Fall Happenings in the Gardens Here at Sugar Water Manor
Fall happenings here on the farm are a combination of clean up, planting, preparing and harvesting. It is the time of year we are planting both food we will be eating this Fall and the coming Spring.
And, we are also seeding to plant in our cold frames and hoops for the winter. So although the amount of space we grow on is great decreased the types of planting has increased.
We are also in the midst of planting fruit trees so they can settle and winter for the years to come.
For the most part all of the food produced to consume for the Fall is grown in the raised beds.
The clean up is an ongoing process that we never stop doing. The fields require the most amount of work this year due to changes we made. Usually it is just pulling up drip line and we leave the agro-fabric for protection. But this year with less staff we planted less on the second round and have more weeds that come in those spots so we will be cleaning from now to forever it feels. But I am changing up field one and as we pull we will add compost and plant garlic there.
The fall garden this year includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lots of greens, radish, turnip, carrots, leeks, onions, beets, kale and more. Some of them take a little longer time to grow than in the spring so we, like in the spring, plant in succession so we can enjoy a bit longer.
Since I plant in raised beds in the fall, I also plant more compactly and with companion plants. Fall is also a time I take advantage of my herb beds and plant some quick grow crops where I have cut them back. This allows me to plant more root vegetables like radish, Tokyo turnips and more micro-greens. While also protecting the soil. These are not considered cover crops but do allow the soil to be protected and provide food. Once these beds are hooped for the winter they will grow lettuce and other greens. I do quick grow with low root impact to allow the soil to rest as well.
It is also time that I will start seeding in the garden house for the winter garden. Due to the cooler temperatures and cold frames I do give the winter garden a head start by seeding carrots, turnips, herbs, lettuce and I am trying a few new vegetables in the cold frames this year like a tiny-Tom tomato and a pepper plant. The stir- fry cut and come again and other quick grows like radish will be direct sows.
The best thing about the Fall that in the middle of all this planting and tending to I am also harvesting. The luffas are coming down, winter squash is being brought in to cure and the last of the summer produce like cucamelons, peppers, eggplants and more are being enjoyed.
The Fall also brings a lot of work for pests and preparing. I am handing checking the brassicaceaes for little worms and as we pull old plants we are checking for unwanted grubs.
The soil is being looked at and tested to see what may be needed to add to let the soil rest. And I am covering some fields to let the winter sun bake it. There are many different techniques I use for the fields and beds.
Finally I will watch the weather and hoop a few beds soon so that the sun can start warming those for winter seeding.
The Fall is just a wonderful time here on the farm with new things happening each day.