Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > August 2016 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--My Fall Garden


May was a wash-out (literally) this year, so June was busier for me.  I planted green beans the first of the month, got in the tomato and pepper plants I’d kept in pots (so I could have a little more control over the watering), planted squash and cucumber seeds.

July has been a challenge.  The first half of the month, we couldn’t beg a raindrop so had to stay on top of watering—almost every day because of the heat.  On the other hand, we also excessive humidity so kept a close eye out for fungal problems.  I sprayed my squash plants with a half-strength neem oil solution once as a preventative for powdery mildew, figuring it was only a matter of time before it showed up.  So far, so good…  As I’ve come across a leaf or two on squash or tomatoes or anything else that doesn’t “look right” I remove it.  That way maybe whatever is happening won’t spread.

Saw my first squash bug a couple of weeks ago but I moved on it with a vengeance.  I checked the back of every single solitary leaf and found the eggs and “tapped” them off with the sticky side of duct tape.  No more problem!

As always, I’m keeping weeds and debris out of my garden and trying to keep plants from running into each other to allow good air circulation—not easy with my prolific cukes this year!  Of course the best way to do this is start when I first plant my garden and allow more room than I think I need.

I’ve already decided what I’m going to grow this fall—spinach and kale are a permanent fixture in my cool season veggies—they make it over the winter every year.  There’s a kale blend I really want to try—it’s a mix of blue curly kale, Nero Toscana Italian kale, and red winter kale.  It should be fun—and I can pick it for baby greens as well as letting some of the plants mature.

I’m going start broccoli and cabbage seeds in little pots right now and tuck them in when the squash gives out—or when I run out of ideas of stuffed zucchini, fried zucchini and zucchini bread.  At any rate, they’ll be in the ground by the middle or end of August.  I’ll get onions and garlic sets when they come in the first of September.

If you’re not sure when to plant, look on your seed packet for "Days to Maturity”.  From your average first fall frost date (around the end of October here), count backwards the number of days to maturity, which will bring you to the sowing date.  Soil is hot and quick to dry in summer, so you might want to start some fall crops in pots on a covered porch or lightly shade where you plant. Some cool season veggies like lettuce and spinach won’t sprout if it’s too warm so you might even want to start them inside.  However, root crops should always be sown directly in the garden, as they don't transplant well.

When it comes to planting any veggie, cool season or otherwise, I’m always going to refer to the directions on the back of the seed packet.  They tell me when to plant, how far apart and how deep to plant the seeds and any special tips I need to know.  By the way, I just got in fresh 2017 dated seeds for fall planting from Botanical Interests…
Posted: 8/1/2016 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
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