Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Whew! It's been a while since I've posted on here. Things got just a little too stressful/crazy/tiring at my house.  Between my boy being sick, my husband finishing a deadline at work (read: overtime), and me working on a long-term (and, might I add, exhausting) project, I just had to unplug for a little while. But I'm back and ready to post regularly again.

The last post on here was about fall planting, or as I call, "Round Two".  Fall planting is awesome because you get to enjoy all the spring and early summer crops again. And as many of you can attest, produce tastes best when it comes from your garden. 

Anyway, after the post about fall planting, I received a few comments expressing an interest in what I was going to plant for Round Two and when.  So, here it is.

What I'm Planting
Like I said in the previous post, you want to stick to cool weather crops for your fall planting, plants that can withstand cooler temperatures and even dips close to freezing. As I chose my seeds, I paid attention to the maturation time so that the growth period would fit in my time constraint (i.e. before the first fall frost. More on timing later). So, for my fall planting I'm growing:
  • Peas
  • Spinach, both the large and baby varieties
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce (I'm using a variety called 'Vivian', similar to romaine)
  • Swiss chard
  • Radishes
  • Mesclun (maybe)
Everything on the list is going to be planted in my garden boxes, except the peas (I'm growing those in pots like I did in the spring).  Mesclun is a maybe for me -- it all depends on how much room I have in my garden. Plus, I get nervous growing it since it's a sort of like a spring mix of various lettuces; I can never tell which are the lettuces and which are the weeds!

When I'm Planting
Now!  Not only did my blogging take a hit during my hiatus, but garden did too a little. I meant to get outside, but it just didn't happen like I'd hoped.  Ideally, you want to get a calendar and count backwards from your first frost date (check here for your state). Mine, for instance, averages around the second half of October.  Granted, this isn't for sure. It's entirely possible to get a frost in September here (I mean, we got snow in May this year! Anything can happen!).  Check the maturation dates on your plants, tack on an extra 14 days since they take a little longer to germinate in the summer, and use a calendar as a guide. 

According to my calendar and planning, I should have no problem with my peas, baby spinach (it only takes 38 days to mature!), radishes, carrots, and lettuce. My peas, spinach, and lettuce all withstood the snow this spring. The giant spinach and the Swiss chard have longer maturation dates, which make things a little iffy for them. Again, though, the spinach survived the snow, so they might be fine.  If I would have had more time, I would have started the spinach and chard last week, but I'm going to work with what I've got and take a gamble. I mean, in the end, what are you out if it doesn't work?  A few seeds -- and you have to deal with a little disappointment. Most people don't even know about fall planting anyway. But if it does work?  Well, you can just enjoy all the homegrown peas, carrots, and leafy greens yet again!

 "There are no gardening mistakes -- only experiments."

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