Collapsing “Red Giants” Herald Autumn’s Onset

This morning I had planned to do final editing on another blog project. Instead, I found myself in front garden helping my roommate harvest all but one of our “Red Giant” amaranth because last night’s windstorm knocked them off their feet. In some cases, they snapped off mid stem.

Ordinarily, we would probably harvest just the seeds by placing a paper bag over the individual seed clusters and gently shaking the clusters without removing them from the plants. This morning, however, the combination of the heaviness of the seed clusters and the force of the wind had pulled most of the plant stalks out of the ground.

Today, we harvested the entire plants, mostly by finishing the job of pulling them out of the ground, and then I set up a makeshift drying shelf for them in the garage. I stacked all of the plants on a bed sheet up on top of some doors that we’re storing on saw horses just to the right of the entrance. Later on, perhaps tomorrow or the next day, H. and I will try to harvest all of the seeds, so that next year we can insure dispersal to other areas of our garden.

These majestic red beauties made our garden this year. Since last night’s wind blew alot of the seed around, we (and our neighbors) are likely to see some healthy specimens popping up in the spring — possibly before then, if we have another extended warm spell.