Planting the Fall Garden – JOY!

Planting the Fall Garden – JOY!

It’s Time to Put in the Fall Garden!

fall planting Collage

I’m not suggesting you should buy your seeds at Dollar General.  I’m sure there are all sorts of good reasons not to buy seeds at Dollar General.  All I’m sayin’ is that if you don’t care if your seeds come from Dollar General, you can get them right now for 2 cents a pack.  Yes, I said 2 cents.  One-Two.  Two pennies.

50 packets of seeds will cost you $1.  They are all 90% off.

I may have bought some seeds.  I also may have bought every bulb (Lillies not light) in the store (also 90% off).  Then I went to every other Dollar General within 20 miles and did it again and again.  I think I spent $4 on 6 bagfuls of seeds and bulbs.

Have I mentioned that I am a recovering coupon-aholic?  Sorry.  I still regress sometimes.  
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Now that I got that off my chest – let me show you what I put in the garden for this fall.  Squeal!

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I have had the most fun ever this August.  It’s been cool, refreshing and since my summer garden was a bit of a soggy mess I was not at all sad about ripping it out and throwing it to my pigs.  Good Riddens!

Sorry for all the exclamation points…… as an English Teacher I know that exclamations are amateurish and make writing appear childish.  How you say something should be exciting enough that you don’t need to add exclamation points at the end.

There’s your writing lesson for the day.

Did I mention that I am pumped about the end of the summer fungus and beginning of fall gardening?  

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This is where I want to be.  Right here on my knees, playing in the dirt, planting things and watching them grow.  There is just nothing else like it, except maybe milking the cow, or bringing home baby piglets, or a kiss from a calf.

Here’s what I planted:

  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Kale
  • Beets
  • Swiss Chard
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce (for how to plant go here)
  • Spinach
  • Sugar Snap Peas (for how to plant go here)
  • Collard Greens
  • Onions (for how to plant go here)
  • and……….. broccoli because I’ve lost my mind and must be in the mood to scream at fat green worms.

I have been using a little Diatomaceous Earth on the Broccoli hoping to keep the cabbage worm army away (more on them here).

lettuce fall 2

My Oldest daughter planted a few rows of lettuce in her bed (each of my 4 children have their own bed – read about that here).

We used the rake handle to make the divot.  Then she sprinkled in the seeds & covered them with soil.  To see the full step by step on lettuce go here.

In just about a week she had tiny, little lettuce sprouts.  This week she has little, butter-crunch, lettuce heads growing.  In another couple weeks we’ll be enjoying more salad than we know what to do with.  

In other news, here’s the rest of the guys in the garden that I didn’t kill, destroy and feed to the pigs.

The lucky few

August Garden 1I just thought I’d show you my tomatoes Charlie Brown Christmas Trees before I ripped them out so you would believe me.  I’m not kidding.  Nothing but branches and tomatoes.  No leaves.

It rained here, like everywhere else in North America, for the better part of the summer, which is what turned my tomatoes into Charlie Brown Christmas Trees.

I ended up getting plenty of tomatoes this year to harvest and put into cans, so I’m not complaining.

For tomatoes in cans:

august garden 5

I kept one bed of the spring planted tomatoes.  They look pretty sad, but if you can stand to look at the dying branches on the bottom of the plant and restrain the urge to rip them out and throw them at someone, they will continue to produce for you.

As long as you are growing indeterminate varieties, they will produce new growth on top and keep making you wonderful tomatoes.  Mine have grown up, over and down the other side of the cattle panels that are holding them up.  Indeterminate’s are still going strong.  To see how I’m growing tomatoes go here.

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Because I’m an over-achiever I did put in 8 new tomato plants in July.  They are getting big and have some baby, green tomatoes on them.  Instead of using the cattle-panel TePee format I made these swanky tomato cages from some woven wire fence.

Are you impressed?  You should be.  I have holes in my hands, no finger nails and permanent calluses.

Making your own tomato cages from woven wire is painful.  Easy, but painful.  Maybe I should wear gloves next time.  
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Here’s the Romaine Lettuce that was planted from seed in June.

august garden 10Here’s the Radishes.  Also from a June planting.  august garden 12

Sweet Banana Peppers love the heat of summer’s end.  My 10 year old eats them like most kids eat apples, especially when they turn red, orange and yellow.  You’ll notice there are not any red, orange or yellow banana peppers on the plants.  That’s because she ate them all. august garden 13

Here’s the Green Bell Peppers.  They don’t disappear from my garden like the banana peppers do, but will be great to have in the freezer this winter.  To see how I freeze onions and peppers go here.

My Habenero Peppers are finally looking like a plant.  I guess they don’t like much water, because once it stopped raining they decided to start growing.  One thing I’ll say about Habenero’s is that it doesn’t take much pepper to add some heat.  Whew!

The last garden I thought you may want a peek at is the pumpkin patch that my baby and I put in.  

To read how we built the garden in 2 hours go here.
pumpkin Collage 2

You can see the progression in the pictures.  The first picture on the left is the day we put the pumpkin patch in (last week in July).  The second pic was taken a couple weeks later.  The 3rd pic was taken 5 weeks after planting.

They seem happy in their home.  I have cute, baby pumpkins forming now.

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One glance at our pumpkin patch tells anyone that I didn’t make it big enough.  My pumpkin plants don’t want to stay inside the fenced in area.  They are leaving.  They want to explore. 

I have tried and tried to train them to stay inside the fence but I keep breaking off beautiful vines filled with flowers and baby pumpkins.  I’ve decided to leave Mr. Pumpkin alone and let him go where ever he wants.

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September is a beautiful time.  It is out-with-the-old in-with-the-new time.  If your summer garden was a bust, a failure, a disappointment – take heart:

There’s always Fall!  

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Don’t be afraid to get back on the horse, dig in the dirt and plant something today.

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Happy Fall Planting,



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