-Week 13 in Review- Fall Gardening
Ahh…overgrown glory! As you can see the garden is more than a little weedy. Would you believe that I was pulling a crammed bucketful, sometimes two, of weeds a day for the rabbits? yeah, I wouldn’t either but it’s true. I have to admit, I’ve slacked off and started feeding pellets again. I got all busy with fruit and canning, which is a whole other post!
This garden was a joint effort between our landlords, the farm manager who recent left and ourselves. We didn’t get in on spring planting for a whole host of reasons but we have been helping weed, pick and now are planting a fall and winter garden.
You might have noticed, if you are one of those folks with an internal compass, that this garden is shaded on the south side by big trees. I don’t feel like being a gripe since I am just thankful we have a garden period but you do not want anything, especially super tall evergreen trees shading your garden on the south side since that is where the majority of your sun comes from.
Lack of sun and soil low in nutrients and possibly mishandled ( I wasn’t paying that much attention in the spring so I really can’t say) meant that the sun-loving plants and those that need lots of nutrients didn’t do so great. However the Clover has gone mad which means there will at least be nitrogen next season. Hopefully the talking about putting in a sunny garden as well actually turns into doing in the spring.
The landlords also planted raspberries along the lower fence.
I don’t know if getting established made them fruit late or what but they are just setting fruit now. Such a nice little snack…
We found this cool little guy when we were digging up beds for planting. I had never seen a wild salamander before so I was super excited. That little salamander was really hard to photograph, talk about a creature in motion.
Here are our seedbeds! I planted beets, radishes, lettuce, spinach, arugula, mustard greens, kale, peas….and other things I don’t remember. We use an wide-row inter-planting method for a few reasons:
One- I’m lazy. When you plant in wide row with minimal spacing between plants you have less pathway space to weed and less between plant space to weed since the plants help shade the ground preventing the army of weeds from getting a foothold.
Two- It confused pests. If they can’t find the plant they want to eat and/or need to lay their eggs on they won’t stick around and if they do find a plant to lay their eggs on their babies will have a harder time getting to the other carrots if they have to wade through beets, lettuce, radishes and everything else to get to them.
Three- Polyculture is how nature gardens (usually). Plants provide benefits to each other by growing in mixed species groups. They can provide shade or chemicals that protect other plants from pests, fix nitrogen that other plants can use, attract pollinators, provide a trellis to grow on, provide an anchor for plants with week root systems….There are many ways that plants are healthier and more resilient when grown together.
We got the warm spell I was hoping for so the radishes have sprouted and very likely others will be up when I check today. As everything grows we will harvest in order to thin and plant more greens, radishes and beets to fill any gaps. I cut all the greens young and they grow back again again making a small area very productive. I do grow mostly loose leave greens but bunching greens can be treated the same way; it just takes them longer to grow back.
Even in areas with a hard winter you can at least do some fall gardening. Just stick with fast growing plants such as greens, radishes, turnips and baby beets for salad greens.
I will leave you with some photos of the sad broccoli, happy aphids and dying tomatoes. Are you planting a fall garden? I hope so!