Although we still have a few weeks of summer remaining, the change to fall is in the air.
It’s a great opportunity to enjoy one of the best and most enjoyable times to grow your own food.
Started my first planting for fall lettuce about mid August. Transplanted the seedlings to the garden day before yesterday. No rain. Soil was bone dry so carried in some buckets of rainwater to water them in thoroughly.
I seeded containers with 5 more varieties yesterday and will continue to plant at least every other week through October.
Key to a Continual Supply of Lettuce
If you want lettuce all through the fall, winter and into early spring just one planting of lettuce won’t do it. Succession planting is the key: plant some lettuce; in a week or two plant more; repeat.
For more tips to help you have all the lettuce you want, review the lettuce posts listed at the end. (I’ve written dozens of posts on lettuce; so if you put lettuce in the search box <upper left column> more will come up.)
New Variety (for me anyway)
It’s hard to beat my favorite varieties of lettuce: Winter Density (a romaine) and Sierra Batavia (a crisphead). Both delicious! And considered (by me) to be the best of the best in taste, performance and beauty.
Thanks to a friend, I’ve now discovered a variety that I like just as much as my favorite two. As a matter of fact, I’d go so far as to say that if this “new discovery” were in my garden along side the other two varieties, I’d be eating more of it than the others.
After looking at what various suppliers had to say about this new one, I understood why I liked it so much. It’s a combination of a batavian crisphead and a romaine!
It’s tolerant of hot weather. My friend brought me a crisp, beautiful head in the hottest part of July this year. Sweet as could be without a hint of bitterness!
I have high hopes of a great fall performance. And if it does well under my protective covers through the winter I’ll be overjoyed!
The variety is Concept. Why not give it a try. Serving it at your big Thanksgiving (and/or Christmas) dinner should bring all kinds of rave reviews.
Garlic – Tip for stress-free planting in October or November.
As fall and holidays approach, everyone seems to get busier.
Select the beds that you’ll plant with garlic and prepare them now. When the time comes to plant, all you’ll have to do is separate the cloves, plant, and mulch.
Mid October is a good time to plant in areas further North. Planting garlic that early here in Virginia gives me too much above ground growth before the cold sets in.
I wait until November to plant. That gives my garlic plenty of time to establish strong roots underground, but not make too much growth above ground.
Most seed garlic ships in October, in time for planting in almost all areas.
I’ve noticed the most popular varieties sell out rather quickly. If you haven’t ordered, it’s a good time to check it off your list.
If you choose to order from GetGarlic.com you might want to take advantage of the great savings on their Northern White, a porcelain variety that is big, beautiful, and easy to grow. And remember, you’ll get even more savings by ordering before Thursday, August 31, 2017. For the added 10% savings use the code earlybird2017. (That’s a total savings of 24% off the Northern White!)
(Click on the GetGarlic.com icon in the left column to shop.)
Winter Rye Strategy and Tomatoes (and other warm weather crops)
Now’s a great time to choose where your tomatoes are going next year if you plan on transplanting your seedlings into the stubble of winter rye.
With the help of still standing tomatoes and my garden chart I’ll look for spots that have not had tomatoes for at least 2 years; preferably 3. In late October or November I’ll sow winter rye seed into those spots.
Most of my beds are about 3’ wide by 16 feet long. Spots chosen for tomatoes will vary in size. I’ll sow the winter rye only where the tomatoes will go.
Makes it easy in the spring. I look at the rye and know exactly where my tomatoes are going to reside.
This strategy works great for almost any warm weather crop like cukes, squash, melons, peppers, eggplant, etc.
Even if you’re a beginning gardener, fall can be one of the best times to garden.
Grab the opportunity if you can.
Couldn’t resist adding two pictures of my entrance path bordered by the annual, summer poinsettia, that I use as a cover crop in some of my beds each year. It’s above my elbow in height and beautiful. All kinds of bees and insects swarming on it everyday. They love it as much as I do.
The first is a close up view. The second shows more of the garden. (Pepper, tomatoes and asparagus ferns are visible as well as the summer poinsettia.)
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