One Week Until Autumn

Summer is on its last legs, and we have just one weekend left to enjoy of it. It's a long weekend for me, since we don't have class on Rosh Hashanah — a perfect time to get in our gardening chores while it's still nice out. 

Some clean-up from the summer garden is already under way: Kirk pulled out a spent zucchini plant, as well as our pickling cukes and one of our tomatillos. I also yanked four Roma tomatoes that were blocking the sun from new lettuces. Last fruits were saved (including some green tomatoes — more on our plans for those later), and the rest is compost.

A lot of our work now is around our fall plantings — and all of the water, since I'm no longer irrigating summer plants. Here's what's starting to come into its own as cooler weather sets in:

The cold frame is in place, and seedlings of mache, mesclun and spinach are doing well. I filled in some gaps today, sowing our last seeds of 2012. The glass that is on the cold frame isn't for holding in heat right now. Instead, it's an animal deterrent, since some of our lettuces were chewed on this past week.

This is one of our 4x8 cool season rows. In it we have lettuces, bok choy, beets, carrots, turnips, and arugula. This is the one we planted first; the other one isn't quite as far along. The chicken wire is to keep out a groundhog that we've seen around, as well as our own greedy chickens.

In the foreground here are new peas for fall. This is a dwarf snap pea, which supposedly can be planted without a trellis. We'll see how that goes. Behind the peas are our mature leeks. We can pick them any time, but we'll try leaving them in the ground throughout the fall since they are so hardy. They'll probably get a greenhouse tunnel, and we're hoping than can be "stored" in the ground for winter.

Speaking of greenhouse tunnels, it's not too early to get those in place! The PVC frames are ready to go over our broccoli bed. We'll cover it with row cover fabric for now to keep the cabbage loopers off, and we'll switch it out with plastic when we get closer to frost. The plantings are a bit sparse — we had trouble with germination this fall, and some of the plants were eaten as well. There are about six to nine remaining that might amount to something, and it would be really, really nice to have at least a little bit of broccoli this fall (especially after the turkeys and/or groundhog got all of our spring planting)!


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