Eclectic Deck Garden
My deck garden is changing and growing and evolving every day. Along with a place where we hang out laundry (I have two 40-foot clotheslines that are accessed via my 2nd story deck), and grill the hamburgers, and occasionally shoot targets, and watch for deer and coyotes, and look at the night sky, and . . . I am starting seeds and growing tomatoes, peppers, and weeds.
Yes, I am growing weeds.
Cultivating WeedsOne of my recent interests, among many others, is foraging for wild edibles. I am a neophyte for sure. A few months ago I knew that dandelions were edible. That's it.
Today I know that lambs quarters, wild strawberries, purslane, milkweed, Japanese knotweed, plantain (the kind that grows in my lawn, not the banana lookalike), cattails, autumn olive, and many more are all edible and grow on my property (except for the cattails which I hope to remedy soon).
Purslane can be used in salads, soups, and pestos, and is reputed to have a spicy flavor.
The picture to the left shows a leaf miner larva chowing down on my purslane. I picked off each of the leaves that was damaged and threw them away. These pests can do a lot of damage. I will need to check each day for new damage.
Leaf miners are larva of flies, moths, even beetles that eat the fleshy part of leaves. This protects them from predators, giving them a safe place to chow down. After taking this picture I noticed that my purslane is forming buds. I will collect some seeds to sow next spring, or maybe even this winter indoors.
In pot number 1 I have from top and going clockwise Snow Pea (2 o'clock), bell pepper (4 o'clock), and the rest Calabrese Broccoli. I planted a couple more Snow Pea seeds yesterday so that I have at least 4 and hoping for 6 plants going into the cooler weather.
The broccoli seedlings are ready to be replanted in larger pots.
I suspect the bell pepper plant will not have time to do much of anything before it gets too cold but I might bring it inside and provide a grow light for some of my plants; my real wish is for a small greenhouse on my deck. Oh, if only.
My 19yo son and I went shopping on Wednesday and treated ourselves to a Chinese buffet. Of course, I had to taste every vegetable in that buffet. I was so excited to find steamed Bok Choi leaves with the crunchy bottom part and green leafy part intact. So now I am really excited about my Bok Choi. I will make this crop succeed somehow.
The Jalapeno pepper plants are for my boys. I prefer sweet peppers but they really like that heat. Again, started way too late most likely but I will do what I can. Still want that greenhouse. There must be a way!
|Bell peppers and purslane|
|Baby bell peppers growing|
|Bell peppers and purslane|
|I believe these are Moskovich tomatoes|
|San Marzano plum tomato|
|Moskovich tomato, I believe|
Now to find some giveaway pots from someplace so I can replant my Bok Choi and Calabrese Broccoli seedlings. Wish me luck!