Monday, October 31, 2011

Brussels sprouts forming in each stem node
The mornings are getting frosty now; at our location, first frost came on October 21 – in some places we saw freezing fog hovering over low areas.  But the 30th was our first official freeze at 30 degrees F, signaling the end of the growing season for any tender vegetation.  What a difference seven days has made for the annual foliage show!  We are near peak with good autumn weather in the forecast, so those red, orange, and golden streamers should hold on for a while yet even as the most stubborn green oaks turn and join the show.

Our cold-weather crops seem to be unaffected and are increasing in size; cabbage will tolerate a normal frost but will not last when temperatures dip into the 20’s F.  Brussels sprouts are on schedule for a Christmas first harvest.  We have a good stand of red clover which we are using as a cover crop for next year’s corn.

A good stand of red clover will make a great green manure
crop for corn next growing season.
This is last chance to plant garlic in the South, and we confess this turn of the year has kept us so busy with autumn activities that we’ve put it off a little longer than usual.  We will be making that a priority this week.  We saved several of the largest garlic heads from last year and will split them into individual cloves to plant as seed.  Garlic purchased from the store works just as well as seed garlic – in fact that was one of our garden experiments that has turned into a staple for us; we’re now growing the 5th generation of garlic from that original grocery store variety.  Garlic likes rich, loose soil, so we will haul out the tiller and incorporate a lot of milled sphagnum peat moss and some organic fertilizer in the row before we plant. We keep this loosely mulched with fall leaves after it sprouts.

Our Fall/Winter garden; the open space is saved for spinach and peas next Spring.
Our compost bin is more stuffed than a Thanksgiving turkey, and aside from those winter “regulars” we can dust off our hands from another gardening season.  It’s time to tuck next year’s garden in for the winter, and we’re already covering it with a layer of cardboard and fallen leaves through which we will plant next year.  It looks like we will have one more update in November to finish for the year 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (