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Fall Gardening: Gynura Procumbens, Okra, and Feathered Friends


Fall is definitely on! The dogwood trees are loaded with red berries and the birds (cardinals, goldfinches, brown thrushes, and gray catbirds) are all vying for a beak full. Other birds are visiting as well. We cover in this short garden newsletter, Gynura Procumbens, okra and birds.

Audio Article – Fall Gardening:

The monkey-like calls of gray-barred owls and the red-shouldered hawk’s shrieks seem to alternate as if having a raptor-to-raptor chat. And, of course, we have the perpetual hums and twitters of the little hummingbirds. Here’s a photo of a young male with just a dot of ruby iridescence on his throat. Eventually, the one “jewel” will expand into the full throated radiance that distinguishes the male of the species.

Hummingbirds Head South Soon

As you may know, we published an article about these colorful, feisty, yet charming little birds. Their time here grows short and they’ll soon depart for warmer climes. Many will travel as far south as Mexico and Central America.

They’ve been our constant gardening companions most of the season, so we’ll miss them. However, we’ll look for them next year, because hummers have been known to return to friendly yards year after year.

Juvenile Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Protecting Tender Plants

Night time temperatures are already dropping into the low 60’s–a reminder that some tender plants which have been set outside will soon need to come in. Some have the waxy leaves, like our corn plant, which are damaged by 40 degree temps-much the same as putting bananas in the fridge.

Gynura Procumbens, AKA Longevity Spinach

Our longevity spinach (Gynura procumbens), is a bit hardier but cannot bear freezing. We grew two plants last year set in grow, bags for portability to the indoors. From cuttings, we grew two more over the winter. We set all four outside in late April and they’ve been magnificent growers. This week, cuttings were taken and set into individual pots that will remain outside till the temps edge toward 40 degrees.

Here’s an in depth article about longevity spinach and all its nutritional and medicinal benefits.

Longevity spinach clippings re-potted.


Our tent city is increasing as we set out more fall plants and cover them with gauzy material to ward off various pests. As the broccoli and kale grow, we’ll harvest a few leaves. Same goes for the sweet potatoes. We have yet to see what kind of yield the sweet potatoes will offer.

The vines certainly have been robust and have spread out in all directions.  Our main harvest lately has come from the okra, which have grown so tall, they need to be gently bent down to access the pods. I tried a pod right off the stalk and it was tender and full of flavor.

What’s Happening in Your Garden?

How about your week?  We know gardeners love to share photos of crops, crafts and harvests, so if you’d like us to publish your photos, comments and/or articles, we’d be delighted to hear from you. How’s the change of seasons going in your garden? Do you bring your tender perennials indoors? You can post comments and/or photos on our Facebook page, or send us an email.

As always…

“May your gardens flourish and your harvests be bountiful, and when you look upon your little Eden, may you see that it is good.”
~Coleman Alderson,

Tally hoe!


Grow Great Gardens!

Coleman Alderson

G. Coleman Alderson is an entrepreneur, land manager, investor, gardener, and author of the novel, Mountain Whispers: Days Without Sun. Coleman holds an MS from Penn State where his thesis centered on horticulture, park planning, design, and maintenance. He’s a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and a licensed building contractor for 27 years. “But nothing surpasses my 40 years of lessons from the field and garden. And in the garden, as in life, it’s always interesting because those lessons never end!” Coleman Alderson

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