Fall is Here

For the past few weeks, the weather has been a bit cooler, but there has been a lot of rain. This has been great news for the garden, and I have not seen any pests on the plants. It has been about 10 days since my last treatment of Neem Oil, and I am wondering if I need to treat anymore. With all the rain we have been having, I think it would get washed off anyway. I am trying to recollect, but I think it has rained almost every day in past 2 weeks. With Hurricane Joaquin coming and a stalled front from the west, we are projected to get at least 3-5″ of rain. If Joaquin comes across North Carolina/Virginia, some say 12-15″ of rain. YIKES!

I am adding some pictures of they October 1st garden for my reference in coming years. I think the set up is OK, but not really efficient for a winter harvest. I labeled the pictures with what is growing where, with a red bar where the where the sun hits at the Winter Solstice. Since the front of my home faces south, everything from the red lines down is completely in the shade in December. In the East garden, I put my peas in the ground August 2nd because I wanted to make sure I could harvest before the shade came.

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East Garden on October 1, 2015

Where I don’t think my garden is efficient is where the sun will continue to shine. I planted some new chard, kale and beets to the upper right that I will cover and will be grown enough to be harvested during the winter. I have cabbage, brocolli, cauliflower, rutabaga, beets and turnips that will all harvest by November. This garden space will then lie empty during winter. Maybe this is just the way things have to be, but I want to figure out a way to grow the summer vegetables here, harvest, and have all these rows full of cold hearty vegetables that I can put row covers over and eat through out the winter months.

The same goes with the West garden. I put the carrot seed to the lower right down at the end of July to try to beat the shade. I have eaten a few from this bed and they are a little bitter. I am not sure if this is due to some hot weather in Aug/Sept.

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West Garden on October 1, 2015

There are three beds that I think will stay in the sun during December, but I was not sure where to draw that red line. I have put carrots, kale, chard and spinach in these beds. The radishes there are almost ready to come out, and I have some beets already started that I will transplant there. When it starts to get chilly, I will cover them.

The peppers will die at the first frost. The sweet potatoes will be harvested in the next couple of weeks when it gets a little drier. The pole beans need to get ripped out, and I am going to try to do some overwintering of spinach in this bed. Overwintering means to sow the seed in the fall, and it will basically lie dormant during winter… but it will germinate in the early spring. Johnny’s seeds has some seed recommendations for overwintering. I may buy some other seeds and seed in the sweet potato bed.

The Fall Leaves

I was out checking the garden yesterday and realized I may have a slight problem. I have chard, kale and beet seeds sprouting where I sowed them in the East garden. There are some (probable) weeds sprouting too, but that isn’t an issue. I saw some leaves covering some of the seedlings, and as I was picking them off, I realized a whole lot of leaves were going to fall in this area as fall progresses, and these plants may get covered and die.

So what that means is I just need to prioritize getting a cover on these plants soon, so the leaves fall off into the space between the beds. Ah, more work for the weekend….

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