Welcome to our urban garden in the month of October. In today’s episode we will look at some of the harvest from this month, we will walk you through what’s growing in our garden, we will look at some gardening tips and tricks, review a cool gardening product and give a tour of the aftermath of the Santa Ana winds followed by the Silverado fire which came too close for comfort.
We harvested a lot of vegetables this month from our home garden. Ash gourd or winter melon was a volunteer plant that grew from compost this year, bitter melon which grows prolifically here and has huge health benefits, Black beauty eggplants which is one of favorite eggplant varieties to grow, green eggplants which have a distinct flavor compared to the purple ones, an Indian eggplant variety that we bought at a farmers market in Torrance, CA, the Japanese eggplants that we were growing in our green stalk planter, millionaire eggplant which is very productive and also the best tasting and flavorful of all the eggplant varieties we were growing this year. We also harvested some guavas, hyacinth beans that was growing in the whiskey barrel container, ivy gourds that is growing on a trellis along the edge on our last bed, red kidney beans something new we tried growing this year, lots of luffa or sponge gourds, moringa leaves which we dried and crushed into a powder to sprinkle on smoothies and other beverages, okras – baby bubba, Nombo giant okras which produced the final pods for this season, green onions that were growing in a container, bulbing red onions from our raised beds, and peppers – Anaheim chili peppers, cayenne peppers growing in the green stalk planter. We had an abundant harvest of the minowase radish that was growing in the whiskey barrel container, spinach, and taro roots. We harvested some tomatoes – cherry, chocolate sprinkle, beef steak though the plants have considerably slowed down in production as cooler temps have set in, icebox watermelon and black beauty zucchinis.
In containers, we have some onions growing, black beauty eggplants, tomato plant, carrots that we sowed recently, winter minowase radish, Malabar spinach plant that’s grown quite tall, Indian striped eggplant, baby baba okra that’s almost towards the end of the season, mint plant growing in a partly shaded corner, hyacinth bean plants, spinach , pea plants, zucchinis that are now also towards the end of the season, millionaire eggplant, Nombo giant okra that’s towards the end of its season and it still has some okra pods, and some cauliflower plants.
In our raised beds we have lots of bunching onions, radish, some more brassicas like cauliflower, kohlrabi, cabbage, and some spinach, fenugreek plants growing. We also have luffas growing that have used most of the trellis, bitter gourd plants, beets, some more onions, elephant garlic and okras. On the next bed we have all our brassicas, cauliflower, cabbage, Romanesco, mustard greens and ridge gourd plants growing. Next bed has all the tomato plants which have considerably slowed down now, and we may remove them to make space for winter veggies. And our last bed has some more brassicas, kale, ivy gourds growing towards the back, kohlrabi and some sunchoke plants which have grown quite big.
Things to do in your garden
- It’s a good time to plant onions. We got these onion sets called the harvest blend from our local garden We are going to try using the square foot planting method to plant these onions. So, we mark one foot of an area using a measuring tape and plant these big bulbing onions.
- It’s a good idea to transplant seedlings of winter vegetables/cool season crops outdoors. We transplanted the beet, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower seedlings that were growing indoors this month as the weather is quite cool now. Water your seedlings very well after transplanting.
- It’s a good time to prepare/or fortify your raised beds. We added lots of worm castings from VermisTerra who makes excellent quality castings and mixed it well with the soil which will help the plants uptake all the nutrients from the soil
- Remember to save seeds from your summer vegetables that may be in the end of their growing season now.
Gardening Product Review
We will be reviewing the Mars Hydro TS 1000 LED grow light which was sent to us for review by Mars Hydro. You can find more details about the product at mars-hydro.com. The product comes with a user manual, some accessories to attach your grow lights, a connector that helps daisy chain the grow lights to each other, and finally the grow light itself. The LED’s on the grow light are quite well arranged and has an aluminum reflective cover, it also comes with a dimmer that lets you adjust the intensity of the light. Assembling was very easy; all you really need to do is connect the LED connector and the power cable and hang your light using the accessories provided.
It’s a smaller size grow light that can sufficiently illuminate an area of about two feet by two feet and the lights are dimmable. We were growing some cilantro, pepper plants under these grow lights and they seemed to be doing great. If you are struggling to grow cilantro, growing them indoors under grow lights is a great way to get cilantro all year round. Overall, I’m very happy with the performance of these grow lights, these are much better than the T5 or the other grow lights that you can usually find in your local hardware store. Here’s a link to this product
Mars Hydro: https://bit.ly/304ec10
Discount code: californiagardening
This month we had some crazy Santa Ana winds that caused some damage in our garden followed by the Silverado wildfire for which we had to evacuate. One of our moringa trees couldn’t sustain the wrath of the Santa Ana winds and uprooted at the base. But thankfully our firefighters did a phenomenal job as always and no structures or lives were lost in the wildfire.
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Watch the full episode at Insane Vegetable Harvests! California Gardening October 2020 Full Tour