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Newsletter: Garden Design App, Harvest and Edible Landscaping

In the Garden Newsletter – Late Summer Report Card

Hello friends! It’s that time of year now for our midseason garden report card. Thanks to our fantastic garden design app, we can render a crop by crop report.

Audio Article – Garden Design App, Harvest and Edible Landscaping

We can observe and remark how each crop grew and recommend planting the same variety next season. Or not! Here’s just a snippet showing how the varieties of squash and tomatoes performed this year. We’re using a 10-point ranking system along with pertinent notes.

garden planning chart

Musquee de Maroc Squash

As you can see, the squash didn’t perform well at all. One exception, the Musquee de Maroc, actually outperformed as indicated by its write up in the catalogue.  I just did not realize the vines would be so aggressive and bear relatively so few squash.

One bright spot in our squash and pumpkin patch is that at least we got a couple of samples of what we were trying to grow. Check out the picture below, and you’ll see we came up with a rather colorful variety.

Speaking of “bright spots”, if  you read our previous garden newsletter, you may recall I finally came around to admitting that our lower garden just doesn’t get enough sunlight for all that I was asking of it.

 

winter squash harvest, Kamo Kamo squash, Green Striped Cushaw squash, Styrian Pumpkin, Spaghetti squash
Clockwise from the top: Kamo Kamo squash, Green Striped Cushaw squash, Styrian Pumpkin, Spaghetti squash. Image by GardensAll.com

Terrific Tomatoes!

The much anticipated tomato harvest is almost over. For a couple weeks now, our daily menu has included such delectables as tomato soup (gazpacho with fresh garden cucumbers), salad tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, shukshaka (a Middle Eastern Huevos Rancheros style egg dish), and of course, the darling of the lot, sliced tomato and mayo sandwiches (“M&Ms”).

We are so loaded with lycopene, those free radicals have gone on vacation! 😀

And yet, sad to say, our supply of organic home grown tomatoes is dwindling. We thought we might be able to put some up for the winter, but then again, here they are all fresh and inviting. Looks like we have just enough for a week or so. Then, it’s the meagre harvest of stragglers and eventually, a few greenies. Ahhh. But it was a summer to remember!

Summer Tomato Harvest:
We are so loaded with lycopene, those free radicals have gone on vacation! 😀

Shukshaka, egg in tomato sauce dish
Shakshuka, egg dish in fresh tomatoes and sauce. Delicious! Image – GardensAll.com

Edible Landscaping

We know the love of gardening is all inclusive and goes beyond just growing food gardens. After all, we are GardensALL!

For the longest time we only planted florals and landscape plants because we didn’t have enough sun for vegetable gardening. So once we started growing veggies, we got on a food growing binge. Now it’s time to circle back around to our roots, so to speak, and cover more on landscape plantings.

FACTOID: When LeAura and I met, I was running a landscaping business. When we got married, I sold my house and moved into hers, along with over 130 landscape plants… mostly trees and mostly exotic and ornamental! 😀

So here’s a brief foray into other areas of our property where we’ve incorporated edible plants in the landscape. One of our favorites is the blueberry bush. It can be set in a foundation planting, a hedgerow, or in the garden itself. It does need a fairly acidic soil and even moisture.

TIP:Blueberries make a great edible landscape plant. They can be a foundation plant, a hedgerow or in the garden itself.
~GardensAll.com

blueberry bush, edible landscaping
Blueberry bush in the center – Image by GardensAll.com

 

edible landscaping, blueberries
Blueberries make great edible landscape plants – Image by GardensAll.com

Ornamental Edible Plants

Edible landscape plants can be quite ornamental.

Fall color, pretty fruit, and flowers are outstanding in many species including blueberries, persimmons, and even some dogwoods like the Kousa, (you can see the lovely Kousa flowers here).

Edible landscape, kousa dogwood berries
Kousa Dogwood Berries – edible

Asian Persimmon Tree

We’re quite fond of the Asian persimmon. It forms a small tree and some varieties (like the Fuyu shown below) can be picked a little early whereas other types need to fully ripen to avoid the astringent “pucker effect”.  The shiny leaves and the beautiful apple-like fruit put on quite a show. Ripe fruit is sweet and somewhat al dente.

We’ve also written more about the luscious, mouthwatering Fuyu Persimmon here.

fuyu persimmon tree
Fuyu Persimmon tree with green persimmons. Image by GardensAll.com

Edible Landscape Trees

Many of these edibles also supply food to birds and other animals. For instance, if you plant elderberries, chances are great that in addition to forming up root suckers, the birds will help plant new ones.

Many of the “ornamental” landscape plants just happen to be edible as well, like the Oregon Grape Holly (Mahonia), daylilies, and hostas. Naturally, you should always make sure and cross check the species with your own research. You’ll likely be amazed at the potential food sources readily available in your yard.

fuyu persimmon tree
Fuyu Persimmon tree with green persimmons. Image by GardensAll.com

Growing Ginseng and Other Woodland Herbs

This could be an article in and of itself. (Making a note ;-)). For now, we can mention that in our woodland acreage, we’re experimenting with growing wild ginseng and goldenseal.

We purchased the seed, refrigerated it over the winter, and planted it outside in a recommended wooded location.  We’ve put a screen over each patch to keep the animals from browsing. Given that over the past six years very little care has been taken, the plants are coming along.

As you may know, ginseng and goldenseal can both be a very profitable crop, but, it takes 5-7 years to grow to optimal maturity.

What’s Happening in Your Garden (and Landscape)?

This weekend,  we’re changing gears from a summer garden into a fall garden. Clean-up, bed prep, plant selection, . . . you know the drill. What’s going on in your garden world? We’re always eager to hear from you, to see your pictures, to learn, and share. You can post comments and/or photos up on our Facebook page, or send us an email.

From the Community:

Lisa Braschler: These are miniature white pickling cukes. Because they are quite prolific I rate them a nine. They turn yellow if they are not shaded by the plant leaves or are over ripe. They taste great and add a nice crunch when pickled. I got my seeds from Sow True Seed Co. 

white cucumbers
Prolific growing white cucumbers, taste great and add a nice crunch when pickled. Image – Lisa Braschler

Thanks for sharing, Lisa!

 

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, GardensAll.com

Tally hoe!

TALLY HOE!

Keep Growing 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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