Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall & Winter Vegetable Garden Experiement

Hello friends!

I got a really late start on my Fall & Autumn vegetable garden. This is due to the fact i thought I was moving out of my home in September, then it turns out I am now staying in my home for at least another season. Most cool season vegetable crops want to go in the ground mid-summer around July or August. Which is exactly NOT what you are thinking about in the mid-summer, right? Fixated on all available garden space, resources, time & energy on those TOMATOES not planting brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale for the winter. I hear that! But, that's when most winter veggies need to be planted to get a good start before cold weather sets in.

Even though I was delayed I managed to get a pretty extensive cool season garden going. Once I harvested and cleaned up a lot of warm season crops I heavily amended my soil with organic matter (compost, earthworm castings, coir) and organic vegan fertilizers. I planted together a mix of overwintering and fall/winter harvesting crops. The overwintering crops were an experiment. And I'll let you know how it all goes. In addition to the veggies I've managed to get 2 empty flower beds planted with cover crops in preparation for perennials and herbs next Spring. I used fava beans for their long tap-roots to break up heavy soil and crimson clover for their nitrogen boosting & easy-to-till-under capabilities. I've also tarped another area of lawn--killing it over the winter for easy digging in the Spring-which will be the site of another raised bed.

Don't forget to reduce your "fall clean-up" efforts. Yes, that's right--REDUCE the yard clean-up. It's important to leave wild habitat that provides shelter & food for beneficial bugs, birds, and other wildlife. Our bug & animal friends need this during the cold and sparse winter. On behalf of our wild friends, thank-you!

Here's what I planted for Fall/Winter...

Fall/Winter Harvest:
Sugar snap & snow peas, mustard greens, lettuce, sorrel, spinach, swiss chard, kale, cauliflower, mache, arugula, mustard greens, radishes, carrots, cilantro

Overwintering for Spring Harvest:
Fava beans, red & green cabbage, broccoli raab, purple sprouting broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, shallots

I'm super excited to see how it goes and I'll keep you posted with my lessons learned. Wouldn't it be great to home-grow veggies all 4 seasons?

In Health,
Miss Jolie Ann

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