Monday, August 10, 2009

Fall's Progress

It seems awfully hot to be talking about fall, but gardeners have to work in advance of the seasons. If the fall crops don’t go in soon (or yesterday!), the risk of not having them mature before the really cold weather comes, especially in a yard like mine that doesn’t quite get full sun, increases.

Luckily, the green bean production slowed way down recently, so I don’t feel too bad about pulling up the plants. To date, two thirds of my green beans have been pulled up, and the great greens planting has begun.

So far spinach, chicory, and two kinds of lettuces have gone into the bean bed. Those are all coming up now, so more lettuces, spinach, cilantro, and chard will likely go in tomorrow. In other parts of the yard, cabbages and broccoli are coming up, and so are the beets.

The yard looks a bit odd because all of the new seedlings are under protection, either netting, or fencing, or both.

The cabbages/broccoli are under tulle, to keep those white butterflies from laying their little cabbageworm eggs on the plants. The newest chard is both sort-of fenced and under some old Remay (fabric row-covering) that I got a few years ago. When the chard first came up, it wasn’t protected at all; then, a rabbit chomped a couple of the plants down to little nubs. I am hoping that the fabric cover is enough to keep the rabbits at bay.

The beets are also at risk of being eaten by bunnies, and their odds of survival are lower than the chard’s. Rabbits REALLY LIKE beets. Right now, my little beet patch is surrounded by a pretty tall chicken-wire fence. If I am lucky, the rabbits won’t realize how easy it would be to just squeeze under the bottom edge of that wire.

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