After the summer garden...what comes next?

As I type this blog, the remnants of the extremely slow moving and stubborn (and wet and windy) Florence continue. We here in Raleigh were very fortunate, and our hearts go out to all of those who were not as fortunate. In thinking back to Hurricane Fran, this was a relatively minor inconvenience when compared to what could have been if the storm hadn’t weakened and changed paths.

 A volunteer, apparently Mexico Midget, soaked from Florence but still carrying on

A volunteer, apparently Mexico Midget, soaked from Florence but still carrying on

With the summer garden now but a memory (we are picking a few tomatoes and lots of peppers, but it is in serious and expected decline) it seemed a good time to bridge the summer 2018 to spring 2019 gap with a smaller scale gardening effort - this meant planting some seeds.

 My decisions on the fall garden seeds to start

My decisions on the fall garden seeds to start

Though much of the driveway garden will soon be removed and reorganized, there are lots of straw bales and containers ready to receive seedlings that will hopefully provide us with some good eating in late fall, and provide a head start for early next spring.

My planting list for 25 cells in a plug flat: Feaster heirloom mustard, Yellow Cabbage collards, Red Russian Kale, a spinach, arugula, Bright Lights and Rhubarb Swiss Chard, Detroit, Cylindra, Lutz and Golden beets, Scallions, 8 cells for various lettuce and lettuce mixes, and three cells for microdwarf tomatoes from seeds saved this summer - 80X F2 and 79X F2 - red fruit, and orange fruit. I also hope to plant a few bales with peas, for the harvest of pea shoots - a delicious addition to stir fries.

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The fall/spring planted flat after one week - planted Sept 9, status on Sept 16

I expect to start transplanting into 3.5 inch pots and/or plug flats within the week. Once the rain stops and we dry out, I will get the driveway arranged into the format that will take us through the winter….the key will be an ability to use floating row cover to protect against frosts.

We still hope that remaining warm days will give us come beans, squash and cucumbers from the second seeding.

 Second planted cukes (foreground) and summer squash, well watered by Florence

Second planted cukes (foreground) and summer squash, well watered by Florence