I haven’t written for several weeks because we have been traveling. Before we left on our trip we made what was a fairly large investment for us: hose end water timers. I shopped for them at some of the discount retailers in San Diego (read Wally World). Then I shopped at one of my favorite shopping “malls”, eBay. Happily, I was able to invest in four.
I look at them as an organizational tool for us; we won’t have to remember what we have watered and how many times we have watered it. Now, I am not saying we are forgetful, or anything, but we are not “spring chickens” anymore and watering our yard can easily get away from us.
Speaking of the garden getting away from us, while we were gone the new irrigation system worked so well that our return was greeted not only by waist high weeds, but our tiny vegetable gardens were in overdrive! We regularly grow two or more “crops” each year. In the cool season (notice I didn’t say winter) we grow leafy vegetables like lettuce and “cole” crops such as broccoli. During our warm season, we grow what I like to call our salsa garden: tomatoes, tomatillos, chiles and peppers (not to mention a variety of squash).
Our weather is very much like the Mediterranean area, temperate all year around. So our winter means that the lowest temperatures we experience are barely 45 degrees Fahrenheit at night. I can’t remember the last time we actually had a frost! We are far more likely to lose a cool season crop to a sudden warm spell in the eighties or nineties, in December.
Anyway, after we had whacked our way through all of the weeds that were happily sucking up the water from our weeping hoses, we found our way to the vegetable gardens. Our broccoli and lettuce were monstrous and happily producing seeds. They went directly into the compost pile. The beets and carrots were, of course, hidden from casual view. A hint was that a few of the beets were shooting up a central stalk. Hmmm…
I decided that I should harvest all of them and make the best of what had survived. I had planted a variety of beets that were different colors, red, gold, white, and stripped. The white beets for the most part were quite fibrous (they were the ones with the seed stalks). The most amazing were the Red Sangria beets.
The photo here is the largest one I found. I put it on my kitchen scale and it weighed more than three pounds! Surely, after finding the much smaller white ones inedible, this beet would be too tough also… Not so! It was delicious, tender and took us about a week to eat it! Yum!