This is the first year I've planted a fall garden. It's always been so hot when it was time to plant that the date would sail right past me. Who wanted to be out in the heat, pulling weeds, preparing seed beds, and sweating?
I planted late this spring for several reasons. The lettuce, onions, and beets I planted in the late spring did well, but I was too late to plant the cabbage, broccoli, peas and more that I wanted to grow.
So I planned a fall garden. I planted turnips, spinach, more beets, more lettuce and planned to add more to it. The weather was hot and humid with temperatures in the high 90's and low 100's. Evidently it was too hot for those cool-weather seeds to germinate, because they didn't.
I have one lonely little spinach plant in the tub where I grew spring lettuce.
I've come to the conclusion that growing in containers is easier than growing in the ground, at least where I live. I've amended the garden but evidently not enough; the containers are filled with rich black dirt, compost from the bedding we cleaned out of the goat shed several years ago, but I'd need a lot more than I have to spread on the garden. Plus there's the difference in weeds: there are fewer weeds in containers and they are much easier to pull. My garden is covered in bermuda grass that would be beautiful if it were in my pasture.
But in order to grow enough to fill our needs, I'd need a whole lot of containers!
|Spring lettuce and onions|
|Arkansas Traveler tomato plant|
My tomato plants gave up in August; I've never had that happen before. I think I planted just about the right number of them, and if they'd continued to produce I'd be happy with the amount of tomatoes this year. The one and only Arkansas Traveler plant has some nearly-ready-to-change-color tomatoes on it finally, so I will have some fall tomatoes hopefully.
My carrots and beans were eaten by grasshoppers. I need some screen covers for those plants - maybe for my entire garden!
Even though seed packets might say "plant in full sun," the sun is so hot here in central Oklahoma that some full sun plants do better with a little shade. I'm still experimenting with which ones need to go where. I have basil plants in both places for instance, and the two plants in afternoon shade are much fuller and have bigger leaves.
|Monster-sized basil leaves|
In spite of the fact that I didn't grow as much as I wanted to and tried to grow this year, I've learned a great deal so it wasn't wasted effort. I'm not very good at keeping detailed notes, but I do write down things I've learned in retrospect.
How about you? Do you keep detailed notes as the season goes by?
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a