Thursday, September 24, 2009

Finally got the timing (sort of) right...

Planting at the right time has always been hit and miss for me. This year I think it more or less hit it...which of course means that next year is still up for grabs as every year is different.

The tell-tale indicator has been yield. We've enjoyed good sequencing of plantings and, consequently, of harvests as well. Two plantings of the same thing spaced two weeks apart and in the same basic spot in the garden is a great way to extend yields. We've enjoyed two crops of cucumbers, at least four of beans, three of greens, etc.

For some things, like basil, even just getting a single crop in early, thereby allowing time for recovery and re-harvest works well. With leafy stuff like that, how you harvest and maintain also makes a different. Pinching back buds encourages robustness. Ample water keeps basil from bolting too soon (annuals bolt when stressed....they feel the need to reproduce and keep their DNA from simply disappearing). So, this year we've had one huge basil harvest and are about to do we've grazed like crazed Italians in between!

The raised winter garden also went forward in a timely fashion. Leeks, peas, collards, kale, spinach, beets, and broccoli are all up now and looking strong enough to survive well into the fall months. With luck (even without cover) we'll enjoy these at least through November. The addition of cover next month (with luck) will take us through February.

And then, we'll be seeding for spring again.

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