Fall Gardening

2 10 2011

I’ve been puttering quite a bit this weekend and one of the big things I accomplished was doing the last of my fall planting before the rains start (tomorrow – deadlines are GOLD I tell you).

This year we have lots going on: peas (72!!), arugula, carrots, 4 kinds of beets, turnips, radishes, cauliflower, onion, endive, chives, radicchio, and celeriac. In addition to our annuals, mostly on their 2nd or 3rd year: lemon, lime, olive, strawberry, rosemary, mint, thyme, lemongrass, and the newest addition, bay. We re-potted Justin’s olive trees, and planted the new bay tree, and put them in a corner of the yard that gets good sun and usually is mostly dead grass anyway.

I’ve learned a lot about gardening at this point (although, I’m pretty sure I’m still gardening at a kindergarten level, but I have plenty of time to learn). Things like, we may never have a true lawn because our sun is spotty and our drainage sucks. Maybe we’ll investigate Heavenly Greens? Could we stand it? Can I just slowly take over the dog’s running space with plants? Anyway. I’ve also learned to be liberal with the sluggo and to shake it over the plants every other week at least. And to spray the citrus trees with garlic oil right after watering them to scare off the “rodents” that like to nibble on the new nubs of the tree. I’ve learned that somewhere in this city there is a squirrel (weird!) that likes to hide walnuts in my planting beds, and that if I water at night I stand a better chance of not finding my seedlings dug up the next day by a neighborhood cat attracted to my fluffy soil. I’ve also learned some seed saving techniques, including how to ferment the seeds of my best tomatoes so that I can work towards actually having more than a handful harvest next year. Here is one of the jars I have set out for next year:

A beautiful little yellow tomato that did really well in our yard this year. You have to let the seeds sit in water in the sun for a few days until scum develops on the top, get rid of the scum and the water, and then dry out your seeds on paper towels or coffee filters.

I have also discovered some great tools online, including the Mother Earth News Vegetable Garden Planner (which you can try out for free for a month) that helps with succession planting, frost dates, etc. Here’s my map for what I just planted: GardenPlan

Completely unrelated to gardening, I also ordered a new stove/oven today! I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself, clearly. Ours has started varying the oven temp by +/- 100 degrees randomly, and heating the entire stove top when using the eyes. Not good. Especially not with Thanksgiving on the way.

Speaking of poultry. I have a chicken post to share soon. Alison – do not read it. : )

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