Monday, September 9, 2013

Time To Start The Fall Garden

It's been so hot for so long, it felt like it would never end, but today it finally happended and we had a high of just 90, plus 1.15" of rain.  This put me in the mood to get started on the Fall garden, so I started seeds for Blue, Jack O'Lantern and Small Sugar pumpkins, plus Calabrese Broccoli, Early Golden Acre Cabbage, Early White Vienna Kohlrabi, Purple Top White Globe and Seven Top Turnips and Iceberg Lettuce.  I used some of the seeds and seed starters I bought recently at Dolllar General and set them up on a table in my backroom, since a return to highs in the low 100's is in the 10-day forecast and I don't want the sprouts to get toasted.

The pumpkins are in the covered container; the rest are labeled using toothpicks.

I also recently picked up a dragon fruit, Hylocereus undatus, at a local Asian market as I wanted to gather seeds to try to grow some, plus I love the flesh of the fruit.  I cut open the fruit and used the knife edge to gently scrape some seeds out, then placed them on a paper towel to separate the seeds from the pulp.  I filled one of the fiber seed starters with a mixture of compost, sand and vermiculite, wetting the soil, then tamped it down, placed several seeds in each section and coverd with more soil.  The whole tray then went into a plastic container used as a greenhouse; once the seeds sprout, the lid will be removed and the bottom will remain as a water reservoir.  Various references state that germination happens within 3-14 days, with most stating 11-14 days, so time will tell which is most accurate.

Dragon fruit

Sectioned to expose the seeds

Seeds after being removed; note the seeds on the left that have been separated from the pulp.

Seeds ready to be sown.

Seed tray ready to be planted.

Now I wait for them to sprout.

In other news, I finally have some inflorescences developing on one of my Plumerias that I got at this year's Spring Swap.  The variety is 'Novelty' and I can't wait to see what this one looks like; pictures will be forthcoming.

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