Thursday, September 13, 2012

Summer Endings, Fall Beginnings

Here's how things stand as summer wanes, and I frantically try to get fall seeds planted.

Whatever ailment had befallen my cucumbers did not stop them from producing. We were still able to eat many lemon cucumbers, and still are. Fava beans will go in this space once I eek out every last cuke (or I figure out when to plant the favas, a new variety for me, whichever comes first).

In other plant disease notes, the strawberries are looking much better after some dry weather. I also repeatedly removed the worst of the spotted leaves. The sprinkler that sprays the leaves will come out.
The rabbit still takes occasional nibbles from the beans (though a fox is in the 'hood!), but I've been able to harvest enough for Hoppin' Johns at least. I've planted golden and red beets and burgundy amaranth (for salad greens) in the center of the bed, where I had hoped to plant parsnips but missed my chance. When the beans come out, I'll have plants ready to replace the, or I'll seed something quick-growing like radishes there.
It's been my best year yet for sweet peppers. It seems giving them plenty of organic fertilizer and some protection from the sun helped, but I'll give them slightly more sun next year. This bed also has eggplant and small red drying beans on the rebound from previous rabbit attacks, so I'm still trying to figure out which fall vegetable will go here. Though it's probably too late for broccoli, Di Cicco is a fast maturing variety so I may try anyway.

Parsley that has self-sown is doing quite well, and I'll be planting an equally large bed of cilantro next door.

I hastily ripped out my delicata squash because I was worried its trellis would go flying in a recent storm (and the vines were pretty much kaput). In its place I put some lettuce seedlings I purchased (to get a head start, even though I have tons of seed) and planted radishes and carrots in between.

There are a few lemon squash plants finally producing, plus some stunted okra here (planted late, or too much shade?), so I'm thinking I may plant turnips in this bed. Lots of arugula self seeding in here too.

I'm beginning to think the shade from a neighbor's tree may be what limited the potential of this bed and the cucumber bed. However, at least the late-season shade provides a respite for fall-planted vegetables, and once the leaves fall, the beds are perfect for the winter garden.

Finally, I found some Brussels Sprouts seedlings at the garden center a couple weeks ago. I keep reading they should be started earlier, but I figured it was worth a shot. The row cover is protecting them from sun as well as cabbage worms.
I've started kale, collards, and six kinds of lettuce indoors, and I'll soon direct seed more roots and some spinach.
Here's hoping for a productive fall!

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