Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fall Garden


photo from Baker's Creek Heirloom Seeds

School's back in session, the mornings seem cooler, and most people's gardens are dead or dying. Apples and pumpkins are steadily getting fatter for fall treats. But it's not time to throw in the gardening towel yet.. there is still one more growing season this year! If you couldn't find a spot in a community garden last May, now is your second chance.

Fall is the time to plant cool weather crops (like the baby bok choy pictured above.)

It seems like after July hits, many people go on vacation and the garden gets attached by drought and bugs. I'd say about half of the plots in our community garden are no longer being used. Since my tomatoes are still getting ready to fruit, I decided to take over a bed that no one was using for a fall garden. As I wait for the tomatoes to turn green, harvest more basil, and prepare to dig up some potatoes, I am also waiting for new little seedlings to sprout in the new fall bed.

What did I plant?

Baby Bok Choy
Daikon Radish
Carrots
Peas
Kale

A side benefit of planting root vegetables like radish and carrot are that they will naturally aerate the soil. After being pounded by spring rain and summer heat, the soil of my new garden bed is really packed tight. I'll let you know if the plan works!

I also hope to get some onions and garlic in the ground soon.

Although I'm nervous about growing garlic again since my attempts last year to grow garlic in a bucket failed. After looking at the date of that blog post I realized that the garlic was sprouting in September, which means I planted it way too early! This year I'm not even going to put the bulbs in the ground until October.

If you are still interested in gardening, you might want to ask some gardening friends if they have any leftover seeds from spring that you can have. You also might be able to use someone's garden plot since many people's enthusiasm has waned since spring. Fall is a great time to garden on the cheap! Just compost the bed and add your cold weather seeds.

Stay tuned for more posts about fall gardening, from plant propagation to seed collection.

2 comments:

cg said...

I've heard that in Europe it is traditional to plant garlic on the Winter solstice...I'm Polish-American, so I thought it would be fun to celebrate the solstice in that manner, but do you think that's too late for Maryland?

************* said...

According to a google search of "planting garlic winter solstice," you can plant on the winter solstice in December, but the garlic might grow a little larger if you plant it in October.

The other interesting thing is that garlic is often harvested on the summer solstice, so perhaps it's a symbolic thing!

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