Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 11-10-2011

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Cool and wet weather has arrived here in South Carolina and the feeling of Fall is in the air.  The cooler temperatures has made it very pleasant to work in the garden when it is not raining (we have had 14 inches in two and a half weeks).  That is more than normal and it has resulted in slow seed sprout which has required second plantings of peas, carrots, spring mix and collards.  The malibar spinach is, however, doing very well and climbing the fence.  I have planted turnip (seed) in the regular spinach bed as the spinach did not sprout and the turnips are coming up even with the wet conditions.  I had to spray a fungicide (daconil) on the blackberries and boysenberries to arrest the fungal growth on the leaves.  The boysenberries don’t look as good as the blackberries.  I will re-apply in two weeks and them again in hopes of eliminating the fungus.  The blackberries look as though they are going to produce an abundant crop next year.

Thornless Blackberries

I have started building the structure which will support the bird netting over the blackberries – a must if we don’t want to feed only the birds.  I have finished the last of the new raised beds and will install it in the garden tomorrow.  This is for cucumbers this spring.  I plan to build a 10 inch raised bed around the 50 foot bed where we grew watermelon this year and plan to grow tomatoes next year.  If I can trap the raccoon that is eating the watermelon from the re-seed we might get a few for ourselves.  They are the personal sized European heirloom melon that turns yellow when  ripe.  We need two more weeks.  The” have-a-heart” is set.  I also plan to build a 6 inch bed around the berries – this will help us control the aggressive joint (crab) grass that invades in late summer.  Peppers continue to produce (it is the Sweet Costa Rican Pepper from Burpee that is doing so well).   Sweet potatoes are harvested and I am told they were very good.  I saw one that Chris dug that was a big as a melon.  We need to plant more next year in a designed area – not scattered through out the garden as they went everywhere and made it difficult to weed.  I can’t say enough about the broccoli.  The fall planting is doing as well as our summer crop and is already over a foot high.

Malabar Spinach


Sweet Costa Rican Peppers

We are counting the days until the citrus comes in.  I have sampled a Myers lemon as well as a tangerine.  Both were early but almost there.  The red grapefruit, juice oranges, navels, limes and cumquats are loaded but the big surprise are the mandarins.   We have more this year that ever before.  They are the best.  Easy peeling and so sweet.  I have found 6 blood oranges on our 5 year old standard size tree.  This is the first fruit we have had and may be a  precursor of crops to come.  We have one 6 year old tangerine with three 2 year old trees not yet into production.  The older tree has orphaned off 3 trees from the grafted roots.  These trees produced an abundant crop of small 1 and a half inch tart tangerines last year (which will make a great marmalade).  I found that I liked to eat them off the tree even if tart/sour.  They were still tangerines.  Last year I purchased a Pummelo citrus (like a very large sweet grapefruit) from a local grafter.  It was doing well until I knocked a concrete block over onto it and broke it off at the ground.  I will replace it this year as I like the sweet contained juicy fruit.  If you have ever eaten a Pummelo, you will understand what I mean by “contained juicy”.  It is not messy like a grapefruit.



Paw Paw:   I have wanted to get a couple good Paw Paw trees  to accompany the standard wild Paw Paw tree I have now.  Two genetic variants are necessary to get fruit (which is an avocado sized fruit which taste like a banana+).  They are an east coast understory tree and very popular with home gardeners but not so in the grocery trade.  I went to the  Paw Paw guru, Neal Peterson.  He has been working with the Paw Paw for 40 years and has many varieties that he has introduced.  I asked him which were his favorites and he said the Shenandoah and the Susquehanna.  He no longer sells the Paw Paw (he is as old as I am and retired except for his pet Paw Paw experiments) but he recommended a couple nurseries.  I ordered one plant of each from One Green World in Oregon.  I received the best looking 2 year old plants I have ever received.  These people do a great job grafting and shipping their plants all over the world.  Check them out at www.onegreenworld.com.  I found a dozen other plants I want to get in their catalog.

Paw Paw

Olive Trees:   Chris and I have discussed the addition of a couple olive trees to the garden.  I did the research and found a variety that was ideally suited for our location.  They are the Lucca Olive Tree from Ty Ty nursery located in Georgia.  They have not yet arrived but I have the holes dug and waiting.  They are supposed to bear fruit in 2 years.

I think I already reported that I had ordered 30 Crocus Sativus bulbs for saffron production (EasytoGrowBulbs.com).  I have placed them in the garden and await their emergence.

Next undertaking is a strawberry patch.  More on that later.



Comments (1)

Hey Gordon!!! Glad you guys got rain – we finally got 1 1/3 inches last week – not nearly enough to break our Texas drought but enough to get me back in the garden to plant spinach, cucumbers and some lettuce!!!!

Happy Gardening!


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