my mother made some pork bone seaweed with daikon radish noodles for lunch. she brought out some special hot sauce that my 2nd aunt acquired from my california aunt. the hot sauce was made by a friend of a friend apparently, and it was pretty good.
i trimmed the rest of my garlics today, which have been curing in the basement since the end of june. the stems and leaves have all dried up. i snipped them off along with the dried roots and tossed them into the compost bin. i noticed some stalks had garlic bulbils; i harvested them and planted them in random spots in the backyard later.
of all the years i've been growing garlics, this season was the best harvest yet. i've gotten better at raising them, the trick is to fertilize like crazy, not only when you first plant the cloves, but also in the spring when they're busy growing. i have some large bulbs but i'm still not sure if i'm going to grow them again next season. it takes too much effort, too much valuable growing space, and honestly, the garlics i grow i can't really tell the difference from store bought garlics taste-wise.
my father and i repotted a few plants. the biggest one was moving a jasmine that'd been living in a terracotta pot to a larger plastic pot. we used the vigoro potting soil we bought last weekend. next we divided and repotted the yellow alyssums into two separate hanging pots. my father also divided and repotted some lemon verbana, transplanted a rotted jasmine cutting that'd been sharing a pot with another larger jasmine, and repotted a long garlic chive planter.
i found a new rabbit hole dug alongside the firepit. after pulling out the wads of dried grass, i filled the hole with used potting soil i bought back from my own backyard repotting. the soil could only be used for outdoor plants because they might be infested with fungus gnats.
while my father harvested all the dried money plant seeds, i collected the foxglove seed stems. at some point i need to sift the stems to collect all the tiny foxglove seeds and sow them in the backyard.
the bonide systemic houseplant insecticide arrived today. we're entering a new stage in the neverending war against plant pests. up until now we've always used organic insecticide. this past winter we've had success, but it was also a lot of work, weekly neem and insecticidal oil spraying. a systemic insecticide will make our work a little easier, and maybe we might finally achieve the dream of having a grow room that's 100% pest free.
because it was an overcast day, it was a perfect day to fertilize the plants and do a foliar treatment. i opened up the new 5 lbs. container of miracle-gro all purpose plant food. inside was 4 long tube bags of blue powder.
i planted some seedlings i still had in seed starter containers, a few cherokee sun rudbeckias and some snowy spires. whether they'll survive into next season i don't know. i do have some adult representations of these seedlings, so i won't be too disappointed if they don't make it.
elsewhere in the garden:
bitter melon flowers have a slight fragrance. it's not entirely pleasant but it's also not entirely unpleasant. it's just something i wouldn't expect from bitter melons.
i'm still not sure about the concord grapes. i check them every weekend, occasionally i might find a rotten grape or two, but so far i still haven't seen the complete destruction of fruits and leaves like i did last season and pretty much the past decade or two. that in itself is a victory. i'm just afraid that i may have beaten blackrot, but there could be other diseases i didn't spray for that will now take over.
we have so many chinese asters that i told my parents they can cut a few for the cafe if they wanted. it's really too bad they're annuals, the size of these flowers would make you assume they were perennials. they're also related to chrysanthemums, or rather, chrysanthemums are related to asters (all mums are asters, not all asters are mums).
some gardeners don't like growing flowers - they think it's a waste of space - but i love having different flowers. they add variety to an otherwise boring backyard, with their colors, their shapes, their occasional fragrance. the flower show isn't over yet. we're still waiting for our climbing vines to flowers, morning glories and moon flowers. i purposely gave them 15-30-15 miracle-gro flower boosting fertilizer in the hopes that they'll finally produce something. so far we haven't even seen a single flowerbud. there are also the goldenrods and the mammoth chrysanthemums. if the mums flower it will be a first for us and would mean a successful transplant from my aunt and uncle's backyard (they were transplanted last september 2020).
after dinner, we baked some frozen taikayi cakes for dessert. i went home afterwards.