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A day to catch up!

October 30, 2016
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I had a lot to accomplish today and I was planning to attend another party this afternoon, but time was not my friend. I had all the end/beginning of the month tasks, plus laundry, grocery shopping and basic chores to accomplish as well as putting the final touches on my talks and handouts for this week, a few columns to write and the final edit on my new book which is being sent to the printer this week. I got it all done and am packed since I leave tomorrow for Arlington, Texas for the Southern Region Master Gardener conference.  I cannot believe it is still so hot outside when we are a day away from November!  I have checked forecasts here and Texas and we don’t have any rain in the forecast for Arkansas, but there is a bit in Texas. I have watered everything, and the family will be in charge once again.

I did have a little time to get in the garden. I have grown several new things (for me) this year.  I harvested my one peanut plant today, and while I won’t be in competition for Planters, I was pleased to have peanuts. peanuts-oct-30-16-2 peanuts-oct-30-16-4 peanuts-oct-30-16-1  Although they were still blooming and growing, I felt like they had probably had all the time they needed and pulled the plants. They were growing under the okra plants which were shading them a bit.  Peanuts are unique in that they bloom above ground and then peg down under ground where the peanuts grow.  They need to dry for a couple of weeks before roasting or boiling the peanuts.  They were easy to grow, but would have liked to be on their own, not shaded by my now 7 foot tall okra plants, which are still producing like crazy. vegetables-oct30-16-1

Another new vegetable for me to grow this year was the tomatillo or husk tomato.  I bought one plant for me and one for my son.  Early on in the season I had a ton of blooms but empty husks.  Kyle had the same problem, and pulled his up.  Upon further investigation, I learned I needed two plants since they are not self-fertilizing.  I just let mine grow and they have sprawled all over the garden,tomatillos-oct30-16-1 tomatillos-oct30-16-2 and now I have fruits. I may try again next year, but will buy two plants instead of one. I like the way they taste fresh, but don’t have enough to make salsa verde with yet.  I got about 15 today and have more going, so will see what happens when I get back next week.  I also still have a lot of peppers and eggplants and found 4 “new” potatoespotato-oct30-16 in the garden when I pulled the peanut.

My lettuce, kale and other cool season vegetables are doing nicely but do need regular watering. vegetables-oct30-16-2 vegetables-oct30-16-3

My vegetables aren’t the only thing doing well right now. My encore azaleas encore-azalea-oct-16are really loaded with blooms, the tea camellia–Camellia sinensis camellia-sinensis-oct30-16-1 camellia-sinensis-oct30-16-2is covered in flowers with beautiful stamens and the Soft Caress mahonia mahonia-soft-caress-oct-30-1 mahonia-soft-caress-oct-30-2is blooming well.  My Japanese anemone japanese-anemone-oct30-16is later than most and just now starting to bloom but it has lots of buds and while I knew the hellebores were beginning to put on foliage and seedlings were growinghellebores-oct30-16-1 hellebores-oct30-16-3, I did not expect to see some blooms and flower buds. hellebores-oct30-16-2 hellebores-oct30-16-4 The Josef Lemper variety is moving fast this year.

Fall is turning out to be pretty in spite of the heat and the dryness.  cleredendron-oct30-16 fall-oct-16-1 fall-oct-16-2

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