Friday, August 27, 2010

Time to get the Garden Ready for Fall

It may feel hot and muggy in these dog days of summer, but this is the time to get the garden beds ready for fall planting.  As I cut back last years wildflowers and saved the seeds I decided to keep the base of the plant in tact and left some leaves on it to see if it will come back in the spring.  The leaves were still green, so my guess is it will.  I love to see what plants naturalize in my garden.  Annuals to some areas of the country become perennials in my garden!

I decided to dig out the hollyhocks that somehow found there way into my vegetable garden.  They took up too much precious real estate.  Out came the wild amaranth and anything else that was not going to produce food for me this winter.

The sweet pepper plants are holding their own fairly well this summer so they were allowed to stay - one of them is now 18 months in the garden and still producing red sweet peppers! In fact, you will find that sweet peppers will bounced back in the fall and produce another crop!

The basil is doing well, too. There are 2 eggplants that have not produced any fruit yet, nor flowered, but I will leave them in for now and see if they come back once it cools down again.

I also started to amend the soil in another garden bed.  I used my own compost and mixed it in with the existing garden soil with a shovel and water it well with rain water from my rain barrels.  I do a section every few days and it makes the process seem like less work.

The seed nursery is also started - I am using the broccoli seed from my own plant.  I bought some peat pellets (they expand to almost 2 inches when wet) and placed a few seeds in each one last Saturday morning.  By Monday they had sprouted and they are now taller then the little hot house I created using a plastic lettuce container I got from the grocery store. 

These little hot houses work well because they keep the moisture in so the seed scan sprout.  I also use the clear plastic clam shells.

Another thing you can use to make your own small seed starting pots are the cardboard rolls from paper towels and toilet paper.  I just cut them to about 2 inches tall, put them in one of these little hot houses, fill them with potting spoil and plant the seeds.  Then when the seedlings get big enough the entire roll can be planted directly into your garden or a larger pot if the garden is not ready or you wish to give them to someone.

Paper rolls cut for pots

October 1st is the target date for planting seeds into my garden beds.  I may start a few more seeds before then, but mostly seeds in the ground this year.

What about you?  What are your plans for your edible garden this year??

Happy Digging,
The Garden Goddess


Sweet Life Garden said...

Plastic trays, what a great idea! I had to run out to my recycling trash and retrieve my Pei Wei trays from last nights dinner so I can give them a try. Thanks!

Tony Destroni said...

hi good day nice post you have . great . i hope you have a post about wind spinners im interested on this i hope you can help me . thank you!


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