Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fall Crops

So, I've been a little discouraged and unsure of whether I should even be putting seeds in the ground this late in the season. The last few nights, we have been just south of the frost line. It will be warming up, and I don't expect to see frost again until the usual time, which could be only a month away. I am late getting things in the ground, but hopefully the covered wagon feature on our bed will buy us a little more time.

This weekend, the new bed was moved next to our first, and in an effort to shake off the lazies that overcame us with days of rain and gray, we ventured out in to the sunny Sunday afternoon (still unseasonably cold, but very pleasant) and made a family project out of filling the bed with bags of peat, composted cow manure, and mushroom compost.

Tonight, I finally got seeds into the ground. In the new bed, spinach, romaine, and salad bowl lettuce, a couple rows of purplette onions, and a couple rows of turnips. I don't know if I've ever even eaten a turnip, but I thought them worth a try.

In the old bed, where the tomatoes were, I planted a number of rows of carrots, with radishes mixed in to mark and "hold" the rows while the carrots germinate and come up. The radishes will be grown and harvested before the carrots get very big. There is also a row of diakons. I had planned on two, but distracted by kiddos fighting over a butterfly net, I dumped most of the package of seeds on the ground. Such are the hazards of distracted planting, I suppose. ;) I planted a mix of carrots, one was an actual mix of purples, yellows, and oranges, the same that we planted earlier this spring, a couple rows of purple haze carrots, a couple rows of three different orange varieties. For radishes, easter egg mix, regular mixed radishes, and red meat radishes.

So, that's it. I left space on one end of the new bed for another planting of lettuce in another week or so. I'm not counting any chickens (or carrots) just yet, but I had the seeds on hand, space to put them, and am hopeful we'll have something to show for it.

I've made 3 quarts or so of roasted tomato sauce this week (it is yummy!), and tomorrow, I think another group of tomatoes should be ripe enough for another couple quarts. I'm planning on making a lasagna from one of them this week, but the rest will go in the freezer. The greens in newspaper aren't moldy or rotting or anything, so maybe they'll ripen up yet. I also made some roasted green tomato salsa with the greens, and, while Ben thought it was sour and didn't care for it, I thought it was good and ate most of it myself, LOL.

I don't know if planting in the tomato bed was the best choice after the blight, but it seemed like a safe bet since nothing I planted there was related to the tomato. I almost forgot--I replanted peas on the end of the bed next to carrots that are just maturing. Three of about 18 seeds I planted last month came up. I should have replanted a little sooner, but I guess it just adds to the excitement, eh?

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