A Journey to Grow a Little Food Close to Home

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fall and Winter crops

I mentioned a few days ago that we have had some pretty changing weather in the past few weeks. Last night, for example, temps dipped to the mid 50's. This coming Monday, upper 80's are projected! Despite the highs, I've been paying attention to the average temps. For the approximately 10-12 weeks of high summer that we have had, the average temperature was about 80 degrees. Now, for the past few weeks, the temperature has averaged 70 degrees. This drop is letting me know that it's time to be thinking of fast-growing fall crops.

I started some radishes about a week ago:

Radishes are really quick to grow - most take 28 to 32 days. I am planting a few every week os that I will always have a fresh supply. These are planted in place of the potatoes.

I seeded some lettuce a few weeks back as well:

On the right is a meszclun mix (see the different colors). This is actually not doing as well as I would like - there was a little too much heat during germination (I tried to guess at when the cooler weather would come) and the plants turned out 'leggy.' A few more weeks and it should be good, though.

About the same time that I started the lettuce, I put some dwarf peas in where the beans had been. Here's one just poking through:

I had some real luck with these in the early spring - I just didn't plant enough. I seeded about 25 this time. Because they are heirloom, we'll see how many sprout!

A the beginning of August, I seeded about 120 carrots for winter harvest. Here they are after 4 weeks:

I'm getting a little worried because I know that on about November 1st, growth is pretty much going to stop. That means only 9 more weeks (63 days) for these carrots to be finished growing. Given that they are 58 day plants, the 63 days that they have yet plus the 27 days that they have already had means that they should be fine, but I'm still a little apprehensive!

I do have to say that I am LOVING the cooler temps!!! The next 6-7 weeks will be busy ones, though. As the summer srops wind down, I will not only be prepping beds for overwintering but will also be seeding for cold frame cover. More to come...

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