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The "off season"

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The "off season"

Post  shannon1 on 8/23/2011, 3:20 am

Yes for some it might be time to start winding down, put up their feet, and relax. Not us, as the hottest part of the year passes it is time to ramp up for fall and winter gardening. How lucky we are that we can garden all year by chooseing the right plants and offering protection for the hottest and coldest parts of the year.

This will be the first time I take advantage of this, I am a little ashamed to admit. It will be an adventure and a learning experience to be sure. Who's with me? Some of you have done this before, no doubt and you can help people like myself who are new to it.

I hope whatever you decide to do you keep active here on our forum. Middlemomma and the regional hosts have interesting things planned and are always open to suggestions from our members. So don't get lost in those seed catalogs, after all this forum is for you, and it is your participation that makes it so much fun.
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Re: The "off season"

Post  Lurach on 8/23/2011, 5:52 am

I'm in with you for fall gardening. I've started what seeds I can for transplanting, but I'm holding off on direct-sow plants a bit longer due to the high 90s to low 100s heat we've been having. This will be my first fall garden as well, so we can learn together. I'm certainly open to any tips and suggestions.

Hubby and I just finished a new 4x8 TT box that will be broken in with fall planting. It amazes me how quickly those 32 squares got filled up on the garden planner. I'm growing: 3 lettuces, mustard, collards, swiss chard, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, beets, carrots, peas, snow peas, snap beans, lima beans, tomatoes and herbs. Thankfully, the 2x8 TT box is nearly empty now so I can expand in there if need be...just cukes and okra still hanging on in there.

What's on your planting list for fall? Also, what kinds of things can we grow in winter? I'm intrigued.

~Lu
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Re: The "off season"

Post  jersh on 8/24/2011, 7:59 pm

This is my first attempt at gardening and so far so good :-) I'm only a little over 2 weeks in since my first plantings but everything so far is growing like crazy.... So far I have planted 3 different varieties of tomato plants (1 Beef Master, 1 Early Girl, and 1 grape), I purchased them at HD and planted them on August 5th. So far the heat does not seem to be affecting them tooooo much.... In fact I just noticed this evening that the Early Girl is getting some blossoms on her. I think it helps that they are in a 1x8 SFG that is against the east side of my house, so by 1:30 in the afternoon they are 100% shaded. I also started two cucumber plants from seeds on August 8th and they are going crazy, they're already over 2 feet tall and they are amazing me more and more every day. Tonight I just planted some pole beans in the last square on my 1x8, hopefully they'll take off as well as the cukes did.

I have another portable 4x4 SFG that I have planted 1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper plant in. Neither one of them seem to be tolerating the heat very well even though they are under the overhang of my patio and don't get any of the blazing afternoon sun. I also planted broccoli seeds in 2 of the squares, however if I can find any broccoli plants locally I will put those in instead. So far I haven't had any luck finding any seedlings. The rest of the stuff in this 4x4 will be planted in Sept and Oct for fall/winter garden.

And dare I say, that just today I've noticed a little bit of a change in the air.... This morning I stepped outside and it didn't seem nearly as oppressively humid as it has been, it was definitely the most comfortable morning we've had in a couple months... And this evening was the same, I mowed the yard and it was pretty pleasant out... It was still hot but I feel as if changes are a comin' and they will certainly be welcomed by me!

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Re: The "off season"

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 8/24/2011, 10:24 pm

I'm in! First Fall Garden 4 -me too!!!

So far today I planted more broccoli, scallions, carrots, & radish. Daughter planted lettuce for trail & error in a tub on the carport (shaded area).

Tmr. I plan on planting the following--place on the patio while waiting for the weather to cool off--then transplant:
Baby Spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, & even more broccoli.

Possibly going to plant some Arugula, cilantro, & sugar snap peas.

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Re: The "off season"

Post  jersh on 8/25/2011, 12:37 pm

Here's how things are looking so far Smile







I planted my pole beans in the spot to the left of the cukes

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Re: The "off season"

Post  sherryeo on 8/25/2011, 6:05 pm

I'm all in for fall gardening! I think it's still a bit too early here to plant much, though - still in the 90s during the day - supposed to get up to 97 tomorrow!

I've started some tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers from seeds. Hope to try Swiss Chard, turnips, kohlrabi, radish, snow peas, lettuce, carrots, beets, green onions and (thanks to BBG) broccoli! Oh, and garlic!

I've decide that I will not be held to arbitrary rules about what you can plant when and I won't be afraid to experiment some - after all - it's just seeds! And so much fun!!

I'm aiming to try to get my 3 new boxes ready by the first part of September for planting. I have some cow manure, mushroom compost, cotton burr compost, and worm castings. I hope to go tomorrow to get some chicken manure - had hoped for rabbit, but couldn't find any. I'm trying to do a better job with my 5 composts this time. I think I must have goofed up on my first Mel's Mix. I have a little bit of homemade compost, but not enough for all boxes. I also need to add more compost to my first 2 boxes before replanting them.

I look forward to trying a fall garden!
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Re: The "off season"

Post  jersh on 9/10/2011, 6:17 pm

Time for another update on my fall garden Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy This is my first ever attempt at gardening so I'm beyond happy with the progress so far.

My cukes are officially going crazy. I put seeds in the ground on August 8th and we harvested our first cuke yesterday, and got another one today... Don't they look delicious?



Here is a photo of this SFG... a lot has changed since I posted photos on 8/25! I also have some pole beans over on the left side that you can, hopefully the cukes will let these guys grow.



Here is a better photo of my toms. My early-girl is starting to put on some small fruit.


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Re: The "off season"

Post  Kelejan on 9/10/2011, 9:32 pm

Yes, Jersh, I can see why you are happy. You must be doing everything right. Best of luck with your fall planting.



Here in the Southern Interior of British Cilumbia, we have been having temperatures of high eighties F and low nineties. Still too hot to plant my falll garden so I am holding off until later next week when rain is forecast and lowere temps. I have planted some lettuce and radishes and shaded them during the day. I am in the proccess of making a hoop house for that bed.



I also want to plant my shallots and garlic so that they have a flying start next spring. Must try and get them to form good root systems and very little green before the snows of winter, then I will cover them with the fallen leaves from my trees.



Although I am finishing my second season of SFG, I have learned a lot since joining this forum as I expect you have as well and I look forward to my next year when I can put into practice some of the things I have read here, like potato towers and bags, etc. and earlyier planting with a hoop house.



I was thinking of building some more beds but I think it would be better for me to enhance the ones I have.
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Re: The "off season"

Post  yuliad on 10/1/2011, 8:50 pm

This is our first fall gardening experience also.
Can someone tell me what is the best and cheapest way to protect your garden from the freezing weather? I know it is still too hot even to think about it, but I have to plan ahead, otherwise, with my busy schedule, the frost will come, Lowe's will be closed...and all my hard work will go to waste...
Yulia

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Re: The "off season"

Post  shannon1 on 10/3/2011, 12:46 am

IMO, old blankets do a better job of insulation than plastic. They do need to be supported so they don't crush plants.
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Re: The "off season"

Post  Kelejan on 10/3/2011, 1:57 am

I have a couple of old flannelette sheets I am going to press into service.

Not so heavy as blankets but I think will do an adequat job.
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Re: The "off season"

Post  sherryeo on 10/3/2011, 10:18 pm

I have been having soooo much fun with my gardens over the past couple of weeks. I've set up my 3 new boxes, so now have 5 altogether. bounce Hubby says he hopes I don't want any more boxes, tee hee. I didn't have the heart to tell him.

I, with a lot of help from the hubs, built 3 trellises as shown in the book with electrical conduit. I've ordered some nylon netting from the SFG store for the trellises. I've installed PVC pipe, criss crossed from corner to corner in the bed, to support extra light insect cover to protect my baby plants from the bad bugs - most especially the cabbage worms since I've planted collards, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, turnips, kohrabi, swiss chard and radishes.

I've also planted beets, green beans, snow peas and English peas, and Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, Bibb lettuce and Mesclun Mix. I have garlic on order and am saving some room for that.

I still have 2 eggplants - one is blooming like crazy and the other one seems to be recovering nicely with lots of new greenery from a bug attack that stripped lots of leaves from it. Hopefully, I may get another crop from them before cold weather.

I feel good about protecting the plants from the bugs, but darn, I miss getting to see them so easily. If I'm going to check them now, I have to pull the insect cover up a bit and peek in. Hopefully, it will pay off with better crops.

Who else is just now planting or already harvesting fall gardens?
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Re: The "off season"

Post  DebbieR on 11/20/2011, 8:36 pm

We're enjoying lots of bell peppers and gypsy peppers. My jelly bean hybrid tomato plant is producing again and the fruit is super tiny and cute--and much sweeter than the grape tomatoes that I tried last fall. Both the peppers and the tomatoes were planted last March and made it through the summer, but the tomatoes didn't start producing again until just recently.

The swiss chard is doing really well too, and one of my plants is two years old now and still hasn't bolted. I don't know why it hasn't, but I'm not complaining. It's very productive!

I tried fall cucumbers for the first time this fall and have only had a few so far.

Who else is doing a fall garden?

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Re: The "off season"

Post  southern gardener on 11/20/2011, 10:50 pm

we have one going too. It's doing so well! A cabbage worm at about 1/2 of a small broccoli plant in 1/2 of a day, but he paid the ultimate price lol. We have used the pre-bagged Mel's Mix, and so far, so good! Our summer tomatoes are still giving, but takes a long time for them to ripen. Still lots of peppers, eggplants, beets and chives coming off too. We in So. Calif are fortunate to garden almost year 'round! What's everyone else doing?
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Re: The "off season"

Post  Lindacol on 11/21/2011, 12:06 am

I am still harvesting bell peppers & small tomatoes and have broc, several types of lettuce, carrots and garlic started.

I'm wondering how the gypsy and cubanelle peppers compare to bells, especially used fresh in salads. I'm thinking ahead for next spring. I am zone 9, southern California.
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Re: The "off season"

Post  Kelejan on 11/21/2011, 3:23 am

@southern gardener wrote:we have one going too. We in So. Calif are fortunate to garden almost year 'round! What's everyone else doing?

Well, I look out my window and see three mounds of leaf-covered and snow-covered SFG beds. Sigh! That will be it until March of next year.
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Re: The "off season"

Post  Goosegirl on 11/21/2011, 5:19 am

@Kelejan wrote:Well, I look out my window and see three mounds of leaf-covered and snow-covered SFG beds. Sigh! That will be it until March of next year.
Yep - same here!
GG
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Re: The "off season"

Post  walshevak on 11/21/2011, 9:27 am

I still have some chard and kale hanging on from last spring. Was really late getting collard, lettuce, and spinach starts in (early Nov.) but I have the bed covered in plastic so hope we don't get any heavy freezes too soon. So far only 31* light frosts. And this week the temps are back up in the 60s and 70s. Just for giggles, I scattered some black seeded simpson lettuce seeds in some empty squares 2 weeks ago. They have actually sprouted. I don't have any real expectations I'll get any lettuce, but heck, it was only left over seed.
Got enough lettuce from the starts to go on a sandwich on Fri. and have 3 tiny tomatos that ripened in the house left to eat.

Kay

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Re: The "off season"

Post  DebbieR on 11/23/2011, 4:15 pm

Lindacol: I'm using my gypsy peppers just like bell peppers. Once they turn red they are sweet and I like them best that way if I'm using them fresh in a salad. I also like them grilled or sauteed. A bonus of having them in addition to my bell peppers are the gorgeous colors that you can get--often all on one pepper. I haven't tried the cubanelle peppers yet.

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