Saturday, August 21, 2010

Getting the Fall Crops In The Ground.

Currently I cultivate two main plots of ground in my back yard. Years ago when I had the soil tested through the co-operative extension, I had to refer to the plots by name, so I simply chose East Field and West Field because of their locations. Their names just kind of stuck when referring to each area. Anyway, I spread my cured composted material all over the west field in preparation for planting some of my fall crops. This will be tilled in thoroughly prior to the seeds going into the ground.

Just as a point of sentimental interest to some folks, I used my Grandmother's manure fork to distribute the composted materials. I was fortunate enough for it to be one of the garden tools my Mom saved from when my grandparent's farm (mentioned in my profile) was sold. I like things like this, so I really enjoy using it for my garden's work.

With the compost all tilled in, now I am ready to begin planting the seeds for some of the vegetables I have selected for my fall crops.

To the left of the field fencing material and in the center of that area is a row of broccoli that I put in. I mark my rows with a green fence post at each end of the row until the plants show so I don't step on them while they are germinating. Underneath the fencing I planted butternut squash. My intention is to train them to grow onto the fence in order to keep them off the ground, and to avoid having the long vines choke out other vegetables. The two fence posts in the right of the picture mark my rows of Ruby Queen Beets. I decided to try beets again this year, even though I've had problems with root development in the past years.

Starting from above the left bottom corner of the picture, you can see the Vates Collard plants that I set out. I'm only using 24 plants this year so that I'll have space to expand my fall crop inventory. The three fence posts are markers for rows of Mammoth Island Salsify, or Oyster Plant. I have been wanting to try this vegetable for a couple of years, so with the reduced collard planting, now is the time to try it.

I decided to try growing Chives in a container to see if it would be successful for me. I would like to have a permanent supply of these as I think they are very good. I am also growing some green onions from bulbs that I usually put on the compost pile because I only use the green tops, or scallions, for cooking. My Mom did this in her garden in upstate New York and she got a great supply of scallions for her kitchen.

I grew some leeks last year and really enjoyed them, so this year I decided that I would try to grow some from seed. If these germinate properly, I should be able to transplant them into some of the space currently taken by my tomato plants, which I have on four foot centers, so that will be a lot of space to plant fall crops in. I'm planning on pulling all my tomato plants out during the first week of September. Hoping to get just one more red tomato is a losing proposition for me. It's much more important for me to get the next vegetable crop in the ground while the weather is still warm. Besides, I'm going to use the remainder of the green tomatoes for Green Tomato Relish, which is delicious!

My potatoes in the barrels didn't do well at all. We found potato skins in the barrels where the potatoes apparently rotted because the soil was too wet. That was a shock to me because I had drilled at least seven each, 1/2 inch holes around the base of the barrels 2 to 3 inches up from the bottom for drainage. I'm going to try again this year with Russet potatoes, which are ready to plant, but the growing time will be shortened. They're scheduled to be ready by 21 December. I suspect that won't work very well, but it's worth a try. I should get a few by that time, though, even if it's not a full crop. I'll see how they turn out with additional holes in the very bottom of the barrels to drain the excess water.

If you want fall crops and your weather will support them, it's time to plant now.

Have a great vegetable gardening day!

Veggie PAK

1 comment:

  1. Hi Veggie PAK
    Looks like you have a great garden overall, don't know what could have happened to your beets and other roots, great to see more and more people growing food!
    A people that can feed themselves are in control of their destiny.
    We made tomato sauce today, harvested dry corn yesterday and will harvest sweet corn for drying and freezing tomorrow!

    Happy harvests