From summer to winter-how to prepare?

squishsquash(07)August 9, 2014

I have never grown a fall garden, and now that my summer one is falling apart on me, I am getting set to start over.

My summer garden fell apart due to a mix of blight, downy mildew, powdery mildew, and cucumber beetles.

After I finish taking the plants out (some are still producing-albeit slowly), will the summer pests/fungus carry over to fall?
I have seeds for:
broccoli
beans
radish
cabbage
kale
collard

Bugs love leafy things, so I am afraid this will be another war! I finally ordered BT and a sprayer, something I was without this summer. I have neem, and another fungicide (forget the name-red bottle).

Any suggestions on how to prepare, and/or what I shouldn't even bother trying? Thanks!

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

A good healthy soil is necessary to grow strong and healthy plants that are better able to ward off insect pests and diseases so what is the soils pH and are the major nutrients in balance? How much organic matter is in the soil? What kind of life is in the soil?
Downey and Powdery Mildew need very different environmental conditions to grow on plants and the cooler, wetter fall weather is more conducive to Downey Mildew then Powdery Mildew. Many insect pests that the larva are the primary problem should be done by now since the larva need to pupate before cold weather sets in.
The cabbage family seeds you have are frost hardy so they should do fairly well depending on how many days to harvest it takes them and how much snow you might get. The beans and radish are pretty quick growers, although the beans are frost tender and can be wiped out by a fairly light frost. Still, there is no reason to not plant them now.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 6:44AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i have no experience in z7 ... but wonder if you have time to grow a plant like broccoli before it gets cold..

look to you seed packs... and see how many days from germination to harvest.. to determine if you have the time you need ... i am thinking over 120 days on something like B ...

on the other hand... radish is extremely short ...

you might want to visit the soil forums.. and build yourself a good healthy soil ... while planning on next spring.. double digging your garden.. and incorporating a lot of compost etc ... kims thoughts on a healthy soil ...

and meanwhile redesign your whole program ... instead of forcing a new crop ...

i vaguely recall all your trials and tribulations.. but i am still amazed at the plagues that struck ... you werent the one that was significantly over planted .. were you??? ..

ken

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 7:48AM
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squishsquash(07)

Thank you-I have to order a soil tester. I am going to start composting this year for next (hubby is not thrilled with having a composter, but I explained good soil is like an immune system to fight off bacteria), and slowly scoop away my present soil into the trash. It may help get rid of some of the beetles for next year.

We didn't get any new compost this year, so my soil is reused completely this year. I did feed the garden once a week. This could be one of my problems I see. We bought bags of 10-10 mix annually, but no compost. Hopefully we can plan a way to move the garden to a new spot next year, even if it has to be smaller.

I spent a few hours in there yesterday, and I think it was definitely overwatered. I wanted to strangle my better half, but he worked so hard to install the system for me. I am hoping maybe that was the problem, and maybe what I thought was disease was drowning.

The broccoli I have says harvest in 55 days, which brings me to the beginning of October. It's one of those that say plant midsummer for fall.

Ken, the only thing in my garden that was over planted was beans (bush). At least they looked crowded once they came in. Next year we are trying pole beans. I remember someone on here over-planting. I've learned my lesson in that department before. It pays off though, I had the most beautiful, enormous, squash plants I ever had this year. No frass, no mildew-and then I took the covers off...and it went awry! Next year's vacation, covers stay on. They will have to live a week without pollination.

Thanks all. I'll work on this soil situation!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:16AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The best way to test that soil is to ask at your local office of your state universities Cooperative Extension Service. The test kits, or soil test meters I have seen are not very reliable and do not give recommendations about what, or how much of what, might be needed to bring the soil into a good healthy condition.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:06AM
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