Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Last of the Fall Planting

Today marks the end of my fall plantings.  From this point out, it will be all harvesting and clearing out until January when it's time to start seeds for spring.

This spot had green beans in it all summer, but the old vines have been removed to make way for the last of my broccoli and cabbage.  To amend the bed, I've added chicken and steer manure, then a sprinkling of bone meal.  Mix well into the existing soil.

Then I plant my tiny seedlings.  I've set up the drip around them, watered good, sprinkled the soil with Sluggo to keep any slugs at bay, though this time of year they aren't typically a problem.  What IS a problem is cabbage worms; those pretty white butterflies you see floating around.  They're actually EVIL I tell you!  So I spray my seedlings with Bt.

If all goes well, I should be eating yummy brassicas between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Despite all the failures this year, I actually got enough tomatoes to do some canning.  Maybe there WILL be sauce this year.  It is more a testament to planting 6 times the plants I need in the hope I get three that work, than any talent on my part.

The zucchini and cucumber continue to produce.  Last year, I pulled the plants because the leaves start getting moldy and sad looking.  This year, I'm holding onto everything until they are D-E-D dead.  I want to see how much production I can get out of everything.

The exception is that little pile of green beans.  They are from a succession planting of beans I did in July.  I've pulled the old bean plants to make room for broccoli.  The old beans were still producing, but the beans were tough.  I think young bean plants make the best beans, so a succession planting is the way to go to get the most out of my summer season.

Still growing are my cucumbers (above) and anaheim peppers (below).

Here's the beans I planted in July.  They are just now starting to produce.

Interplanted with the old summer stock is a fall crop of broccoli and cabbage.  We've had lots of heat since I put these plants in, and while they look marvelous right now, I won't know if the heat has done any damage until the actual broccoli starts to come up.  It might button.  It might not.  I'm hoping for not.

For sure, these little cabbage and zucchini plant that I put in about a month ago are not happy in the shade.  This spot really does get no sun at all, thanks to the large tomato vines to the south of them.  The plants are suffering for it.  Live and learn.

And the jury is still out on how successful I am with container gardening.  My bok choi is doing marginally well.

The carrots and onions sprouted quickly and I thought I had a winner.  But they've seemingly been stuck in this spot for a while now.  It doesn't look like they're growing, but it could be my imagination.  We'll have to see if I get any production out of it.

And in this one, I've planted broccoli raab.  I'm not a fan of this variety of broccoli.  The seeds were a gift.  I had to pull one plant because it immediately bolted and went to flower.  I'll see if I get anything from the rest of them.

Lots more broccoli and cabbage seedlings to plant in the coming weeks.  I'm waiting for this heat spell to get over with, then I'll put them in the ground.  I figure if the broccoli and cabbage I started earlier suffered from the heat, I've got these back-ups.  If they didn't suffer from the heat, I'll just have loads of broccoli and cabbage!

And finally, I am going to have to figure a staking method for my tomatoes that is much higher than the 4" I've got going.  That was not nearly enough height.  I'm thinking about a cattle panel arbor for beans and tomatoes.  I'm going to start out with one and if that works, I'll get more.  For the rest of my tomatoes, I'll continue with my Florida weave, but I've got to get much taller stakes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Facelift For Fall

No, not me, unfortunately.  My blog!  I hope you enjoy the new layout.  The wood fence was getting a little old to me so I decided to go with something I could freshen up every season.  Here's my fall theme....on a day when it's 97 degrees in Sonoma County.  he he

Newly added to the sidebar is a section titled, "Even More Hobbies".  This section contains links to other places where you can find me and other things I've got going.  Keep on the lookout for more items coming soon!