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Fall gardening

Things September Brings to Mind – Extending the Season, Beautiful Blooms, Transplanting When it’s Dry, Tomatoes, Garlic

Garlic

Do you buy your garlic from the grocery store? Are you aware that most of that comes from China?

If you want to know the multitude of reasons why that garlic might not be your best choice you’ll want to review this post: Garlic – A Good Reason to Grow Your Own

Garlic is easy to grow, especially if you’ve continued to improve your soil by adding organic materials each year.

Now’s the time to order. You’ll want to plant early enough to give the roots time to get going before cold weather causes bulbs to go dormant. In my area, that’s sometime in October or November.

When ordering, I hope you’ll consider the offerings of GetGarlic.com. It’s a family operation with Troy Greenberg at the helm.

I’ve been pleased to have them represented on TMG during August, September and October since 2015. They share organic values that I encourage. And their advertisement makes a big difference in helping with the expense involved in keeping this site up and running.

Tomatoes

In areas with cold winters, but free from frost until October or later you might want to give some thought to how you can have your garden grown tomatoes fresh through December.

This post gives you several tips to help with that: Tomatoes – Tips – It’s Time to Plan for Year End Fresh Eating.

If your plants are like mine, you’ll be getting some of the biggest and most beautiful tomatoes about now. Those are perfect for saving seed.

Your own seed correctly saved is going to outperform any that you buy. And it’s easy to do. This post tells you how: Seed Saving – Tomatoes – How to.

You can save the seed from those beauties after they fully ripen even if you have to pick them when they’re just starting to turn.

And if you’re concerned that harvesting the fruit before it’s fully ripe will ruin the taste this post may put your mind at ease: Tomatoes – Are They More Delicious When Vine Ripened

Transplanting Seedlings to the Garden in a Dry September

As I mentioned in a previous post, August is the ideal time to start fall/winter crops. Sometimes that not possible.

I didn’t start in August because it was too hot for germination. Another reason was that the soil was too dry and I didn’t have enough rain water, nor did I feel so inclined to “tend” those seedlings all through August.

When September arrived, I had to start seed no matter what the conditions or there wouldn’t be enough time for good growth before cold weather set in.

Usually seedlings are transplanted into my garden when they’re very small. Not this year. We’ve had extremely dry conditions over the last 6 weeks so if I had transplanted the tiny seedlings it would have meant using my watering can to haul the little rain water I have to keep them going until it rained.

Thus, I repotted the small seedlings into larger containers to give them more room to grow bigger and stronger while I wait for better conditions. If small seedlings stay too long in their beginning (and smaller) container, some get crowded out and I don’t get as many plants as I want.

Winter Density seedlings repotted to give them more room to grow.

In order to have the best chance possible for lots of fall lettuce I’ll start transplanting to the garden the last week in September no matter what conditions are. Then I’ll transplant more of the repotted plants every week starting in October. Hopefully it’ll rain and I won’t run out of the few buckets of rainwater I collected.

I have seven containers this size of repotted Winter Density lettuce seedlings.

My second planting of seed in containers is just starting to germinate; so I’m fine there. Third planting of seed was Wednesday (Sept 18).

2nd planting of Winter Density seed just germinated.

I’ll keep planting more seed every week or 10 days until the weather dictates I can’t. That’s how to have a continual supply of lettuce from fall through spring as discussed in this post: Lettuce – A Reminder – Ways to Have a Continual Supply from Fall Through Spring.

September Bloom

September is a month of beautiful bloom. I’ve not taken a lot of pictures this year. I missed some great shots even with things not being tended for almost a year.

Here’s a post that shows some of September’s beautiful blooms in a prior year: September Bloom.

Extending the Season in Your Garden

Frost doesn’t have to signal the end of your warm weather crops if you have some row cover fabric.

I keep my peppers and sometimes tomatoes going an additional month or two by wrapping them in row cover fabric. I secure the fabric with clothes pins. More detail and two pictures of how I wrap my pepper plants here: Frost Protection for Plants – Prepare to Extend Your Gardening Season.

Two Topics You Won’t Want to Miss

In one of my letters to “subscribers only” coming up soon, I’ll tell you how to keep the fungi active all winter that will get your plants off to a better start next spring.

If you’ve followed my guidelines for preparing your garden, most of your garden time in season should be spent planting and harvesting rather than weeding. I’ll cover this more in another soon coming private letter to subscribers.

Final Thoughts

I hope you’re enjoying and benefiting from my private letters to subscribers that you receive now and then.

These private emails to you don’t appear on this website and give me an opportunity to give you tips and reminders that otherwise would go unmentioned.

Enjoy September!

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1 Comment

  • Thanks Theresa! I love hearing from you. I grow my own garlic in upstate NY and it is a dependable joy. Now I’m going to check out your advice on saving my tomato seeds this year…

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