Ready, set… fall gardening!

When the first bout of fall weather hit Fort Worth, I got the gardening itch so bad I could hardly stand it.

I rummaged around my seed box for everything I thought I could plant at the end of August. I went and bought some transplants as soon as they were available at a nearby local garden shop called Elizabeth Anna’s. And I planted the seedlings I started growing in my kitchen window weeks earlier.

Toy pak choy and a chinnese cabbage that snuck in as well as some broccoli seeds I thought weren't going to sprout

The week following our first enjoyable fall days reverted back to good ol’ summer temps and the edges of some of the leaves got a little crispy. However, the recent cooler temperatures have really made my container garden perk up again. Everything is looking happy and growing nicely. I’ve even got some sprouting seeds in the section of a communal planting trough where I planted salad greens (spinach, mesclun mix, lettuce, Swiss chard, etc.).

Behind the salad mix, close to the wooden sticks that hold up the upcycled window screen, I planted peas. I’m not sure how well they’ll do but they’ll be pretty if nothing else. (Note: I used a chopstick saved from when Matt and I went out for sushi to make my vegetable marker. The others went to the community garden and I spent more time coloring those before putting clear tape over the top to weather/water proof them. Yay, upcycling.)

As for the window screen, which you can see in the next picture, it’s been helping shade my plants in the community area. I think that’s what saved my salad mix from wilting away.

Under the window screens, I have a basil plant that I transplanted. It was elsewhere in the trough and I moved it over when I prepped the soil (and placed newspaper/cardboard along the bottom of the trough to help retain water). It needed some love and shade. It was much smaller when I moved it, but it filled out really nicely and I think there is enough of it now that someone (perhaps just me if no one else wants any) can harvest some for storing in the freezer and using throughout the winter.

In that area, I also planted an accidental tomato plant and I have an accidental cantaloupe that sprouted. The tomato plant seed was mixed in with some broccoli seeds I got from my mom, but I think there might be enough time for a harvest if it turns out to be a early variety. As for the cantaloupe, I was drying some seeds from a particularly yummy one that I got at a farmer’s market and a few got away from me. I pulled all but two and we’ll just have to wait and see if there is enough time to make a melon or not. The plant looks huge and healthy, crawling down the back side of the trough.

In case anyone in or near Fort Worth was wondering, I got the window screens for $5 each at Old Home Supply House. That place is super cool, although kind of pricey for many things. I think I got a okay deal because not many people want window screens with small tears in them. For what I needed to, though, they were perfect.

Upcycled window screens turned into shade cover in my apartment's communal trough

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