Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thinking Forward to Fall

Has everyone else already started seeds for fall crops? Here in Cobb County, it's time! The cool-weather crops we usually set out as transplants - broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts - mostly have a long enough time-to-maturity that they are planted out to the garden in the second half of August, which means the seedlings need to be started now.

Exceptions would be for faster-maturing varieties, like Early Snowball cauliflower that is such a speed-crop (just 50 days!) that gardeners have an extra 3 or 4 weeks to get that one started.

In my garden, the space for most of those Brassica-family crops (aka: cabbage family; cole crops, Cruciferae) is still taken up by the April-planted tomatoes, but the space where I'm planning to plant carrots this year has some cucumber vines that are looking pretty ragged. I may pull those up this weekend and strew some buckwheat seeds in that space for now, to help get the soil in shape for the next crop.

When the buckwheat starts to flower (it happens fast!), that would get turned back under to add organic matter to the soil. In the meantime, the plants would have helped hold onto nutrients and encouraged some good microbial activity underground.

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