Hello, my fellow farmers, gardening gurus, gardening beginners, and everyone else! It’s been awhile,and I thank you all for sticking with me and coming back to join in the garden goodness (or horrors!)! We have been super busy around our little neck of the woods with various and sundry projects that we are trying to complete and projects that we are just starting!
We have been so blessed this year with the garden situation! And we worked REALLY hard at preparing the soil this last spring! We added tons (literally) of good topsoil, compost, and the really good, homemade compost! Then we put in raised rows! NO TILLING this year, but lots of hard work!
I planted tomatoes earlier than normal this year as I was told that they need to be in the ground and rooting and blooming BEFORE it gets hot or the blooms won’t set and thus, won’t produce. I also added crushed egg shells and epsom salt to the first round of maters that I got in early. I then planted another flat of maters a few weeks later and forgot to add the shells and salt. Let me tell you, they produced, but NOTHING like the first set! We canned over 9 gallons of maters this year! WHAT!!?? I know! I will be doing this again next year (planting early and then putting the shells and salt in the hole when I plant!)
We also got an abundance of peppers! From bell, which I’ve never been able to grow, to jalapenos, piquins, tobasco, and banana peppers! Our corn did well and everything was so yummy! I was so excited to FINALLY see some of my hard work pay off!!
We also had a few helpers along the way with canning and preserving our foods! The rugrats and mom SAID they had a wonderful time! 😉 and now you really see how my house looks during canning, preserving, making bread days! (don’t look!!!)
This has been a really wonderful year! However, it is quickly coming to a close! And I realized that as my kids went back to school Monday!
Time to prep the garden for the fall/winter season!
Here’s what we are doing this year:
1. Remove old plants so that there is no where for bugs/disease to hide and kill future plants.
2. Plant a few cool weather plants (to be done this weekend and some of the lettuces will wait until mid-September)
3. Mulch the areas with new plants/seeds.
4. Plant cover crops in the remaining rows to add nutrients back into the soil and keep weeds and other unwanted plants from growing.
5. Pull up most of the irrigation system and store over winter. Be sure to blow out any remaining moisture with an air compressor so that it doesn’t stay in the lines and rot them or cause mildew to grow or bugs to seek out a nice damp spot all winter. Also, removing the moisture will prevent ice from accruing and busting the lines.
6. Make sure our plant covers are ready for the cold spell IF we need them at that time. We use the water towers and so far, they work GREAT!
7. Amp up the compost pile.
8. Put down cardboard or newspapers to cover the dang coastal grass that Just. Won’t. Go. Away. (hoping this smothers it out and we can pull it out will relative ease next spring. We will then put down another layer to help prevent it from coming back again. We’ll see how it works!)
9. Building up our rows again as some of them have eroded slightly.
10. Add compost, compost, and more compost!
Do you have any tips for prepping for fall/winter in your garden? Let me hear ’em!
Until next time, happy farming!