Planted the fall garden....sorta

mulberryknobAugust 12, 2011

DH and I went out and dug up and planted two small beds (4ft x 8ft each) and planted fall veggies. Six different kinds of lettuce, 3 of radish, 1 spinach, and some dwarf kale and 4 kinds of oriental greens. Still plan to plant some turnips, mustard and kohlrabe. Just planted a small amount in case we don't get any more rain. I also started some Chinese Cabbage on the porch to put into the ground and in a month will start some more for the greenhouse.

Despite the horrific heat (and the highest water bill ever,) I did put up a reasonable amount of veggies this year. Not as much as in years past but since we should be able to eat out of the greenhouse through much of the winter, we won't need as much.

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Dorothy, I envy you your winter greenhouse. I put a few bush beans into pots where I can water them and control the amount of sun if (when) it turns hot again, but that's it for me. The surviving tomatoes will live or not. I've done the best I can with them. I'm going to be gone all winter, and just want to be back in time to get the garden going for next spring. We'll be spreading a lot of mulch and fertilizer this fall, to let it work on the soil over the winter. It's so deficient that it's going to take a lot of amendment to bring it into shape.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 2:51PM
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Dorothy, are you planting sweet peas and fava beans? I not have any experience of sweet peas and fava beans in the fall. I just wonder do they produce well in the fall? I not stated falls sowing yet, but thinking to start some radishes, mustard, and sweet peas just in one bed as I am yet sure about the temperature and precipitation. Planting in remaining empty beds will be depend up on rain, temp and water rationing. -Chandra

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 3:34PM
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Dorothy, I have the itch to plant also. I have bought some seed for fall I want to try, but I am very concerned about the weather.

I am going to make a small spot in the north garden, maybe 200 sq. ft. I will hold off on the rest of the garden. I would like to plant a cover crop but a little concerned about increasing the deer traffic across the hwy. My son and I have been talking about making a food plot near the back of his place where there is a lot of cover.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 4:37PM
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cjlambert(6b Tulsa)

I have sprouts of kale, swiss chard, summer & winter squash, and beets up from being sowed last weekend. The rains really sped things up, the question is whether they can maintain through the heat we're likely to have over the next weeks. I decided it was worth the try. The red potatoes I planted one week ago aren't up yet; has anyone grown fall potatoes? I know it'll be close, but the Okla Ext Serv recommends fall-growing for quality and storage, so...

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 4:39PM
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I'm definately planting a fall garden, I've been preparing beds for a couple of weeks and will plant this week. I planted a month or so back corn, squash, and southern peas, but lost a lot of the squash to a rabbit. I am going to plant sugar pod peas, greens, and several root crops (beet, radish, carrot) and some broc, cauliflower, and cabbage I started in the house. Don't know how much is going to produce, but it sure won't produce in the packet in the kitchen drawer!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 4:41PM
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Chandra, no, have no plans to plant peas or fava beans. I put enough peas (Sugar Snaps)in the freezer to last the winter and I think I will just give up on favas. I didn't get a good stand from the seed from Baker's and only got a handful of return from the plants that did come up. DH is just going to stay on his meds.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 4:41PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I am glad some of y'all have enough moisture to make it worth planting a fall garden. We don't have that moisture here, and it is driving me crazy. You cannot even water because the water just runs down the big cracks in the ground, which vary from 1" to 3" in width.

I will be planting in the greenhouse, but not until Oct. or Nov. because we are still hot, hot, hot here. The rain clouds cooled us briefly yesterday, and our forecast today was for 96 or 98 degrees. Instead, we were hot, sunny, 104 degrees with a heat index of 107....and wondering why the NWS teased us by giving us a forecast high of 96 for Burneywille and 98 for Bomar. If the weather had been cooler today, I might have cleaned out a bed or two in the garden and thrown some seed into the ground for fall anyway, even if it meant endless watering.

We have quite a lot in the freezer and root cellar, but not as much as we did last year or the year before. I'm looking ahead to 2012, assuming we get enough rain to put an end to this drought. At our end of the state, I think it will take 15-20" of rainfall before we'll see all the cracks in our ground heal and the ponds begin to refill.

I'm not even going to make big plans for next year until this current drought ends.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 9:04PM
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cjlambert(6b Tulsa)

Dawn - I'm so sorry your heat hasn't relented, except that it's probably keeping you grounded and realistic, where I'm thinking it's already fall! That's gonna jump up and bite me, I just know it.

It has been a dismal year for having enough to preserve, and this is the first year I've depended on the farmer's market for fresh tomatoes. Bummer.

I'm looking ahead to 2012, too; gardeners are an optimistic bunch.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 9:35PM
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I'll plant a regular fall garden, plus some PEPHs and some more zuchinni. I also want to do a good long row of cucumbers to give it one last try. I just cannot seem to get cucumbers to grow here.
My planting will be staggered over the next two months. I'm also going to try some artichokes, celery and some "annual" overbearing strawberries, both some started from seeds (Saran strawberries from pine tree, an F1 hybrid everbearing) and whichever varieties I can find for sale, recommended for the area.
I was planning to plant blackberries but now we might be moving next fall so I may just stick something like fava beans and more strawberries in that area, or just fill it up with kale,mustard and turnips,then put ornamental annuals and shrubs there right before we put the house up for sale.
I can always use more veggies for us and the chickens, anyway.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 9:47PM
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I'm going to get some broccoli sowed hopefully tomarrow and some greens. I need to get some trellis's out of my way first.

I'm going to have to re-think my planting next year to try and keep the deer out of my main crops. I'll plant the make it or not crops across the road where the deer tend to be the problem. I can keep them chased out of the garden near the house. The dogs will alert me if anything shows up.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:41PM
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We're all thinking the same thing! We got over 1.6 inches rain in the last week so last night I optimistically sowed a bunch that I'd never gotten around to in the spring and early summer. Put in two kinds of green beans, one pinto-type bean, oregano, basil, cilantro and chives, more squash and cucumbers. We'll see...

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 7:51PM
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Spread compost and tilled up a 4x50 ft bed in the garden proper and planted a 50 ft row of beets and the other row to turnips, mustard and kohlrabi. Then dug up spots in a couple more little beds for cucs and summer squash. That should do it for us this year. Except for the chinese cabbage and radicchio that I started in 9-packs on the porch to plant out when they're big enough.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 12:58PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Well, the lack of rain is keeping me grounded whether I like it or not. I've been watching our ground carefully and think it will take a minimum of 20" of rainfall to make our ground 'plantable' again. (sigh) When you get rain here, it tends to be 2/10s or 4/10s of an inch at a time and that small amount almost evaporates before it can soak into the ground. It is pathetic.

We have to be optimistic or gardening here would drive us all to distraction.

I haven't canned a single thing and I may not. I am afraid to start a batch of anything because if the fire pagers went off, either I couldn't leave to go to the fire or I would have to leave the batch I was processing and ruin it. Since our fires have been so intense and the firefighters have been suffering so much heat-related illness type symptoms in the heat, I feel like I dare not miss a fire. Last week we had a fire so hot and intense (on a day when the temp was 112 or 115 depending on whose thermometer you trust) that every Fire Rehab person there ran out of bottled water, bottled Gatorade and ice, and we all carry immense quantities with us when we go. We actually had to leave and go get more drinks and more ice during the fire, which has happened only one other time in 7 years here.

The fire danger is reduced in some of OK by the recent rainfall but not as much as people would like to think, and here in my part of OK, it isn't much reduced at all. So, I am trying to focus on the firefighting and dream of better gardening days next year.....or maybe in October or November if rainfall returns here. I'll plant lettuce in containers after the high temps are well out of the 90s, but we're mostly still in the hundreds, so that still seems light years away too.

I have no idea what I'm going to do about the 120 or so people who usually receive gifts of canned goodies from our garden. Maybe I'll give them each a jar of dust, withered dead leaves, and dead locusts and grasshoppers, and tell them "this is what our garden produced this year".

I have enough frozen tomatoes for a batch or two of salsa, and that is it. I do have lots of peppers and onions, but they're frozen because I didn't have time to can them. Normally I use tons of peppers and onions in home-canned salsas and sauces, relishes, pepper jelly, and canned pepper products.

Since the freezers aren't full of produce, they're full of baked goods for the firefighters. Lots and lots of them. Different people from different departments like different things, so if we're responding on mutual aid to one of those fire districts, I try to take the rehab snacks I know they like best. I've been baking like a little maniac.

I haven't even bought farmer's market tomatoes this year. We had fresh ones from April through late July or early August and I just decided that when they were done, we were through eating tomatoes. I don't like it, but it is what it is. I'm thoroughly disgusted with this summer's drought.

Dorothy, I'm so envious of your plantings! (And everyone else's too.) On the noon news that I'm watching right now, our local TV met just said that for most of this station's viewing area, we'll need 15-18" of rainfall soon in order for the soil to improve enough to be usable for anything. Of course, with every month that passes, the amount of rain we need to 'fix things' increases. Unless a hurricane heads our way with a huge plume of tropical moisture, that seems unlikely to occur this summer/fall. The tropical systems we've had so far haven't amounted to much in terms of landfalling storms either, so they haven't been much help anywhere.

I'm at the point that I am starting to wonder if we'll get enough rain here to stop this drought this year, and if we don't, then the drought will continue into winter and spring, putting the 2012 garden in question. It is hard to plan for next spring when you know you need a couple of feet of moisture in order for the ground to be wet enough to plant/grow anything.

I spent a small fortune on watering this year and you'd never know it from how everything looks.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 1:33PM
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My heart goes out to those who didn't get the recent rains. We had rain for five days in a row, ending with almost (4.9) inches. It's not enough to soak our soils down deep but with that and the cooler weather, we decided to plant some fall stuff. Didn't plant 1000 sq ft in turnips, mustard and kale as we have in some years, but that was as much for green manure as to eat.

I went out this a.m. and planted 10 4 ft rows of carrots into a bed that I mixed a bunch of compost into so we'll see if I can grow decent carrots in the fall. Usually don't in the spring.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 2:24PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Maybe this will be your year for carrots, Dorothy!

We have rain today...about 6/10s of an inch, which will put us at about 13.5" for the year. It isn't much, but today's grand year-to-date total is higher than yesterday's so I guess it is progress.

At least in the current soil temps, the carrots ought to germinate really well!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 12:17PM
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Dawn, that's great. I know it's not enough, but every drop is a drop we didn't have before, as the old saying goes.

I went out this a.m. at sun-==up and watered down the new seedbeds and came back in only to have a thunderstorm come up about 10 and dump another inch. So we're doing good for the middle of Aug.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 12:55PM
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Hello! Although I am not in your zones, I feel for those affected by the drought. I read about ollas pots that are approximately 95% efficient in irrigation. Thought I would post a link to this information. You might be able to go to a local potter and have him make some for you or use the terracotta double pot experiment. Water is extracted from the pot only as the roots pull it out. Hope this is helpful!

permaculture dot org dot au ollas-unglazed-clay-pots-for-garden-irrigation/

There s a family on the web out in Calif who uses these in raised beds:
urbanhomestead dot org/journal/site-search/?q=ollas%20garden

amazing and around for thousands of years. I hope to try some as soon as my son finishes his potters wheel! LOL Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:49PM
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