Wow, spring and summer have flown by. Though the weather here in So. California is anything but fall like I am still planning and prepping for the fall/winter garden. Last year was my first attempt at a full-fledged fall/winter garden and I definitely learned a few things, like, potatoes may like cool weather but a hard frost will kill them off. I also learned that in the limited space of our garden I need to look beyond the upcoming growing season to the one beyond. I have to keep in mind things like garlic, Brussels sprouts and cabbage will grow well into the spring. If I want to grow these things I need to plan my Spring/Summer garden accordingly. Which in turn means I need to take the lessons learned from this current garden and better apply them to next years spring garden.
I am a visual learner, a hands on kind of girl. When it comes to making a plan for the garden beds I like to draw up a diagram to keep things in order. Here is a link to my Fall Garden Planner.
Here is my Spring Garden Planner for 2015
When you compare the 2 you will see I have made accommodations for some of the longer growing veggies and bulbs. Yes there are a lot of potatoes being planted, easier to grow than rice and homemade pasta is a chore so potatoes will be a go to starch for us.
I have been saving rinsed and dried egg shells from my flock to use for seed starting. I use donated Styrofoam egg cartons to hold the little seed starters as they won’t break down when wet, the only good thing to use the nasty things for and at least they are serving a purpose and not in the landfill. Before planting I uses a screw to carefully pop a hole in the bottom of each shell for drainage, then filled with a lightweight, organic seed starting mix. I uses a squirt bottle to water until the seedlings got a bit bigger and stronger.
I started some of the crops mid August and spent this past weekend transplanting into peat pots and recycled plastic containers that Trav cut down to size and then I drilled a hole in the bottom for drainage.
My plan is to get the garden cleared weekend after next, difficult as it will be to tear out tomato and pepper plants that could likely hold out another month. This is the hardest struggle for me. I wish I had the space to plant half at a time so things could hold out as they wanted and I wouldn’t have to rip out those that are still producing. On the bright side, I discovered THE BEST pickled green tomato recipe and will gladly can up gobs of those tasty pickles.
Keep in mind, I am only starting my 2nd fall garden here. I have gardened for years, but each move means learning to do things a little differently. Admittedly, I had never grown anything successfully in a fall/winter garden before last year and I managed to harvest quite a bounty for my first year. So here’s looking up for year 2!