It’s here! Tonight we get to go trick-or-treating! I’m so hyper about it that I can barely control myself. Even our jack-o-lanterns are ready for the night’s festivities!
Today’s tip is really for tomorrow morning.
After all the Halloween fun is over, too many people just toss their friendly carved pumpkins into the trash!
DON’T DO IT!
Instead, bury the carved guy in the garden or toss it into a compost heap! The pumpkin will decay quickly and help liven up your dirt or compost with lots of yummy things!
And whatever you do, don’t put it in the attic and save it for next Halloween!
It’s bragging day! I’m bragging about our big fat pumpkins!
And to think they started from one tiny seed just a few months ago. When we first started our garden, I was told by a “garden guru” to be sure to include pumpkins. He said, they’re easy to grow and boy was he right!
Pumpkins are like orange monsters that come in all types, colors and sizes. We planted seeds that were labeled Giant Pumpkins hoping they’d grow BIG!
Pumpkin vines love having tons of room to sprawl out. After 10 weeks, the first flowers start to bloom. They’re usually yellow and big. The bees often cruise by and help pollinate the pumpkins. And then you see it! The small pumpkin starts to form.
In late July and August the pumpkins start to pop up all over the place. The orange balls start to grow at super speed. By the end of August, it’s like having our very own pumkin-mania! Totally cool.
I feel very proud of our great big fat pumpkins. The jumbo pumpkins are so big I can’t do anything with them but smile at them!
I do know that people enter their giant pumpkins into contests and perhaps next year we’ll try to win a blue ribbon at the state fair but until then we’re just going to enjoy sitting around with our pumpkins!
Here is my list of the twelve quick growing veggies that I recommend for an easy and fast harvest.
1. SPINACH: The tasty dark leaves definitely help our muscles build. They are good in salad, sandwiches and even heated up with mushrooms. You can harvest spinach leaves at their baby stage in as little as 30 days. Tear off a leaf and more grow!
2. KALE: Different varieties have different growing periods. Be sure to read the label and find the ones that can be harvested in 30 days. Add kale to a smoothie or salad. One of our favorite variety’s is the Blue Curled Kale!
3. BOK CHOY: We love growing bok choy, although I think it’s because we love chanting it more than growing it. It grows super-fast and is ready to throw into salads or stir fry's in 30 days no problem!
4. Arugula: This leaf lettuce is a bit on the spicier side. It grows to full size in 30 days. Just be sure to cut the outer leaves first. Use a ruler to measure the 2 inch leaves and cut those.
5. Romaine: These leaves are hearty and grow tall fast. At 30 days, pick the leaf and wrap it around your favorite sandwich meat or just wrap it into a horn and play a tune. (Huh? I know it’s silly but it’s fun and a great way to learn more about sound waves! It tickles your lips!)
6. Watercress: This is easy to plant. Just toss seeds onto the soil and watch it sprout. Don’t overwater and don’t cover with soil. It grows as fast as weeds, and kind of looks like them too. Freshly picked, it adds a bit of crunch to your snack.
7. Batavia: There are several varieties so look for the ones with the quick harvest time. This is also a lettuce that likes warmer weather but since we’re in Southern CA we can get away with it because we still have some hot days speckled in.
8. Butter Lettuce: This crisp-head lettuce leaves form a small ball as it grows, although it’s much less compact than iceburg lettuce. Butter lettuce has a texture that simply “melts in your mouth like butter,” said one of my 4th grade students recently.
9. Radish: Always a favorite for any family garden because it sprouts up fast all year long. In the summer it tends to be more peppery in flavor than winter. Try it and keep a log about the taste to compare the two seasons.
10. Green Onions: They look like green pencils standing tall at about 30 days. You can start pulling them out any time. The flavor gets bolder the longer you keep it in the soil.
11. Mustard Greens: I honestly do not like the peppery taste of this foliage and find it quite funny to have the kids taste it. It’s great to have just so kids can start to develop the sense of different tastes. Who knows…maybe your kids will like it mixed in with the sweeter lettuce. It definitely sprouts fast and is fun to watch.
12. Turnips: Did you know you can grow turnips for both the roots and greens? In 30 days the root is not developed but he baby leaves are ready to harvest and eat. They taste a bit like spinach. Just cut the outside leaves and leave the center ones attached to the root. 30 days later you can pick the entire plant!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.