Two weeks ago I posted a snippet about the weather as it transitioned from summer to fall. I think that the transition is complete!!
While the average temperature was 80 degrees for the about 11 weeks of summer that we had and the transition period averaged 70 degrees, we are now experiencing averages of 60 degrees. I say this because nighttime temps are consistently dropping as low as 48 degrees and daytime temps struggle to reach the low 70s. While I love this weather (as I've said before) and while it makes me want to hang up the day job and be a farmer(!!!), the summer plants are suffering.
The cherry tomatoes are all but dead. It was the compost pile for the summer squash - it was just pitiful. The other day, I picked all of the remaining peppers because the leaves were just shivering from the cool nights!!
Unfortunately, I didn't put enough effort into the fall and winter crops this year because I was focusing on getting the 'intensive planting' spacing just right. Although it worked well, I should have incorporated more fall and early winter crops. Live and learn!
Since I can't go back and change it now, I am focusing on prepping the winter cold frame beds. Along with planting garlic this past weekend, I started a planting series for the cold frames. Including this past weekend, I will plant one bed each weekend for four weekends. This stagger should have each bed at different stages of maturity by the time growth stops (approx. Nov. 1 in zone 5). That way, I can harvest in the same order! In each bed, I have included a mix of lettuces (Red Oakleaf, Winter Density, North Pole), a mix of asian greens (Tatsoi, Mizuna), spinach, mache, and claytonia.
Knowing that there won't be much to do in my small garden during the winter, I have also been planning many posts which will focus on planning for the coming year as well as providing info about the importance of local food, information about natural vs. man-made ingredients, kitchen garden history, and planting and growing more efficiently in small spaces (like a kitchen garden). Look for those to start soon!