Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall Garden's All In

Shifting from the summer garden to the fall garden involves a lot more work than I usually remember when I set out to make the change. Pulling out the old crops, amending the soil, tending the trays of transplants, getting everything into the ground in a timely manner - that all takes some pretty serious effort. The good news is that the work is usually spread out over several weeks, so no single week is too painful.

It's kept me busy, but the fall crops (except for another round or two of quick-growing radishes) are in the garden now. I started planting them in a particular sequence: slow-growing root crops like carrots, winter radishes, and beets that are all planted as seed went in first, then broccoli and cauliflower transplants, then the leafy crops as both transplants and seeds.

The beets and winter radishes are growing very well; the carrots are still tiny, but that is no surprise; and the broccoli and cauliflower are looking good.

It doesn't hurt that we finally had both some rain and some wonderfully cool weather. We still have plenty of summer veggies coming in, though. I pulled out some of the older tomato plants to make room for transplants of leafy greens, and I was left with a lot of tomatoes. The smaller green ones are going to be made into some green-tomato salsa, for use on winter enchiladas.

Two of the older tomato plants were left in the ground - the Wuhib paste tomatoes - because they are still producing incredibly well. There was just no way I could pull out plants with so many tomatoes on them when there is still so much time before the first frost.

The last summer veggie, the sweet potato crop, is at the "volcano" stage. That's when the magma-colored tuberous roots erupt from the soil.

Digging sweet potatoes too soon, or eating them before they have a chance to cure after digging, causes them to be a lot less sweet than they could be, so I haven't been in a big hurry to get those out of the ground. These should be just about ready, though.


  1. I'll have to take a closer look at my sweet potatoes. I haven't seen any poking out of the ground, but then I haven't been looking in the jungle either. My vines went absolutely crazy this year, so I'm hoping they are prolific underground as well!

  2. Owlfan -- Crazy vines is a good sign! I'm looking forward to digging mine up, too. I'm thinking that by the end of September they will (easily) have been in the ground for more than 120 days, so the longest-maturing variety will have had plenty of time to gets its act together.


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