Fall gardening. You seed crops in flats mid-June. You begin planting mid-July, and can plant through mid-November. Of course, this all depends on the weather. Also, it’s a whole different ball game if you have a high tunnel/greenhouse/cold frame and so on. And, of course, I’m talking about gardening in Southwest Virginia. I have no idea what they do up in South Dakota.
July 15th housed our fall crops and crop rotation class, part 1. We distributed:
starts of rutabaga, kohlrabi, toscano kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbagge
seeds of green arrow shell pea and sugar ann snap pea
We took a walk around the garden to see crop rotation in action–my garden is divided roughly into 8 blocks that rotate throughout the seasons. I took folks to the former Spring brassicaceae (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, rutabaga, turnip) bed that is now planted in lettuce, and explained how the former garlic bed will now house fall brassicaceae
We approached the onion bed, where some of the onion tops have already fallen over and papery protective skins are forming. I must say I am proud of the onions. Started from seed in January, planted outside mid-March, and now soft-ball size bulbs resting above the soil in mid-July.
The rain was a huge factor in their size most likely as well, right up there with the loving care. Or maybe higher.
Deni spoke on how you can push your onion top over to get it to start forming papers, how to cure and store your onions, and how long they will last in storage.
A certain corner of our garden has some rather chunked-up soggy soil. We believe this to be due to the fact that it had a too-heavy cover on it all winter of leaves and straw, that just matted down, rotted, and kept the soil a wet mess. It was worsened by all the wet Spring weather we had and our final decision to till when it was semi-wet. We thought a cover crop of buckwheat might help, and showed folks our cover and talked more about the dangers of tilling to soon. Cover crops will be the focus at our next class.
We will also give out more fall seeds that do better when planted a little later in summer, such as carrots, beets, radishes, parsnips, turnips, spinach, mache, and other lettuces. We talked about corn harvest, tomato maintenance, and checked in with each other on pest issues and questions.
The main flush of Spring-planted garden crops is still growing and many have not harvested from them yet. Especially in the case of tomatoes–those are just starting to come in. It seems the Spring broccoli just left the ground so it’s hard to get in the mindset of fall.
To the never-ending, ever-growing of it all.
Below our some photos of our gardeners using the program’s booth to sell their excess produce at the Abingdon Farmer’s Market: