#1 – What You Need to Do to Get a Bountiful Supply of Lettuce Through Next Spring
To get a bountiful supply through fall, harvests through the winter, and the earliest supply of lettuce in the spring now is time to start your staggered plantings of lettuce if you haven’t already.
I usually start about mid August and stagger plantings every 10 days or 2 weeks through October.
That might seem like a lot of plantings but it’ll allow for some losses to weather, bugs, and/or seed not germinating. You have no way of knowing those things in advance so it’s beneficial to plan just in case.
Three of my favorite varieties for fall harvests are Sierra Batavia, Winter Density and Bronze Arrowhead. Also good are Rouge D’Hiver, Winter Marvel, Little Gem.
I’ve found Winter Density to be THE best for wintering over in my garden. (I protect from below freezing temperatures.)
Since I anticipate it being another month to 6 weeks before I can walk, I’ll be late getting started this year. But better late than not to have any lettuce. How bountiful my late plantings will be during the fall months will depend on the weather.
#2 – Want a Fresh Green Bean for Thanksgiving Dinner?
Masai bush beans are great for fall planting. They only take about 55 days from seedlings to beans. Here in zone 7 there should be time to get beans before frost. Covering with a thicker row cover fabric should allow them to continue even a bit after frost.
A short bushy plant, the Masai plant produces long thin beans that are not only beautiful, but delicious.
If you have trouble with grasshoppers and other pests eating your emerging seedlings in the fall, you can start Masai Bush Beans in flats or pots. Transplant to the garden when they have 2 or more true leaves.
A great addition to Thanksgiving dinner. Or possibly Christmas dinner depending on your last frost/freeze date and how cold it gets.
#3 – Squash Bug Control Strategy – Do It Now to Cut Down on the Numbers Next Year
As I pointed out in a previous post you need more than one strategy to control squash bugs. One of the most important tactics is to prevent their overwintering in your garden.
Considering that female squash bugs can hibernate in the top 6 inches of your soil over the winter with as many as 250 eggs that will be viable NEXT spring without her mating again –– stopping even 10 females from wintering over could prevent as many as 2,500 bugs from attacking your squash next year.
You’ll need your dead or dying squash plants (or other cucurbits that the squash bug attacked) for this control tactic.
I gave the details in this post: Squash Bugs – End of the Season Strategy.
If you’ve already taken your plants out of the garden, I would recommend looking around where they grew. Some of the bugs may have stayed in that location.
Final Thoughts – a Personal Note
Thanks so much for your emails of concern and well wishes. They’ve meant a lot.
Still in my kitchen floor, but each day brings a tiny but noticeable improvement. Every little degree of movement gained makes things a bit easier for me and is very encouraging.
I’m heading towards getting up from this serious setback in better condition than before it happened. And wouldn’t that be something!! 🙂
All my best wishes for a great fall season. I’m thinking of you.
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