Fire Mountain Garden Exchange

August Rant by Editor
August 19, 2011, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Fruits, Vegetables

Well this is certainly a different year from last. I like to refer back to the previous year’s monthly missive. Last year the tomatoes were suspect and the basil was rocking, Well the tables have turned, and the basil is crying, why I am not sure, most likely sourcing of the plants. I think I purchased mine at Anderson’s in La Costa and they were very root bound. I have also purchased two of the Trader Joe’s $2.99 basil bombs, one I planted on the deck in a five gallon of pure potting soil, one in the garden. I didn’t separate either.

You may remember that a few months ago I referred to a load of mushroom compost that I picked up in San Marcos. The stuff was pretty hot with horse manure and a little salty looking; I put it in the bottom of the garden and sprayed with water to leach our some of the horse urine. I dug a good portion into two rows of my garden as a test. I will have to say that the green beans and tomatoes loved it. Please check out the accompanying pictures.  I think I have the biggest bean plants (simple Kentucky Wonder) I have had on FM in 25 years and they are just getting ready to bust loose with a beanapalooza. It is going to pickling time on the ranch for the next two weeks. The tomatoes after a slow start are ripping it up; I am particularly pleased with Black from Tula, Green Zebra and Black Prince. I bought all of these at Grangetto’s in Fallbrook. The lettuce is a little lame, but I can still make a salad every other night and I am now starting a major push for fall planting. I will also be putting up beets this week and prepping beds for another crop. I just don’t feel right without at least 40 pints of pickled beets for the winter. My cukes are producing too although the ones I bought at Home Depot marked as Japanese, turned out to be regular old 9 inchers. Not complaining I get one a day for salads. We had a nice summer meal of grilled salmon, chilled fresh cukes, green beans and tomatoes with Montrachet cheese. Pretty darn good to be here now.

I would suggest a major move on green beans, they are a very rewarding crop and can be enjoyed fresh or pickled. Just look up a ‘dilly bean’ recipe on the Internet, easy to do and delicious. Make sure you have REALLY tall poles to support them. My plants are over 10 feet tall and I am going to have to use a ladder to harvest.

One last thing, for the first time since I moved here in 1985 I put herbs in pots on the back deck (slow learner) off the kitchen. I have basil, thyme, dill (now needing replacement) two types of parsley and Mexican Oregano and chives. I built nice little redwood surround to disguise the black 5 gal pots and got plastic pot trays at Home Depot for $2/per. Very Happy with the result.


August Plantings by Editor
August 19, 2011, 7:46 pm
Filed under: Flowers, Fruits, Natives, Vegetables

So as is our custom, we refer once again to the 1994 “Reliable Seeds” catalogue from our inspiration Charles Ledgerwood, if this is your first visit to our site, please look back on the previous issues to find out more about Mr. Ledgerwood.

For the month of August he recommends

(Caps indicate best plantings for the month)

BEANS, beets, carrots, CELERY, CORN, CUCUMBER, leek, LIMAS, okra, , NZ spinach, Swiss chard and marrow squashes. You can keep planting bunching onions and radishes of all sorts all summer long to spice up your salads.

This is the time to start staging you garden and growing space to prepare for the September to December planting season, arguably the best time to grow things in SoCal. Look at you lawn and think how much water you put on it and think how much lettuce, arugula and spinach you might be able to grow if you just give up a small part of it. Start preparing extra space for fall crops and watch this blog for the fall planting tips.


On the flower side of the path, this month you can plant:

Centurea, Cineraria, Cosmos, Gypsophilia, Hollyhock, Pansy, Lunaria, Marigold, Nasturtium, Phlox, Salipiglossis, Snapdragon, Stock. Sweet Peas, Verbena, Viola and Zinnia.

Please refer to the last  several year’s August missive for some great suggestions.