Early Fall Garden

Fall is here and we spent a good part of the day in the garden. Many of our summer crops are just beginning to bear fruit after a cool start to summer. It looks like we will be getting more tomatoes, cucumbers and summer squash over the next two months than we did all summer.

We replaced some of the early summer crops such as, shelling beans, French beans and heat loving lettuces with fall crops today. We planted cabbage and sorrel both of which we started in small containers about a month ago when we had no room to put them in the ground. From seed today we started beets, carrots, arugula, spinach (which I am hoping it is cool enough for germination, spinach does not like the heat), mixed greens, kale and a new batch of chard. All winter greens do great if you plant them from seed in the next week or so. Other plants that thrive with early fall sowing are peas, radishes and bunching onions. Most of the seeds we planted today came from Johnny’s Seeds.

We are focusing on minimizing the powdery mildew on the pumpkin and fall squash plants at our home garden, the neighbors yard and at Scott Montgomery Elementary School. We have read that powdery mildew is common with pumpkin plants and that the best way to avoid it is with organic fungicide sprays, a mixture of watered down baking soda and liquid soap or a neem oil based spray. We have tried the first two and will probably treat with neem oil later this week. With the neighbors we may have waited too long to treat but at school we are working proactively hoping to prevent instead of trying to treat later. Powdery mildew does not necessarily kill plants but we have read that it can seriously interfere with production.

Last year we enjoyed fall vegetables as well as tomatoes on Thanksgiving…there is still a lot of farming left this year…and hopefully a healthy harvest of pumpkins.