Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Now that it's September, what are you doing to prepare for a new season?

What are you pulling, planting, preserving, plotting?

I'm attempting to spend as much time outdoors in the next few weeks, while making notes of what went well - and not so well - in the garden:

Tomatoes ended up being waterlogged and starved of calcium and potassium. I'll either break down and buy the pre-made tops for an Earthbox, or fashion something more resistant to sagging. I'll also plant them using the techniques shared by Tim:

More compost in areas of planting,(horse is great) and foliar potassium heavily after fruit begins to set.
Organically Fish emulsion with high P& K (last two numbers in a 5-10-20) or a base of potassium sulfate (not potassium chloride) mixed
with water in early am or early evening sprinkled over the plants.
So a quick lesson in plant physiology 101. Notice I did not mention
Nitrogen in any of this....the more nitrogen the more bugs you have...so
be careful of your fertilizer and keep the N number low in your plant
fertilizer program when it comes to anything with fruit.
Available Calcium, potassium & boron is your friend...ok magnesium is important too just not too much

Harvest my one delicata squash that made it to maturity...sigh...
Tending to what remains in my community garden plot: tons of Brussels sprouts - whoo!
Making bread and butter pickles and dilly beans!
Turning the compost pile and screening any finished stuff to put in my beds.
Re-seeding our crappy lawn with a drought-tolerant cover crop like rye or clover.
Potting up some of the more precious herbs and geraniums to overwinter inside, and eventually washing out pots from the container garden and storing them away for winter.
Digging up any tubers (I grew some phenomenal dinner plate Dahlias this year) to dry and overwinter.
Ordering and planting bulbs - including garlic!
Planting wildflower seeds in some of the sad areas around my yard and neighborhood (no, :) I have not asked permission).
Getting ready for apple-picking!

What about you?

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i'm planning alotta the same stuff that you're doing.......fall crops--brussell sprouts, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, beans.......as well as picking apples to make cider and apple butter and such

also expanding the garden, which is just alotta labor digging up and starting to cultivate the soil for next spring. i also had a small problem with blossom-end rot as the soil is very clay around here, so i'll be adding some lyme for calcium, as well as horse manure and the super compost that's been brewing in the bin since late spring.

then also building the goat and alpaca barn out of reclaimed materials.

and as always, fixing up delicious goodies along the way.
Clearing out the summer squash if it ever quites producing. Then putting the cabbage in for my fall/winter garden with poly cover.
Yesterday I prepped several beds for our fall crops and then sowed seeds I had saved from our previous year's plants. Two of those double-rows will be framed in later for winter gardening. We are in Zone 6B/7A and must have protection or we'll have total-kill. I still have to prepare our garlic beds but garlic isn't planted until early October here. I'll work on those beds when the weather is cooler.

We expanded our garden to 5,200 sq feet this year, and all of our high hopes were dashed with the drought. This year we added to our rainwater catchment system -- we bought (and installed) a 1,100 gallon rainwater tank. With that much rainwater in reserve, we will buy some irrigation hoses when they go on sale. Next year we will be seriously READY if we have another drought. lol

Currently, we still have the following harvest: tomatoes, summer squashes, green beans (both green and purple podded), sweet and hot peppers, Chard, huckleberries, and herbs galore.
Upcoming harvest: pumpkins, winter squashes, drying beans (Good Mother Stallard), and leeks. Apples are not yet ready, either.
Just planted: Kale, chard, lettuces. To plant today: Beets.

I am still canning tomatoes, beans, and peppers. We are eating Zucchini and Patty Pan summer squash. We are overwhelmed with Patty Pan squash from just 1 plant and tomorrow I will do some dehydrating with the smaller ones. Today I will dehydrate hot Habanero peppers.

Over the long weekend, I will clean my messy greenhouse and get it reorganized for next season. It's all part of the garden cycle!
I have been canning with my fiance's family. I still have tomatoes that a green! Once they begin to turn I am going to make enchilada sauce. Our wedding is in November, so next sumer I will have a whole new yard to garden! The area is shaddy and sandy. I plan on herbs, tomatoes, different peppers, onions, and I want to try doing lettuce. I hear that you need a shaddy area to do that. :) I'm excited.
This is great, reading what everybody's doing! This could become addictive.

Anybody ever plant cone flowers or roses? Not in the decorative spirit-I want the front yard to be growing my pharmacy. In the spring I'm looking to plants a ton of echinasea (sp?) and rugosa roses, on account of the big rose hips, which are basically vitamin C tablets. Any advice or info would be much appreciated!

I planted cold weather crops in 2 raised beds: lettuce, spinach, carrots, kale. One bed has a slightly frost-bitten Casper pumpkin plant that went in late...an experiment. It's got marble-sized fruit and I will cover it as the weeks progress, but I can accept whatever happens. ;) That bed's also got a transplanted catnip that adjusted beautifully, as well. Should winter fine.

Getting ready to transplant herbs into indoor pots that will fit in my little window greenhouse (nice shelf with a clear plastic zip-up coat).

Built a cold frame from straw bales and an old sliding glass door, but haven't planted it yet.

Bought and installed a fancy little chicken coup and are finishing the fencing for a nice-sized run that will get Maximum Security fixins; we've got a pack of coyotes just up the block at a wildlife refuge and somebody in our neighborhood feeds foxes. I'll need to weave some kind of pergola, too, since I see red-tailed hawks all summer and great horned owls at night. In the same "complex", but separated by fencing, will be the rabbit hutch for my much-dreamt-of French Angoras. I'm a yarn addict and it's gettin' darn expensive. The critter complex is right next to the compost pile...improved homegrown compost is in our future!

I want to get pullets and bunnies in the spring, but I wanted to build now so as to be ready and spread the cost and time.

I am ecstatic to have so much great ground fruit this year! Around a dozen each butternut, acorn and pumpkins and a few gourds. When we turn the furnace on the gourds will be drilled and set over the heating vents to cure. Then I'll craft on 'em. Some squash will be stored, but also a lot of it frozen after roasting. The pumpkins will be delivered to friends for their Jack-O-Lanterns.

Had one brave little crabapple, and I remember the One Brave Little Blossom in the spring. Last July's killer hail storm vaporized every plum, apple, pumpkin, herb, tomato. I still have not forgiven the sky completely.

After the first hard frost, 2 inches of compost roto-tilled into the garden patch and then the heavy lifting is done for the springtime!

Nice to see all the entries! Good reading. Nice to meet you all!
Well, I'm trying to plant some fall veggies including more carrots, beets and Shogoin turnips. The turnips, planted about 3 weeks ago seem to be doing great!

I'm also holding out that my last 6 Roma tomatoes will ripen.

I'm going to get some lettuce seeds tomorrow and dump them in an area of the garden that didn't produce anything this year and we'll see what happens. My Spring round of organic lettuce transplants from the local nursery did absolutely nothing. I'm hoping the Fall will be better to us than the Spring :)

Then it will be time to figure out how to "overwinter" my garden...I'll be looking for lots of info/advice!
Unfortunately, for us, the apple season is going to be rather sparse as a late frost damaged many of the trees in my area. We'll pick what we can while it's available, but at least one very large and very popular orchard is telling us they lost 95% of their apple crop, and it's actually pretty sobering to realize that this orchard (which is one of the two major suppliers of apples to our grocery store during the winter) is hurting, and what it means for our own food security.

I have my seed garlic, which will go in the ground in a couple of weeks. We harvested half the (volunteer) hubbard squash vines, and the pumpkins have been harvested. I'm hoping to get more tomatoes, as there's not nearly enough sauce in the cabinet, yet, and it looks like the Farmer's Market tomatoes are slowing down, too.

Such a busy time of year, and just never enough time ;).
Watering the first teeny shoots of fall carrots, kale, and daikon radish. Will probably do garlic in October. The cool weather crops do better than the summer crops- I let my tomato plants get too bushy and grow for too long so now it's a battle between the pests and me.

Started baking too- cornbread, oatmeal cookies, dinner rolls. Just bought a King Arthur baking book so it's been fun going through it! I think I'll try muffins next.
A bit late on this, but since we've finally past our latest heat wave, I now have weather mild enough that things will grow or sprout. Whew! First off, cleared out the sun-fried peppers and tomatillos, sprayed for spider mites, cleared out the dried corn stalks (they are going to make lovely "harvest" decoration at my work), pulled out some tomatoes that finally bit the dust, cut off the irrigation to the spent cucumbers, corn, and melons, and am now trying to clear out the dead growth in my green bean trellis. The green beans are in round three of production, so I want to make those vines as happy as they can - pulled out the dead leaves, cut off the dead bits, top off the bits at the top of the trellis and encourage more leafy growth. In past years, I've have green beans through the end of November, so if it's mild enough that is what I'm going for. This last season, I planted them as "green shade" for my house, a 20 foot row of pole beans attached to a trellis on the sunrise side of my house, and up to the roofline. Worked like a charm! Kept that side of the house cool as the summer sun rose up, has fed us over 30 pounds of green beans and 2 pounds of dried beans so far, and is still going strong. Modestly, one of my best house-cooling ideas EVER.

My beets are coming in like gangbusters, and the chard and collards survivied the heat with minimal damage. Fighting off some bug issues there, but I think I mostly have them under control. My purple potatoes are spent, but they are in the prime fall-growing area in my yard - lightly shade by a tree so late fall plantings will be protected from possible future heat waves. On the agenda for this weekend: seeding carrots and more beets, transplanting lettuce, seeding cilantro (it's a winter crop for me), harvesting the last of the tomatillos and roasting them up, and taking out the last of the corn.

For me, this can be a tricky time to plant (see the above-mentioned heat waves), so I try and take my successes and failures with a grain of salt. I'll wait until November when it's fully cooled to plant my sugar snap peas (coinciding with taking out the okra that is currently growing in the same bed), kohlrabi and brocolli rabe (and more beets and carrots - love those beets and carrots!). However, my lime tree is in season now through December, so there are a number of lime pies (and gin and tonics!) in my future.

Just past the 400 pound mark of produce harvested for the year! This surpassed my goal at the beginning of the year (1 pound per square foot of my 375' garden), which pleases me. New goal for next year: 1 pound per square foot of garden, for every season I grow in. That should be about 620 pounds, give or take. Alternative new goal: 2 pounds per day, 1 for me and 1 for my husband. But, 730 pound is just a lot of food, and almost too much to wrap my head around. Once my fruit trees start producing I don't think that will be a problem, but that will be a few years yet.

I envy you all your apple picking! Happy gardening everyone!
I just planted turnips, beets & Brussels sprouts. Wheat was planted a couple weeks ago.
My tomatoes faded a couple cold nights ago. So now I'm doing the winter garden set up.
My peppers & potatoes are still doing good. I still plan to plant cauliflower as well.

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