Tuesday, September 15, 2009

fall gardening

There are perks to living in the south. Getting mosquito bites during breakfast, in my own kitchen, in September, is not one of them. Planting in the fall is. I've already got the asters and chrysanthemums in and happy. I'll wait on pansies for another month probably; I'm not much for annuals, but they do offer nice color in the winter and especially look good when the bulbs pop through them in the spring.

Today I took the advice of my farmer friends and planted a cool season garden. The leaves will soon fall and sun will be able to get to the plants. Most of the time I don't have much sun here and the summer plants suffered. The tomatoes got blight, the cucumbers were not meant to be, and even the watermelon was tossed even though it had finally produced fruit:

The peppers are still doing ok; the bell peppers were disappointing but I'm getting years' worth of hot chili peppers to dry. My pumpkin is still doing great; turning a bit orange already. (It will get it's own post someday I suspect.)

After applying bug spray, I turned the soil and made tidy little rows using a handy stick. The rows were also marked with sticks; there is never any need to search far for them. Two rows were planted with carrots (germination 8-12 days, harvest in 70) four were given over to spinach (germination 8-10, harvest in 45) two for broccoli (germination 10-20, harvest in 55) and four to lettuce (germination 7-10, harvest in 75- should have planted two weeks ago and again every two weeks) and swiss chard (germination 7-10, harvest in 50-60). I have the chard in my front yard, along with some extra spinach and lettuce, but the rest is in the back yard raised bed garden, next to the compost pile. We shall see. I marked my calendar to keep track of the dates. I'll be excited if this works. And, if it does, there will be a late January, early February crop following these.


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