Checking in on the Fall garden

arugula growing vertically

The July sowings have grown up nicely, and we've been enjoying a wealth of leafy greens and herbs from the Fall garden. Swiss chard, green onions, chives, kale, arugula, spinach, radishes, herbs and lots of lettuce - all are thriving in the cooler weather. Particularly the arugula has surprised me in a GreenStalk. I've never had such bushy plants and large leaves as in a GreenStalk! I'm growing two plants per growing pocket the Leaf planter.

Another really pleasant surprise was a variety of spinach that I tried for the first time this year: "Palco F1". It has grown really fast and shoots up secondary stems from the main stem, giving a fantastic yield. And it's tasty! The leaves are very tender and we've suddenly found ourselves making spinach salads for the first time ever. Add some chard and mustard greens, and you've got some really vibrant colors on your plate. Green onions, egg slices and bacon/veggie bacon work very nicely on a spinach sallad, as does a dressing that's a bit sweet.

Savoy spinach Palco F1 with a lot of growth growing in a GreenStalk vertical planter

Turns out that for all the effort I put into choosing most of my seeds, I've paid far too little attention to spinach. I didn't even know that there are different types! Savoy, semi-savoy and flat leaf. Recently I learned that what I've grown previous years is a flat leaf spinach, "Helios F1". With thick flat leaves it has been a great choice for cooking or freezing, but we've never appreciaed it raw.

Palco F1 on the other hand is a savoy spinach - a better choice for sallads - so from here on there will be two sorts of spinach in our garden. I will be trying to find a faster growing flat leaf variety though - when I watch Palco F1 go, it seems like the Helios F1 could up it's game 🙃

We've been eating far more lettuce based sallads this season as well. Lettuce is just plain more appealing to us when grown in a GreenStalk. We're spared the dirt splash when it rains and it's a rare slug that finds it's way up, so the leaves need only the slightest rinse (sometimes I don't even do that) and they're ready to eat. A real treat for me this year was seeing my husband routinely go out to pick produce, I suspect because it's just easier from a GreenStalk - he doesn't have to check 40 different pots spread all over the yard to find what he's looking for! Everything's right there and with a quick spin he sees what he's after. And the mix of colors and textures from the different varieties makes salad more interesting to us both.

It's been a bit short on tomatoes for the salads the last couple weeks though. Normally I would still be getting lots of cherry tomatoes in September, but sadly I had to pull the three plants in the GreenStalks while still full of tomatoes, when they fell victim to what Google Lens tells me was anthracnose - a fungal disease. I've never had a problem with this in all my years of growing tomatoes so I was not on the alert, and by the time I realized it was not just a matter of the plants feeling under the weather of all the rain but a serious problem, it was too late and I had to remove them before the disease spread to anything else 😥 Next year, I'm spraying with neem oil!!


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