Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beginning Before the Ending

Even though the summer crops are still coming in (in a big way!), it's time to get moving on the fall crops. I'm hoping to get a flat of seedlings started on Friday; meanwhile, we are still in the "avalanche time" as far as tomatoes are concerned.

And when the first five plants quit pelting us with fruit, the next set of plants should begin. Little green tomatoes are beginning to form on the plants that I set out in early July.

In the side yard, the Great Melon Experiment is coming along pretty well. These plants were grown from seeds saved from fruits that grew last year on hybrid plants. The plan is to save seeds from the best resulting melons this year, and next year, and so on, until I have a great little canary melon for my yard that breeds true.

In all that vegetation, it's hard to see the melons, but they are in there. Interestingly, not all the vines produced fruit. A thorough poking-about has turned up only about eight melons. Some of these look exactly like their parent-melons, but some seem to be ripening a little differently. Flavor is the real test, though, so I won't know which seeds to save for next year until I crack open the ripe fruits. These got a late start, but the first melon should be ready within a couple of weeks.

This little patch of my favorite crowder peas was put in after the potatoes came out. These will be making peas for us into the early fall, so this part of the garden won't get any fall veggies for a while.

I have left a few bare spots in the garden, for example, when the first cucumbers came out. These will be directly seeded with fall veggies (probably beets and carrots).

The other cucumbers will be done soon, and the melons have only another two or three weeks. The early tomatoes may give out in that time-frame, and the husks on the popcorn are beginning to dry, so those spaces may be cleared soon, too. All those areas are fair game for fall crops. Having seeds started in trays or those little jiffy pellets (if I have any left from spring) to transplant into those spaces will help me get the most out of the garden. That's the plan, anyway.


  1. Interesting experiment/plan on the canary melon. I'll be following in the years ahead!

  2. What are you seeding for fall into the trays/pellets? This will be my first year to do anything fall except collards. I want to do carrots and brussel sprouts. Should I just purchase transplants for the brussel sprouts? My whole summer garden was started from seed - I've just not done a fall garden except for collards in the past.

  3. Darius - This is the first time I've set about de-hybridizing a particular crop, so I will be interested in how it goes, too! What has been most notable in this first year is that not all the plants produced fruit. I've heard that before - "plants grown from seeds of hybrids can be sterile" - but I didn't realize that it might affect such a large percentage of the resulting plants.

    Glad my garden has had an otherwise very productive season! Otherwise, this outcome could have been more disappointing than interesting.

    Barbara -- I'll be starting lettuces, spinach, more chard, kale, chicory, and collards in the flat, at the very least. I might also add some beets to the flat, in case the local rabbits wipe out the seedlings that I sow directly in the garden. For most broccoli-family plants, I usually set out transplants. I'll be getting out my seed packets tonight or tomorrow to make the final plan, though, and will probably write a post about it.

    Also, I'll be giving a talk next week (Wed. evening) at the Mountainview Library on starting a fall garden. It's a free presentation, and I'll have handouts with lists ad timetables for people who show up.


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