The vegetable beds are beginning to open up now that we’ve taken out all of our peas (after saving the seed of course), and almost all of our garlic and lettuce (waiting for lettuce seed). The chard is bolting so hopefully it won’t be too long before we get seed from that and are able to pull it.
So I’m at a crossroads. Being in Zone 8 we have a long growing season. We don’t even get our first fall frost until November 21st. However, I’ve got lots of fall veggies to put in, so I don’t think I want to use those spaces. I’m going to be starting some of those starts next month and then plant them as transplants. I don’t think we can get any summer veggies to mature and move out in time, or even have our current crops move out in time for the fall crops. So here I am with empty beds.
Since our fall crops mostly include brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, etc), I will definitely need the space so I guess I shouldn’t fret over these empty beds.
I guess I’m just feeling like I MUST have every square inch in production all the time!
8 thoughts on “More Summer Veggies or Wait?”
Glad I'm not the only one that frets about empty spaces in the garden! At the moment I'm trying to keep loose-leaf lettuce transplants to hand at all times, just so I can squeeze in a few extra before some of the fall crops invade the garden, and hide the empty spaces. So far the fog seems to working in our favor 😛
I'd love to do lettuce right now, but it's just too hot for us. I tried. I couldn't even get them to germinate in flats put in the shade.
I say dig some compost into the empty spots and give them a rest. Everyone needs a break sometimes, even dirt 🙂
I've decided that since we have such little space, I can't wait for anything to go to seed. Takes waaaaay too long and economically it's just better for us to buy the seed.
And I'll happily swap you some lettuce for some giant squash 🙂
We definitely have enough squash to swap! LOL. That crazy, huge plant by the herb beds appears to be some sort of banana squash or a hybrid or some sort. The squash it's producing are enormous!
Can you let your hens work over some of the empty spots and let the soil rest a bit? I am down in Pittsburg and we get too hot for lettuces, too, but I am still sprouting some flats and just keeping them on the cool concrete of the shaded patio.
Artichokes are a good space-filler, though, if you're willing to let them winter over in place, or move them elsewhere in the yard for the winter before the rains come. We moved our artichokes twice before they grew into trees this spring. They survived it just fine.
It is not too late to put in some late patches of corn or sorghum, either. Or sunflowers. You can plant around all of these, easy peasy.
Okay, it looks like I've got the same 'must pack in more green matter' ailment…
Sara, funny you should mention artichokes. We have a giant bed (about 5' x 40') of artichokes that one of the previous tenants graciously left us. We harvested over 40 lbs this year and still ended up wasting a bunch. Even with us each eating 1-2 every day we couldn't keep up.
Artichoke branches are great chicken feed 🙂 When my purple ones were growing tall like trees, the routine in the morning was to string up a couple branches in the run, let the hens out, and they'd peck and jump and peck and attack and munch for hours.
Unfortunately, that wound up being highest and best use of those plants, because the chokes are were a lot more like cardoon flowers and didn't have much to eat on them. I'm growing some green globes now and hoping wistfully, but these will probably winter over before they produce…
Good to know about the purple artichokes! He had been considering planting some of those as well. Our chickens are kind oh "eh" about them. But throw them a bug-chewed strawberry and it's on! I'll be rooting around in the strawberry patch look over and it seems like they are just doing what they always do – ignoring me. But little do I know they are watching for the thrown strawberry and all race to where they suspect it will land.
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