Friday, July 30, 2010
I start to dig back into gardening when fall comes around. Granted July 30th is NOT fall; it doesn't look or feel like fall. But it will- August has a particular smell that I love. Leaves yellowing and composting in the heat; the days getting a bit shorter; a cool day here and there.... It just feels like summer is folding in on herself. Not to mention the harvest. Nothing reassures me more that this heat will not last forever like harvest. It is so temporary and abundant- those tomatoes and peppers, that rich eggplant and the BEANS!
Anyway, let's get some info out here about how to prepare for fall garden. First off, plan. You don't have to do much soil amendment- I mean, all vegetables need organic matter in the soil. But early on is not the right time to do it. Save the fertilizing and working in of compost for later on. Plan what you want to plant.
Late July, early August is a good time to plant broccoli, cabbage, beets, carrots, radish. I have sown some beet seeds, maybe a bit early but I missed the spring planting due to a family emergency. I'm just a bit antsy. We will see! I did plant the seeds a 1/4" deeper than normal due to the hot temperatures in the soil and air.
I will plant lettuce, chard, spinach, kale and mesclun in successive plantings starting in a few weeks. These seeds just won't germinate in this heat at all! And I'll continue until September to get a good harvest.
Green beans- plant these right now. You'll get another bean harvest before frost... yes! I didn't get a great deal of beans in this summer- just a few handfuls here and there so I am yearning for more.
Here is the more complex, advanced version of fall planting: the brassicas. Wow- broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, et al. These will just light up your garden. They require more space, fertilizer, weeding and pest control. As I said, the intermediate/ advanced option! Let me know if you are a broccoli planter- I am, but not this fall. Doing some crop rotation and just don't have the room!
And the scoop on fertilizer: all these plants (even the root crops) need high nitrogen fertilizer later on when they've sprouted up and are not seedlings anymore. This will ensure a good yield for your dinner plate! You can topdress with great compost (Choice is amazing stuff) to keep out weeds and fertilize as well. This adds to the richness of your soil as well.
You can look to us for seeds and transplants. Our fall garden transplants will probably come in from Wolcott and other places in the next two weeks. We have a good selection of seeds right now as well, including some Seed Savers and Botanical Interests that seem to be awesome for the fall!
Let us know when you come in to visit that you are reading the blog... if you want to know more about any topic we've talked about, tell us in the store or online.