Monday, October 14, 2013

The Pleasures of Fall Gardening/Eating

While I enjoy the entire garden year, certainly fall is my favorite season.  There are three reasons why it's my favorite, first, less pest infestation (although I must confess that my stink and harlequin bug problem were pretty severe in August and early September), second, I love the brassicas and third, we tend to get more rain and I have to drip irrigate less.

Starting in early May, I planned my fall garden and planted some parsnips which take between 100-120 days to mature.  Parsnips can be difficult to germinate, but I find that if you use fresh seed and soak the seed overnight it germinates fairly well.  I also cover my parsnip seed with compost or used soilless mix so that the seedlings won't have the break through my Howard County clay.  The only thing after that is to keep the seed bed evenly moist.

Around June 15, I started my Packman and Premium Crop (broccoli), Brussels sprouts, Snow Crown, Romanesco and Veronica (cauliflower) seeds under lights.  These plants were transplanted in the garden the first week of August. The Packman, Premium Crop and Snow Crown are being harvested, but the Romanesco and Veronica won't start to head up until later this month since they take almost 80 days to reach maturity.

In August and early September, I planted carrots, beets, turnips, kale, spinach, lettuce and arugula. they all germinated nicely. Knowing that I was going on vacation for three weeks in mid September, I covered all of the Brassicas, carrots, turnips and beets with row cover to protect them from insects and as extra protection from bambi.

Well, when I returned home, I was rewarded with a garden full of vegetables and my deer fence broken down in two places (but that's for another blog).  The picture shows my trug with some of these vegetables.

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