Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The fall garden

My summer veggies have not died yet but the end is near. Well, it's always possible we'll get some Indian summer but I'm not getting my hopes up

As I said in an earlier post, I've been clearing out a lot of the plants making way for this winter's crops. I hope that by this weekend I'll be feeling well enough so I can do some garden work: improve the soil a bit, layer compost materials on the parts I'm not going to plant this winter, and of course, put in cold hardy plants.

Crops I'm going to put in the hoophouse, space permitting:
Mache -- this green is supposed to be super hardy. You use it in salads. Very gour-met. I might try growing some outside as well. I'll probably order claytonia and purslane as well although I'm afraid if I plant purslane it will become an annoying garden weed.

I'll put in other greens as well -- mixed lettuces, mesclun greens, arugula, etc. And Swiss Chard, spinach, and kale -- Kale can last outside all winter long. It's some tough stuff.

Carrots: Hopefully I'll have time to get these going. October is usually really sunny here, so it will probably work out, they need to get growing ASAP.

Green onions.

And maybe cauliflower if it sprouted -- I have some mystery plants to set out.

I'm starting some Brussels so probably next spring I'll get some. I bought some broccoli plants at Agua Fria Nursery in Santa Fe. They had the seeds I wanted and they had fall veggies, unlike Santa Fe Greenhouses (which was having one hell of a sale to it's credit). I bought some broc and parsley. I got the traditional Arcadia broc which is good for fall/winter, and then this one called Rudolph. It is a 150 day broccoli -- you are supposed to plant it in July and eat it at Christmas. I guess 150 days isn't that odd. Most of my Brussels sprouts plants end up taking that long anyways. So I guess if it works out weatherwise I'll have broccoli in March.

My intention is to leave about half of the area in the hoophouse lie fallow so I can layer on compost materials to enrich the soil. Some areas are already planted with clover which I'm going to leave alone, it is my "green manure" -- clover fixes nitrogen in the soil, has deep roots, and then the green matter gets dug under in the spring to add more nutrients.

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