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Mid-Atlantic update for September!

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Mid-Atlantic update for September!

Post  Megan on 9/1/2010, 9:18 pm

Happy September everyone!

I had grand plans for a huge post this evening, but between having a sick hubby and uploading lots of photos, I'm splitting it in two. Tonight I'd like to share some thoughts on September, and then in the next day or so, my own garden update.

Please let us know how your garden is coming along, how your harvest is going, if you plan anything for the fall, and as always, pictures are GREAT! Very Happy



There are flowers enough in the summertime,
More flowers than I can remember —
But none with the purple, gold, and red
That dyes the flowers of September!
— Mary Howitt (1799–1888)

The morrow was a bright September morn;
The earth was beautiful as if new-born;
There was that nameless splendor everywhere
That wild exhilaration in the air.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

September
The breezes taste
    Of apple peel.
The air is full
    Of smells to feel —
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
    Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
    Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
    Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
    Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean
    With suds, the days
Are polished with
    A morning haze.
— John Updike (1932–2009)



In the Southern Hemisphere, September is the equivalent of our March. What an exciting time, world over!

Some notable dates in September:
6: Labor Day
11: Patriot Day
12: Grandparents' Day
17: Yom Kippur
22: Autumnal Equinox
23: Full Moon (Harvest Moon)
26: Johnny Appleseed Day
29: Michelmas

What is a Harvest Moon, anyway? SCIENCE! and tradition.
http://www.almanac.com/content/shine-harvest-moon

Zodiac timetable for September (please disregard if this does not tickle your fancy)
http://www.almanac.com/bestdays/timetable



We may be into Autumn, but it sure doesn't feel like it to me. My tomatoes are barely
ripening yet! But that first frost is coming, sure enough, and our local nighttime temperatures here in Manassas are dropping into the 50's and 60's already, even though we are still having heat and air quality alerts during the day.

Fall planting dates are based on your expected frost dates. I don't have a whole lot of
experience (and I am really hoping some of you will chime in!), but I've seen dates for
first frost, moderate frost, and hard frost. Most of the planting schedules seem to go by
first frost date. You can look up your own local information here:

Frost chart: http://www.almanac.com/content/frost-chart-united-states#chart

Fall planting dates, by first frost date: http://www.heirloomseeds.com/schedule-2.htm

Long range weather forecast: http://www.almanac.com/weather/longrange

Now is a good time to start harvesting herbs before they flower (i.e. bolt.) Pinching/cutting back leafy herbs like basil will keep them growing and help make them more bushy. If you have a good spot to bring herbs inside to overwinter, start thinking about how you will do that. (How do I overwinter a strawberry jar?!)

Something else I just learned is that if you have large squash and melons laying on the
ground, put something under them to elevate them so they don't rot while they are ripening.

If you have had soil nutrition issues this year, now might be a good time to get your soil
tested. I need to do this! (I was a bad girl and did not use five when kinds of compost when I built my beds this spring. Now I have to lie in them!) I keep putting it off and I know I'd better get on task before the season is done and the soil is frozen. You can start here to find your closest agricultural extension office: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/

That is it for now from me, but I'll post my personal update soon. Please let us all know how your garden is coming along, can't wait to hear! Also, if there is any information you are looking for this month, please let us know that too.

Happy gardening! flower
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Megan

Female Posts : 3350
Join date : 2010-04-27
Age : 50
Location : Manassas, VA - Zone 7a

View user profile http://novasquarefootgardener.blogspot.com/

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Mid-South..September...

Post  trustinhart on 9/2/2010, 10:39 pm

Megan: What a great post. You are an absolutely great host. Boffer did a good thing!!!!. Well,,, I posted pics last weekend, but:

My tomatoes are still coming, but slowing down. Only a few have fully ripened, I may get to enjoy some fried green ones.

My squash and zukes were killed off by some kind of bug, (Moadated Shield bug?????) I never found a way to control it.

My Zinnias are still coming on strong, and believe it or not, my marigolds that I thought were long gone have put up a huge new bunch, who knew???

My one cantalopue just up and died.

My cucumbers are really coming in. They are HUGE. Go figure. I don't
even know what the variety is. If I can get about 10 pounds, I may try to pickle them.

I started my bush beans and some Fordhook 242's indoors and they took off. I finally got them in the ground last night. I was sooooooo careful to keep them separated in the little plastic greenhouse. My grand-daughter was helping me and mixed them up in the tray, OOPPS. pale I got so discombobulated that I put them in the ground and didn't mark them. Don't have a clue what is where. DH INSISTED on putting 3 in 1 square. ( 2 of them may have to mysteriously die off, shhhhhh) Twisted Evil

Jalapenos, okra all finished.

My potatoes stayed too wet and rotted. I need to start over with those and hope to get some for Thanksgiving.

Compost is looking great.

This first year SFG was a GRAND experiemnt. All my plants were left overs and mif-fits. This project has been good for the whole family.
We're going to continue on as long as we can this fall and see what happens.

Think Santa might bring me a small farm??

Happy Gardeninig to all smiles
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trustinhart

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Join date : 2010-05-24
Age : 58
Location : Zone 7 VA

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Re: Mid-Atlantic update for September!

Post  Megan on 9/6/2010, 11:23 am

Thanks, trustinhart! I hope to get part two posted today. Thank you for sharing your update!

My flowers seem to be setting up for another go-round, too. I'm happy about that, but it's hard to tend them because my rampicante has invaded them!

I am jealous of your cucumbers. I was trying to save mine too, but I put off pickling too long and lost them all. Sob.

Giggling about your bush beans. I have some mystery peppers, myself! And good luck with the potato restart.... please let us know how that goes!
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Megan

Female Posts : 3350
Join date : 2010-04-27
Age : 50
Location : Manassas, VA - Zone 7a

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Part 2

Post  Megan on 9/6/2010, 12:17 pm

Here's my own update.

The rampicante squash continues to rage. It is humongous and is still sending out new branches. I have had to coil stems back on themselves 3x just to keep them inside the yard. A few leaves have died, and there is some yellow discoloration on some of the leaves, not sure what is causing it (virus? bug?) but it doesn't seem to be slowing it down any.





See the two branch ends in the middle of the picture? My husband calls them triffid faces. They are all over the place!



Little bitty rampicantes



Crookneck squash: Dead when small, and torn out. Something got it, SVB I think. Sigh.

Corn was a total bust. I got a few edible kernels off one ear which were incredibly tender and sweet, raw. Everything else was unpollinated and bitter. The stalks grew 6 to 10 feet, there were tassels, there were silks... I tried to brush the tassels on the silks. I don't know what went wrong.

Potatoes...no data yet. They grew very strongly for a while, and then seemed a little poorly (or naturally dying back?) and not much out of them since. They are a long season tater (Kennebecs) so I have just left them there for now. It is buried by the rampicante, hard to check on it.

Cherokee Trail of Tears pole beans: Strong, steady producer, still growing and blooming. I've learned to pick them quickly if I want "green beans" because oh boy do they have strings! They want to be black beans, not green beans. Pods turn brilliant scarlet when the beans finally go black. I finally picked enough tender green beans to make Dilly Beans, but a lot got away from me and will be dried beans for this winter, which is what I more or less expected anyway.





Christmas Lima pole beans: Grew even faster than the Cherokees at first, produced one lonely, flat pod, then just sat there for the longest time. Just in the last week or so they have perked up and started vining aggressively and producing a lot more pods. I sort of expected this from the plant description at Baker Creek. It too is duking it out with the rampicante, hard to check on it, but it is starting to invade new areas. Most of the pods are still flat, but I've found a few with nice dry beans in them already.

Poona Kheera cukes: Glorious cukes, strong grower and very productive, but the cucumber bugs got them in the end with that rassa-frassa bacterial wilt. I am going to start spraying a LOT earlier and more aggressively next year! What makes me really sad is that I was saving them up to make pickles, hoping for just a few more... but that never happened, and by the time I got around to canning those I had left, they were gone. I did get one great batch of fridge pickles out of them, though. Crisp and tasty!

Golden Midget Watermelon: Lame duck. I think it got shaded out by the Amaranth. So far I have gotten one thumbnail sized fruit which fell off when I touched it...and then I thought the whole vine was dead, but we had a spate of cooler temperatures and that plus thinning the Amaranth, not sure what did it but it is alive and blooming again. I do not understand watermelon. Sun hog? Needs hot temps to sprout and grow, cool to produce?? Or is it just reacting to the changing length of day? I have no idea. This picture is just part of it; it's actually over the top of the trellis. The vines at the bottom and the top look good but the part in the middle looks nearly dead.



Amaranth: Huge, gorgeous. Can support smaller plants such as cukes but needs to be staked itself when it gets big. I harvested the seed head of my monster this past weekend and am drying it in the sun. Photo of the stem is almost a month old. If I grow it again, I'll find a new home for it because it creates a lot of shade.







Carrots: I pulled them all just a few days ago because they were starting to flower. Greens: HUGE. Carrot roots: Nice, sweet and tender, but not nearly as big as these St. Valerys should be. They are 1.5" to 6" long vs. the 2-3" shoulder and 10-12" long they are supposed to get. Maybe the mix was too rich?



Purple Tomatillos: Not sure. I bought three plants, they seemed very unhappy for a while. Two in pots, one planted in my carrot high-rise. The high-rise one seemed to be doing the best for a long time, but it has started dropping immature fruit in dried out little balloons. The other two seem to be doing better now.

Swiss chard: I love this stuff. Planted this spring, and it keeps going and going and going and going!

Peppers: The purple hot pepper plant I bought is on its second crop ready to harvest. The ones I started in-ground from seed (and absolutely DESPAIRED about them EVER growing!!) are now almost 3 feet tall and covered in blooms and teeny fruit. (And yes, that's a rampicante in there. They are everywhere!)



Cabbage: One plant. Planted in April. Now thinking about possibly growing more than 8" tall and making thimble-sized head. Wow, they don't call it "Late" for nothing! Don't know if it will survive... something is chomping on it, and it is survival of the fittest in there between the peppers, the cabbage, and the rampicante.



Tomatoes: The Black Cherry is producing, though I think it is annoyed at being in container, it wants to be in the ground. The Cherokee Purple and the Gold Medal are big (over 6 feet tall) with lots of green fruit. The Cherokee has produced two ripe ones (the latter of which burst and rotted, cry!) and has more darkening now. The Gold Medal is even slower and only has green fruit still. Some leaf damage showing (and I pulled off one black caterpillar) but they seem healthy overall.

Genovese Basil: Beautiful, and trying to bolt...destined for pesto (fresh and frozen) in the very near future.



Dill: I thought it was dead, but it is sending up new seed heads. I don't understand dill... is there a different plant for dill weed and dill seed? All I get is spindly stalks and seed heads. I picked what there was for my dilly beans, not sure if I left enough for it to continue growing this year but it is more resilient than I thought... I thought it had died months ago but it started over.

Yellow Wild Strawberries: I had no idea they would get this big this year, from such teeny tiny plants! Blooming and making little berries. (You hear that, Martha?! Smile )





Cinderella Pumpkins: Planted over the 4th of July. They've had a hard time between bugs, a little mildew, and rampicante, but they are holding their own so far and are blooming. No sign of fruit yet.



My plans for fall planting:

In a nutshell, too many things I want to plant, and not enough space to plant it in! I had no idea my summer plants would still be growing so well now... and I'm concerned that some of the things I wanted to plant won't have time enough to mature. But, it's just seeds, so I'm going to try.

Parsnips to replace the carrots. May be too late.

Harvesting the basil today (I am holding myself to this!), make more pesto, and reclaim those 3 squares. That will give me six in the bed closer to my house. To be replaced by lettuce, giant Japanese red mustard, and maybe some broccoli. I have Merveille de Quatre Saisons lettuce, plus some Drunken Woman lettuce from miinva (thanks!). For broccoli there is Spigarello Broccoli from miinva (thanks!) plus some broccoli raab that did well this spring.

The front bed (closer to the street) has some free squares too, and I need to rip out the rest of the amaranth which should give me much more room. I want to try kale there (thank you, Ander!), cauliflower, maybe some celery and peas, radishes. Also some of the milkweed Nancy sent me.

I also bought some potato onions and garlic sets from SESE. My shipping acknowledgment says they'll arrive between mid September and early November. I'm hoping they will show up late, so I'll have some more squares free.

Good luck with your harvest and with fall planting. Happy gardening! flower
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Megan

Female Posts : 3350
Join date : 2010-04-27
Age : 50
Location : Manassas, VA - Zone 7a

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Re: Mid-Atlantic update for September!

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/6/2010, 10:25 pm

well, a few pictures popped up then they disappeared and no pics are showing up
for me.....hmmm

Megan, you have given great information and I love reading your post. I will
keep visiting
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CarolynPhillips

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Location : Alabama Zone 7a

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Re: Mid-Atlantic update for September!

Post  Megan on 9/6/2010, 10:34 pm

Thank you, Carolyn! Very Happy

Regarding the pictures... what I have found is that for me, it looks like a post has loaded sometimes, but no pix. They can take a little while to load...especially with my last post which has lots of photos. If you are still having problems let us know.
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Megan

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