Countdown to Harvest

When I started seed for my fall garden last month, lingering summer heat and insufficient rain were concerns. High temperatures dropped into the 80s a few days after I planted everything. Rain, however, is still in short supply.

My still unmet goal is a harvest-ready crop by the middle of December. Although seed got off to a later start than last year, growing them in big pots and a new location give me hope. My mid-December goal stands.

The previous location (left of the drainage ditch in the picture below) suffers from hot afternoon sun, competition from nearby pines, and poor soil quality–despite tons of organic matter added over the years. Things planted in this bed are generally much smaller and less robust than the same variety planted elsewhere in the yard.

The new location, formerly home to an overgrown magnolia, is a big improvement. Soil quality is much better and the bed gets sun in the morning and shade in the hottest part of the day. Everything I’ve planted here does better than the same variety planted elsewhere in the yard.

This years’ crop includes Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, collards and Swiss chard. Monstrous bell pepper plants provide shade for the newcomers and a steady stream of peppers in various colors. I’ll take them out if the fall veggies need more space.

Some veggies went into one of five, faux half-whiskey-barrel pots filled with high quality soil. Tomatoes in pots this summer grew faster and produced sooner than the same variety planted next to the patio. I’m hoping for the same results with Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage.

I grew cucumbers in the last two pots with an A-frame trellis between them. English peas are the new residents. I put seeds directly into the pots and watered daily. They came up fast and are doing well.

The work is done. Keeping the pots watered is easy enough. The bed with everything else is small and easily watered as well. The rest is up to Father Time and Mother Nature.

Thanks for stopping by. As always, I’ll keep you posted.