuador, Chile, China, Europe and many other domains, I still feel that their plants are very exotic to me. I guess, it’s not were we are, but were we are from. . . that determines our perception of “exotic.”

            Please indulge me, what are the plants that seem exotic to you? After all, California encompasses almost all (if not all) of the biomes of our planet. Having said that, I wonder, what would seem exotic to you? Dwarf birch, may be?

            I am in northern Kentucky, by the way, and I love my plants, animals, and the “Green Kentucky Blue Grass.” No pun intended.

          • Linda Ly
            Linda Ly
            October 25, 2014 at 5:14 pm

            LOL, I had to look up what dwarf birch was! But yes, I think plants found in colder climes intrigue me. I’ve grown up around desert plants and tropical plants my whole life, and while they’re not new to me, they do still impress. I will never tire of having bananas and pineapples growing in my yard! Living in California, however, makes me appreciate the trees in other regions. We do get some fall color here but not in the sheer volume and variety that four-season climates do. Even just seeing patches of red and gold in the hills out here seems like an exotic, ephemeral treat!

          • Avatar
            Charlotte Green
            October 27, 2014 at 5:22 am

            Thank you for sharing. It is very thought provoking because being native to the northern and temperate climates, I still stare in owe at the exuberance of colors and textures of the vegetation as the seasons change. Especially now, in the fall, the golden surroundings are simply overwhelming. Knowing how fleeting this nature’s treat is, makes me appreciate it even more.

            The tropical plants are incredibly impressive for me. They are so rich in colors and shapes. I also love the unique shapes of the harsh desert plants of the Southwest. Saguaros, barrel cacti, cholla, prickly pear, pallo verde. It is so nice that we don’t take our surroundings for granted.

          • Linda Ly
            Linda Ly
            October 27, 2014 at 9:57 pm

            I’m glad that we share a passion for plants in general!

          • Avatar
            KimRidge Farmer
            December 3, 2014 at 4:52 pm

            I am very happy too. And our common passion is not only for plants, but also for chickens, gardens, new places, tafoni formations, photography, blogging, and perhaps more. I enjoy reading your posts, and I hope you visit my site as well.

  • Avatar
    Grow Hot Peppers
    October 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Man, seeing all those seed packets just made me smile. I LOVE collecting seeds.

    Is there anything in particular that you’re really excited about growing this season?

    Reply
    • Linda Ly
      Linda Ly
      October 19, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      Brussels sprouts! It will be my first time growing them. I love how the sprouts form on long stalks and the greens are an added bonus.

      Also purple peas and purple sprouting broccoli; there is always something purple growing in my garden every season. (Last season, it was purple tomatoes, purple beans, and purple cauliflower.)

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Grow Hot Peppers
        October 19, 2014 at 9:58 pm

        I’m with you on the purple. It’s just so eye catching!

        Have you grown purple jalapeños? They are SO beautiful. Plus, the leaves turn a black/purple color too if you keep the plant in the sun.

        Reply
  • Avatar
    Cary Bradley
    October 17, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Hi Linda! Very interested to read your prepping for new planting post. I’ve composted the old fashioned way for decades and also enjoyed vermicomposting and wonder why one would do both. My worm composting was more of a lark and I wonder if you keep both up. Thanks! Also, looking forward to hearing about your experience with Boogie Brew. 🙂

    Reply
    • Linda Ly
      Linda Ly
      October 19, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      I do keep several compost heaps because of the size of our property. A few are dedicated to chicken manure, a few are dedicated to yard trimmings, the tumbler is a catch-all for wood ash and excess kitchen scraps, and the vermicomposter t is for small, everyday kitchen scraps (since it sits right outside the kitchen door). Juicing, plus parties and other big meals, usually produces a lot of scraps that won’t fit in the vermicomposter. Right now, we use our vermicompost to make worm tea but will soon be switching to Boogie Brew’s worm castings, so the vermicompost will be used primarily for our homemade potting soil.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Cary Bradley
        October 20, 2014 at 3:42 am

        Excellent, thanks so much. As I said, we’ve done both and I do love having the little critters thriving, so much fun. You’ve inspired me to get some more worms going for winter fun inside. Time for the Fall coop cleanout too. Never considered keeping many different piles with different inputs, but will think about this idea. We’ve got plenty of space too and have always heaped it all together, except for large branch cuttings, which have their own area. Hmmmm…. Food for thought ;). Thanks! 🙂

        Reply
  • Avatar
    Mike the Gardener
    October 17, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Just 60 varieties? light weight 😉 j/k

    Reply

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