Greetings! How’s it growing? My tomatoes have slowed down enough that I can actually eat most of them fresh (instead of stressing and canning until 10pm). My cucumber and squash plants are dying or dead. I’ve harvested my winter squash. I’ve been doing some garden clean up; removing crops that are finished, replenishing the soil with organic fertilizer and covering the soil back up with straw mulch until I plant again. And I’ve been planting a number of fall crops the past few weeks including: beets, turnips, radish, kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula, swiss chard, mustard and bok choi. I just love fall gardening. Just when it seems the garden is all over, it is really just beginning. What are you doing in your garden?
This is one of the container gardens received by seniors who weren’t as physically able to participate at the Methodist Housing Community garden.
One of our first participants plants her first fall garden like a champ with the assistance of the trusty Coordinator. Check out her wide rows, the shredded paper mulch and lightweight floating row cover (picture taken before we had the ends opened up) to give some bug protection and shade to the cabbage and broccoli transplants that desire cooler temps than these recent hot days.
We have our last required GA class tomorrow- Hearth Healthy Cooking- which will be led by our Wolfe Family and Consumer Science Agent with several dishes to try.
We have been talking about raising garlic and many people are on board. Garlic is planted in the fall with 6-9” spacing between cloves. Plant pointy end up and only plant the big cloves as little cloves grow little bulbs. Also, order garlic from a regional supplier so that you know you are getting a variety that will work in your area. We are getting our from High Rocks Grow Appalachia site out of West Virginia. Better yet, grow enough garlic to save seed and plant your own preferred varieties. Garlic is mulched to overwinter, scapes (the would-be flowers- they are a delicacy!) are removed in the spring/summer, and bulbs harvested in the summer when the tops are 2/3 brown (this is only one way to think of the appropriate harvest time for garlic). How many bulbs of garlic do you use in 6 months or a year? Will you save some of the seed for planting the following year? How much space do you have to commit to this crop until June or July? Of course, you can always follow your garlic crop with a cover crop to add nutrients back to the soil or fertilize and plant another crop like sweet potatoes for a mid-late summer or even fall harvest. Okay, get figuring everyone and plant some garlic!
This caterpillar version of the Black swallowtail Butterfly was found munching on my dill. I would have left it if it was only one. But there were a dozen devouring my two dill plants. I removed them and will feed them in captivity until they are ready to be butterflies. How many can you count in this photo?
Dwarf Teddy Bear Sunflower
Can you see all 5 herbs?
Galeux d’Eysines winter Squash
Purple Coneflower- medicinal