Monday, August 18, 2008

Planting for Fall Gardens

We had a great weekend here in DC; we're having an anti-August which means it's not been horrifically hot or humid. Made for perfect weather for heading down to our community garden plot to plant some seeds. We put in fall, cool-weather crops: beets, lettuce, arugula, cilantro, a few more sunflowers (smile)...and plan to sow some beans and carrots by next weekend. Most importantly for me, we got to use finished compost to augment our soil! Wooo hooooo. Most importantly for EGirl? We have a baby pumpkin growing!

Later in the fall, I want to plant some onions and garlic, a cover crop to put nitrogen back into the soil, and some early spring seeds like peas. They'll come up first thing after the winter's over. Which will be a great change from the other years when it's been wet and soggy for eons and I've been afraid of stepping around my garden and compacting it down so I blow the entire early cool-weather crop season. Who knew you could do this?

Speaking of my novice gardener status, I thought I'd share the tips I got from the kind and generous Andrea of Andrea's Recipes: August Gardening tips (Virginia) and a fall garden planting guide (North Carolina). Both are germane to the southeast near DC. As is this tip for buying seeds from Ed Bruske of The Slow Cook (on the DCUrban Gardeners yahoogroup): the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. As Ed says,

You can also gain a wealth of knowledge from seed catalogues. My favorite seed company is one not too far from us, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange located outside Charlottesville. They collect a lot of knowledge from local growers and give specific information about planting times for our area. They are also very accessible, not a big, corporate operation.
Happy gardening and I hope you're having your personal version of the perfect Anti-August.


De in D.C. said...

I'm looking forward to fall spinach. My swiss chard is still going strong (I expected it to peter out by now, but nope!). I'd intended to do a second fall crop of broccoli and cauliflower, but didn't get my seeds started in mid-July like I'd wanted. Oh well; there's always next year.

Now I just need to harvest all of the potatoes. I'm also thinking of doing shallots this year for the first time. So many possibilities; so little garden space. I can't wait to hear how big your pumpkins get!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your congrats message. So sweet. I have been a fan of the Huffington Post for so long. It's nice to be a green voice there now!

Love this post and so many others on your blog. You truly are a mama! And I love being nurtured by your writings.

Nora Bee said...

You've inspired me to get serious about planting some fall greens. Fun!

Green Bean said...

Hey, I didn't know you could do that either - with the pea seeds, I mean. Way cool!