The Gentleman’s Fall Garden 2018

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Few things fuel my soul the way that growing things does. Given that my show business career is incredibly subjective – one person thinks you’re a genius, another thinks you’re a total hack and everything in between – growing vegetables and the success or failure of the task is incredibly satisfying.

We have had a very peculiar last several weeks here in south Texas where my garden resides. Coupled with my constantly going back and forth to Los Angeles to finish work on a movie has made for some ups and downs. Fortunately mostly UP, and when I get home from the airport after having been gone for several days and see the incredible process of my little vegetable babies my face must genuinely light up with gleefulness and gratitude to Mother Nature.

Now growing a garden is hard work. I call it Yard-io. Cardio in the yard. Yesterday I was out digging a trench in anticipation of this weekend’s rain and my Granny was at the house and she sent someone out with a jug of water because she saw me swooning from the humidity and heat. So I guess what I am telling you is not only are you going to garner fresh vegetables but you’re going to get great exercise. All good for the waistline.

I started small this season. It’s my first season on this land and I didn’t want to go nuts.

I used a string trimmer (weed eater) to scalp the turf from the 250 square feet I had measured out. You want to find high ground that gets full sun. Use your tape measure and a can of old spray paint to mark off your perimeter. Scalping the turf and raking the cut grass and roots to the side will allow your tiller (or your back and shovel) to do efficient work.

I used a very small and lightweight tiller to turn over the earth. It was rich right from the get go. I knew it was going to produce well given the amount of worm action happening.

I’ll build in the sprinklers in the spring!

Now, because I was starting from seed my priority was getting those seeds in the dirt and wet as quickly as possible.

Get a piece of paper and use a ruler to draw your garden. A centimeter per foot works well. You will forget what you planted where! Indicate on your garden graph what is where. I put what the germination time should be and what the maturity time is as well. Guessing is no fun, and if something exceeds your expectations it’s like Christmas! Almost all my seeds this fall came in early for germination.

So here’s what went down: beans squashes and pumpkins came in and established themselves solidly.

Then it rained. And rained. And rained. Did I mention it rained? Despite my best efforts at keeping trenches intact I lost a lot of root vegetables. The radishes were hearty. The beets marginal. The romaine a fighter that is going to push toward the finish line. The heat kept the spinach down. It was just too hot.

Around the perimeter I had planted cilantro, basil, flat leaf parsley and dill. Those came up predictably, and since they were high they made it.

This last week I did a salvage assessment. Some of the ground required being turned and re-mounded. After which I went in with about 50 onion seedlings, 2 kinds of cabbage, brussles, cauliflower and broccoli transplants. According to the Farmer’s Almanac I had Friday and Saturday.

The most inspiring thing is how the transplanted items showed vitality and how the existing plants were beginning to BLOOM. The squashes, beans, and pumpkins.

I surrounded the perimeter with some garden fabric and wire fence to go ahead and kill the grass (and keep the yard guys away from my crop). This is the footprint of the spring garden at 500+ square feet.

And here’s where we are today!

To keep a running tally of what we have going here, let me re-cap:

  • green beans
  • yellow wax beans
  • radishes
  • carrots
  • onions
  • cauliflower
  • white cabbage
  • savoy cabbage
  • broccoli
  • beets
  • brussels sprouts
  • zucchini
  • yellow squash
  • pumpkins
  • cilantro
  • flat leaf parsley
  • dill
  • sweet basil
  • thai basil
  • curly basil
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • marjoram
  • oregano
  • greek oregano
  • mint
  • roma tomatoes

And I guess that’s it.

If you’ve gotten this far and you want to FEED your plants, watch the Gentleman Caller’s Homemade Miracle Grow Fertilizer video!¬†

Bye for now, my lovelies.

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