Wednesday, November 5, 2014

We are one dog short of a...oh wait.

Welcome back to a November edition of Lost In The Farmer’s Market or LITFM for short. This week we bring you the latest test garden happenings as well as the market report for the Veterans Day special activities. Soon we will be present a Photo-tour of the Fall test garden for those of you who missed the Garden Tour on Sunday.

We used to call her “Dust mop” because her fur color and pattern resembled an old well used cotton dust mop.

But first off this week’s Post is sponsored by the Test garden’s Mascot Houdini. In case some of you have not heard, ‘Houdini’ is basically a mixed breed small dog that routinely escapes its owner’s yard even when put in an outdoor kennel and ironically she runs right to the test gardens every time. If anything you might say this little one is probably the epitome of boundless optimism.

This is the teardrop shaped garden with mulch applied.
So, first off many gardeners often lament the lack of plants in bloom during autumn with good reason. Realistically if you go by what the nurseries sell our selection consists of snapdragons, pansies, violas, chrysanthemums, ornamental kale/cabbage and shrubs that are on sale and definitely not in bloom. Of course we at LITFM know for a fact that there is more than that narrow selection and here are a few options to consider.

Hypericum peroratum ‘Glacier’ – ‘Glacier’ St. Johns Wort
Say what you want about St. Johns Wort being invasive under certain circumstances in the test garden for the last three years it’s been nothing but well-behaved. The variety called Glacier not only has the pretty yellow flowers of the normal type but also has these attractive marbled leaves which add extra color to shady spots with dry soil conditions. As far as perennials go it’s reliable and stands out.

Trycyrits hirta – Toad Lily
The tad lilies are late-summer/Fall blooming and very exotic. They resemble Orchids but require none of the special conditions other than soil that is reasonably moist that bears a fair to moderate amount of organic matter and some shade. In areas with a high water table they can spread at moderate pace filling shady beds with a sea of gorgeous purple-speckled flowers in fall. Toad lilies spread by stoloniferous growth and can be divided every few years for use as gifts or for trade to other gardeners.

Aloe x hybrid ‘Fauxgave’ – Faux Agave-Aloe
This is the perennial hardy aloe that was sold at the market this year as a limited quantity special item in August. The Test Garden specimen developed a flower stalk in late summer that prevented it from being planted in the gardens. Basically I wanted to see what the blooms were like and often transplanting a plant in bloom often causes the plant to drop bloom so now our specimen sits on a growing tray inside the lab. I do not know if this picture does any justice but the flowers are a wild pink-red color overall while the petal tips a sort of lime-green color in contrast.

Yes indeed the evidence of some frost activity played out on the basil plants still outside in the test gardens.
 So indeed we did get a minor frost at the start of the week though it was not quite up to the state of panic some seemed to think it would be. The cold snap might have been a disaster for certain warm season plants but hardier ones positioned near structures such as these basil plants will often survive several frost events allowing for a prolonged harvest or collection of seeds.

Frost damage can vary and unless it's a "killing" frost may hit with complete randomness.
Notice in the above picture where frost left the tips of the basil alone but "scorched" the tops of the lower leaves. The critical thing to remember is that frost is very random unless for some reason the localized micro-climate reduces it or  the plants in question have been watered within 24 hours of the event. Frost damage is technically a secondary effect. Plants that are watered before a frost hits tend to take less damage as frost damages though dessication the cold then causes cells to rupture in the leaves and stems especially when they are not fully hydrated.

Don’t worry, as other things come into bloom this fall you can expect to see the pictures up here along with images and suggestions for the normal rank & file plants that see common use. The topic must now shift to that of the City market this week. As you may well know the Fayetteville City Market is open on Wednesdays (2pm-6pm) and Saturdays (9am-1pm). As noted in the last post or two we’ll be maintaining a presence at the Wednesday market at least until November the 26th and decide on if or if not to hold a spot at the market for December. I do however definitely plan to be at the City Market on Saturdays Up until the 27th of December, After which I may take a two-week vacation from market operations between the 28th and 9th of January. If that is the case you can expect to see it up here by the first week of December. But enough of market scheduling, as some of you might have heard this Saturday is one of the big market events, Veterans Day is on the 11th and the city of Fayetteville has it’s Veterans Day parade and festivities on Saturday so the City Market is following suit. On the grounds of the Fayetteville Transportation Museum there will be a car show and the Market is taking over Maxwell Street and so our booth position will be shifted slightly. Normally we are in the front parking lot of the Museum but for this event we will be located on Maxwell street not far from our normal position.

For those who do not know the Fayetteville Transportation Museum is located on 325 Franklin Street, and Part or possibly all of Maxwell Street will be blocked off for the event. Event goers may need to plan accordingly and possibly dress for the weather depending on what traffic and parking will be like for the event.  Here is the market list for Wednesday, and well let’s just say that I may sneak some odd and unusual things in for Saturday that may not be on the list.

Southward Skies: A northern guide to southern Gardening
This is the second edition of my book, which was published using data compiled from several years of test garden operations. It’s written to aid gardeners of all skill levels in successful garden methods that are targeted for the south east but had proven to be a valued resource for gardens across the eastern coast. It’s certainly a good gift for that gardener you know or for yourself if you’d like to have a reliable field guide. The book costs $25.00 and we do take checks for this item, you can even have it signed.

Good Stuff
Rain Forest & Devil's Tongue Pepper packs - ($1.00)

Cold Season Crops
3x Romaine Lettuce, “Rouge d’Hiver” - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
12x Romaine Lettuce, “Parris Island Cos” - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
9x Mustard Greens, India - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
9x Mustard Greens, Japanese Red Giant - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Cabbage, Copenhagen Market - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Cabbage, Savoy – Perfection Drumhead - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Collards, Georgia Southern Creole - 3.5” pot ($3.00)

Oh no....Houdini is looking at YOUR yard!

No comments:

Post a Comment