Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thinking ahead



Buh-bye pretty things (white onion blossoms)

I spent Sunday afternoon in the garden. There was a lot of work to be done: I had to play sheriff and hand out eviction notices to a lot of plants! Actually, that is what it felt like, but this "tough love" is something I must do if I expect to get a second, or even third, harvest out there.

You see, I am a succession-planting fool. (I need the labels, believe me: nothing stays for long, including in my brain.) I haven't even harvested a tomato, yet I am thinking about September's crops. So, out of the garden came the seeding biennials (radicchio, parsnips, onions, leeks) and in went the second plantings of broccoli, rapini, and Asian brassicas. It may be early, but in went the first round of fall peas. And I also pulled a lot of the beets for canning. Throughout the season, I plant things like bush beans about once a week: bush beans are ripe all at once, so it helps to plant them weekly to keep the fresh ones rolling in. I do the same thing with lettuce and rapini, and beets and carrots. It was a fun and productive day.

So the modus operandi around here is "no soil left unplanted."

6 comments:

meresy_g said...

I think I will pop some things in the ground for fall as well. I have never done this. Do you think that I could get another round of potatoes (even little ones) if I planted some now? Our first frost is usually mid-October.

El said...

Yeah. They may be small, but if you still have some seedling spuds around, it can't hurt. But be warned: potatoes need to undergo a period of vernalization whereby they get up the gumption to go all sprouty. Sometimes that can't be rushed. Sometimes it can.

But beans, and fall spinach and lettuce: those will be happy to get going. Spinach and lettuce can be planted in the shade under your soon-to-be-harvested things (like bush beans) as they really don't like the heat of August.

cookiecrumb said...

Ow-wooo! I learn so much from you, I probably don't even have to buy a gardening book.
Just today Cranky and I were contemplating a fall crop. And believe me, we've never thought about it before. But we have... all. this. soil! :D
Beans! Yep, that's next.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I keep meaning to do a second seeding of things, but somehow it just never happens. However, this year I am inspired. Spinach, beans, and beets here I come.

El said...

CC: You, with your long seasons, can plant another round of basil now, too. Considering how fast it goes to seed, I usually take advantage of that hot August sun for it. (Can't have enough pesto, esp. when it's easy to freeze.)

Kim: I know what you mean! I always had "good intentions" before, especially since I knew how well spinach does in the cool nights of September. It's only once we moved here and got thinking "long-term eating" that I really made the effort. Oh, and late-season broccoli is divine.

kaleforsale said...

I just want to compliment you on the photo! I've always loved how these look in the garden.