Rainy days and Sundays always get me down when I can not garden!

Monday, September 3, 2012


This past summer was hot, and my garden looks like, (should I dare say it?)...crap.  The high temperatures have taken their toll, stressing out the plants and decreasing yields.  Strong sun burns the foliage and fruits, increasing blossom end root and flower drop and decreasing pollination.  Cukes become more bitter, lettuces bolt or refuse to germinate all together, and plants suffer from water stress.  The high humidity has lead to increased garden diseases, particularly rust and powdery mildew.

I took a hard look at the garden and removed those plants that took the biggest hits. Gone are several squash plants, two groupings of pole beans, and a tomato plant.  This has left lots of open spaces.  So what's a girl to do?  Plant! 

As we approach late summer/ early fall, there is still time to have a productive garden.  To begin, you must know your first fall frost date.  In my area this is about 10/28.  Typically, this is not a hard freeze and is often fallowed by a period of seasonable weather.  With adequate protection, many plants can continue to grow and be harvested well into late fall, or when temps drop down to 20F.  Now, check your seed packet for the "number days to harvest/maturity".  Look for seeds that say "early" or "cold tolerant" and short season, cool temperature adapted crops.  Due to shorter days and cooler weather, add 14 more days to this number.  This is called the "fall factor".  (Add an additional 14 more days if you are going to replant frost-sensitive crops, such as corn, tomatoes, cukes, beans, squash etc.for an adequate harvest.)  Hardy crops such as greens benefit from the cooler weather often producing their best flavor and quality.

A fall garden is pleasurable and rewarding while giving your garden a second chance!

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