Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fall Planting

Yes, it's already that time of year. In fact, it's past that time for me. My first fall planting has been in the ground over two weeks. My planting consists of bush beans, peas and carrots. This is the summer squash bed where the Borage finally got so disheveled, I couldn't maintain it anymore. That all got pulled out, and the new seeds went in.

To determine the time for fall planting, find your area's average last frost date, calculate the days of growing time your variety needs, and count backwards. In zone 5, our rule of thumb, is the peas go in after the second full moon in July. That takes the calculations out for me and simplifies things. Plus, I like the idea of planting by the moon .

Two years ago I had a great crop of bush beans. The peas were coming along great, but we took down the garden around them which was a hassle, and they were impossible to protect from the deer. I set up barriers of every tomato cage I owned, covered by frost fabric, and the deer got tangled in it and ripped it all up. Now, with the permanent garden, I no longer have those worries. I could even leave root crops in over the winter if I choose.

I actually squeezed FIVE rows into this bed. From left to right are:
Blue Lake Bush Bean
Maestro garden pea (recommended for fall planting)
a yet invisible row of carrots
Survivor garden pea (a leafless variety I've had great luck with)
Goldmine Bush Bean.

This photo was taken a week ago, and everything has doubled in size. I've had to water almost daily, but in the midst of high summer gardening, and the downturn of the cucumbers and summer squash, it's fun to watch something new growing.

1 comment:

  1. I was always envious of all the things a zone 5 gardener could grow when I lived in Ontario. We were far enough north of (and high enough above) Lake Ontario that we were in zone 4a. If we waited until there was a near zero chance of frost before we planted anything we wouldn't have got started until the middle of June. In especially unlucky years, our first frost in the fall came any time after right now. Usually it had the grace to wait until mid to late September.

    Our frost dates vary more down here than they ever did in Ontario. In the few years I have been here, I've seen the first frost come as early as Oct 15 and as late as November 27. In the spring, I've seen anywhere from March 7 through April 15.