September 13, 2009

To sow or not to sow

The summer garden is pretty much done. I pulled up the cucumbers today although the squash borer did not get to them this year, but the plants are out of control and we are just not eating enough cucumbers. I picked an entire trug full, and those will go to the chickens over the next couple of days. Happy hens!

The tomatoes are succumbing to some virus and will be leaving this coming week and then I can prepare those beds for the newly seeded (in pots) broccoli and brussels sprouts.

Last year I was surprised how well the vegetables that I overwintered did in spite of some frost, so this year I am resolved to have a true winter garden. Problem is, I don't know when the right time is to sow in this climate. Is it still too warm for endive, kale, Chinese cabbage, spinach? I did sow some short rows because my gut says that the days are getting shorter and those plants still need to grow to some size before they start producing. I did put in the last of the lettuce, all of the spinach, some of the kale and some of the endive. I still have some seed left over to put in at the end of the month to not put all my eggs in one basket. One of those plantings should be successful.

I learn from the garden every year and have already plans for next year. For one, I need to treat the peppers better and use the old tomato cages to contain them. Peppers do great here. I also need to plant fewer tomatoes and try some new varieties. The melons were a bust, but that was because of weather. Fewer cucumbers, and overall fewer of everything, but more plantings of them, including tomatoes.Other than having fresh veggies at hand, I do like to garden because there is always next year...

The fall woodrat diaspora has begun. This one had one white sock on the front so maybe we will be able to identify him, should he find his way back to the tackroom.

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