Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fall crops are up!

When I pulled the garlic from my kitchen garden, at the end of July, I immediately started prepping that space for fall crops. Garlic harvests best when the soil is dry, so that soil was very dry. I added a couple of buckets of compost, and roughly hoed that in a little. Then a bunch of water, (the kids wanted to play in a sprinkler, it was a win-win operation.)  Then I  seeded Swiss Chard, Red Russian Kale, the last of the onion sets that were still in a plantable state, some green beans, white turnips and Cylindra beets. It might sound like a lot, but there's only 2-3 feet of each one.

Thanks to a week of rain and a waxing super moon, I had GREAT germination on all of them, and with any luck, it will be a welcome wave of fresh veggies at the end of the season.  I'll be curious to see if the beans will have enough time to produce, they are bush beans, so I only need them to put on that first big flush.

Worst case, they'll shade out some weeds and be interesting from a research/trial-and-error stance.  But I'm betting at least half will give me food. That Swiss Chard and Kale will probably give me food well into winter, they are both super hardy.

Some notes for future reference. No onion sets for sale this late in the season. Keep more onion sets in a dry dark location after spring plantings. That means I have to buy enough in the spring so I'll have leftovers that I can plant in fall. And actually get them into a safe place. I had probably 3 little bags of sets this year leftover, but one got wet during a watering "incident" that soaked my whole gardening basket, so it rotted. One was left in a sunny place and sprouted, then rotted.  Only one was in a dry dark place, and of course, that was totally by accident.

Other food related things going on, include a bunch of canning. Dave has really stepped into the lead on preservation work, but we still work together on most batches.  We've done a couple rounds of zucchini relish. Bread and Butter pickles are still to do this week.  Some sweet corn next week. We've dried a lot of herbs. Tons of oregano, some mint and parsley.

I don't know if we'll get a tomato glut this year, it's been so mild, there are barely enough heat units to ripen anything. I'll just have to wait and see how the rest of August plays out.

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