It’s a little difficult for me to think about the fall planting when I’m sweating my patooty off in the garden in 90 degree heat! In fact, the whole fall planting thing sneaked up on me right before I left on vacation when I realized I hadn’t yet mapped out my fall garden plan.
The fall planting plan is the most difficult for me because here we have so many summer veggies still growing while fall crops are being planted. I have to determine which crops stay planted through first frost (the week before Thanksgiving) and which will be “done” or sacrificed to make room for the fall crops. Also, fall crops are planted at varying dates from August to November, adding another wrinkle in the process. Granted, having 21 raised beds makes the job easier, but I still have to put my thinking cap on and play with my garden map. Well, I can now say the plan is complete, and I’m ready to share with you what I’ll be planting for my fall crops. 2014 Fall Planting!
What an interesting week this has been! Hanukkah’s last night was Wednesday – so no more holiday cooking for me for a while! The temperatures reached the upper 70s most of the week, and actually hit 80 degrees on Friday! Yesterday’s high temperature? 48 degrees. Welcome to Charleston. I did take advantage of the warm weather on Friday and worked in the garden some. I also planned my winter and spring gardens while surrounded by new seed catalogs and drinking coffee on the dreary Saturday we had. Thinking of new plantings and seeds always brings sunshine on a winter day. This week in homestead pictures!
It’s been a busy week at the homestead, and I think my garden is unsure just what season it’s in. The temperatures have fluctuated from the first frost to several days in the upper 60s and mid-70s to a high of 46 yesterday! As I write this, it’s below freezing with a wind chill of 27. In the Charleston area…before Thanksgiving. I think we’re in for a real winter this year. Tough for the garden, but the bright side is the cold weather just might kill off over-wintering insects, making things better in the spring. Well, despite the weather, I had some wonderful additions to the homestead. This week in pictures!
With my fiscal year-end work schedule and Charleston’s summer storm schedule, I am woefully behind in my gardening chores! I’m either working until dark, or it’s raining or too wet to do what I need to do if I get home before sunset. Last night, I was in the garden until I couldn’t see anymore – harvesting cucumbers, tomatoes, raspberries, and close to 100 pepperoncini! I also topped my paste tomato plants because they were so long, they were bending over each other! Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to do any more than that. So, today being my weekly day off, I have quite the list of chores to accomplish. What’s happening at the homestead!
It’s been only three weeks since I planted my spring crops, and the fight has already begun. I’m battling slugs, fire ants, and flea beetles! Plus, I’m already seeing some signs of a nutrient deficiency in several of my plants. I’m unsure if it’s a problem with magnesium or iron. Looks like I need to call Clemson University’s co-op for more insight. However, there is a bright side! Plants are growing and buds are opening in my garden – like the Black Krim tomato flower in the picture above. See more!
Last weekend, I harvested winter crops from ten raised beds, then started the spring planting. I work full time on a flex schedule so I can have Fridays off, but I took an additional day off, thinking a four-day weekend would be enough to complete the harvesting and the planting. HA! The joke’s on this suburbanite turned homesteader! Continued!
One of my favorite “greens” is kale. It is a nutritional, easy-to-grow vegetable that can be eaten in a variety of ways. It’s also a pretty plant – the edible as well as the ornamental cultivars. Why not consider growing kale in your garden this year? How to grow kale!
Well, things have been busy at the homestead, so my weekly update is a little behind schedule. This gardener had to concentrate on spring cleaning INSIDE the home, leaving less time to spend outside in the garden. (Ask me which I prefer doing?) It’s just as well, however. The weather has been 10-15 degrees below average for this time of year, so I still haven’t been able to plant. The good news, though, is that I have seen some new signs of life and reaped a few harvests. Come take a look!
My garden is a see-saw, it seems. Between trying to get my soil back in balance and the continual weekly night or two below freezing, it’s a wonder anything is still growing! We are a week away from the big Spring Planting, and I’m determined to get a harvest from my winter planting. See what’s happening!
Yes, that is ice in that picture! We experienced some real winter here at my Sanctuary Garden last night! I went to bed with a small dusting of snow on my car and woke up to ice in my water buckets! Not a big deal for this Yankee, but I was concerned for my plants. Unfortunately, I lost the asparagus again. It was so cold, that even under the covering, my new batch of asparagus spears froze. However, everything else in the garden is looking pretty good. Take a look!