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5X5 for Fall

August 14th, 2013

Now that you’ve got your green thumb with your 5×5 Challenge Garden this summer, it’s time to start thinking about fall. No doubt your zucchini and bean plants will be exhausting themselves soon, maybe you’ve already harvested things and have empty spots in your garden. Think about planting things like: spinach, chard, lettuce, kale, and radishes. Their short growing season will let you get in at least one more harvest this year.
Fall Planting 1
Fall Planting 2
Fall Planting 3
I find spinach to be one of my best fall crops, especially a winter hardy variety. Though I must admit, swiss chard is taking over that role, this is my first year growing it and I really like it so far!

What is your favorite quick growing fall vegetable?

Around the Run

November 7th, 2012

On Cultivate Simple, our podcast, we have an Around the Run section each week. In this section we talk about what’s been going on around here. For those of you who don’t listen to the podcast, I figured it was time for an update. The weather is leaning more towards winter on the scale than fall. It’s been getting COLD, down into the 20’s at night and in the high 30’s during the day. There’s a burning bush out front that is still blazing red, the last remnants of fall in the garden. On Monday I noticed a few snowflakes falling from the sky. It won’t be long now until we’re snugly tucked under a blanket of snow.

Now that there’s a nip in the air, I’ve been working to cover my fall crops with my low hoops. So far, only the celery and Japanese bunching onions have been covered. Hopefully the rest of them will be put up by this weekend. (if you’re interested in how I made these hoops, here’s my how-to post).

I’ve also been busy cooking up delicious seafood, making sourdough biscuits, staying warm by the wood burner, and putting in many hours of work in the office. ¬†Truth be told, most of the meals we eat don’t take long to prepare since they’re fairly simple. ¬†When you have fresh scallops what more do they need beside searing and generous amount of butter?

I still need to get my garlic planted. The plot is prepared thanks to some help from the chickens, but the garlic sits on my table waiting. Hopefully that will in by this weekend. It’s a good thing garlic is so forgiving.

Sometimes, I wish fall wasn’t this busy. I’d love to have a little more time for hiking and exploring the new areas around me. I’ll have plenty of time to do that this winter and over the coming years. That can wait, the garlic can’t.

Do you have any impending chores that need done ASAP?

Planning Ahead for Fall

August 26th, 2010

About a month ago I started a new round of cucumber seeds hoping for a great fall harvest to fill the pantry with all varieties of pickles. Cucumber plants don’t like the heat of summer, they prefer temperatures in the 70’s, yet they can’t take a frost. Since we have hot hot summers here in Ohio, cucumbers seem to languish once the temperatures hit the mid 80’s, which is usually right after they start producing. Since this summer has been a particularly hot one, my cucumbers quit producing about a month ago, although I did get almost 2 gallons of pickles from my five plants. This year, I decided to try to grow a fall crop of cucumbers, I’m hoping that they get through their productive season and I’ll have tons of cucumbers to pickle in late September, let’s hope we don’t get and early frost.

I started a whole flat of cucumbers back in July, hoping to get a large number of cucumbers at once so I can make a few large batches of fermented pickles. The seed packet says they take about 57 days to produce, which should be just about right. I transplanted them 2 weeks ago. I planted about 15 plants at my mom’s house and about 20 plants here in my raised beds in the back garden.

I’m once again growing ‘Boston Pickling’ Cucumbers since I really like them. I’ve actually never grown another variety, this is the first I’ve tried and I’m very happy with the pickles that I make from them. This year I’m trying to save a few seeds for them since the place I order most of my seeds from no longer carries them. Not to mention I’ll be saving myself a few dollars, I’ll make sure I post all about it and offer some free seeds.

I’ve read that a lot of gardeners grow second crops of beans and of zucchini to extends the harvests. I tried beans last year, but an early fall frost did them in right when they were starting to produce. It’s always hard to time second crops in a short growing season and with the drastic weather changes we can have here in NE Ohio, but seeds are cheap so I’ll keep trying!

Do you have any crops you grow a second round of for fall harvests?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.