Our patio garden: getting ready for fall

Our summer of tomatoes has been a lot of fun, but it’s starting to come to an end. We still have a few tomatoes left to go, but you can see that the plants are starting to look a little withered and yellow.

Senescence is definitely setting in.

Because we are blessed with a relatively mild winter climate, we decided it would be a shame to let those pots stand empty once the tomatoes were finally finished. And so, a couple of weeks ago, I stopped by our local garden supply store to peruse the seed offerings.
I was tempted by quite a few of the seeds available, and briefly entertained a dream of somehow growing brussels sprots, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, peas, fava beans, and carrots in our little space. Then I brought myself back down to earth and settled for a mere two packets:


Sugar snap peas and lacinto (or dino) kale. The peas I though would be good for fixing nitrogen and helping to replenish the potting soil that’s been depleted by our summer tomatoes (meaning less need for fertilizer application from us!). The kale, meanwhile, will be getting the benefit of our last bit of unused potting soil, and some of the compost that is busily ageing away in our bin. But before they hit the big time in pots, I started the seeds off in the remains of a cardboard egg carton. I put them in with a little potting soil:
Applied water, and after a week, was rewarded with some green sprouting:


Now, at the three (almost four) week mark, our seedlings are looking positively plant like:


At least, the ones that came up are. As you can see, I’m not quite managing a 100% sprout rate. Seeing as how there are only four pots available, that’s not really a problem.
I’m planning on leaving the seeds in their egg shells for at least two more weeks, maybe a little longer if the tomatoes get a sudden last wind of productivity. Then it’ll be time for a transplant party, and eventually, some new homegrown vegetables gracing our dinner table.


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