Second try

Here we go again – despite the deer having eaten all my tomatoes & cukes, the raccoons’ wanton destruction of my corn & squash, the either too-much or too-little water troubles of my bipolar patch of land and my incredibly poor soil, hope springs eternal.

24 beets, turnips, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, & brussels sprouts; 48 leeks & carrots. 12 mangle beets (10-15 lb suckers that will help feed my poultry over the winter) & 36 fava beans (I’m not sure I’m sprouting these right – I really know nothing about them, not even what they taste like).

6 flats filled with Fall seeds, using up the very last of this spring’s potting soil and finishing off several seed packets. I have great hopes that a long season of cooler, bug-free weather will be just the ticket to getting some real garden productivity… if the vegetable predators will leave only the poor things alone. Maybe I’ll have the deer fence up by then, who knows? (Does anyone know – can I deter raccoons by stringing barbed wire along the top of it?)

I plan on using spinach and kale as cover crops in a couple of the beds, along with rye grass or oats (planted late so that when winter comes, they die and form a nutrient-rich mulch on the beds). I was also going to try and grow some truly winter crops, like lettuce, under cold frames. Along with the kale and spinach, I hope we can have fresh greens all winter long… if anyone feels like slogging out into the cold muck to collect them. -grin-

I will have to reference my Four Seasons Garden book again to make sure I’m doing this Fall planting thing right… but I better hustle, because I have the nasty feeling that it may already be too late for some of these slower-growing guys, like broccoli! If it really is too late for them to really head up, perhaps I’ll just keep them under a row cover til spring – though here spring comes so hot so fast that in the past, my previously held-over winter crops just immediately bolt. We shall see!

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