FALL GARDEN

Greens and broccoli

Fall tomatoes

Potatoes growing among the submerged ollas or clay pots

Peas growing among the ollas or clay pots

Towering fall tomatoes

Garden in transition

Fall peppers

Tomatoes!

In the garden

Over the weekend, we experienced cooler weather and even some measurable showers.  Definitely a blessing for the winter garden that’s shaping up.

The cooler weather has brought the peas and other brassica and green crops out of their suspension mode.  The cooler weather hasn’t affected the tomatoes – yet.  There’s lots of yellow blossoms, loads of green tomatoes and even a basketful of ripe ones!  Sweet.

As you can see from the photos the garden slowly growing over into a fall winter mode.  As our readers know, we can’t bare to see bare soil so as soon as the old crops go out, a new batch goes in.  Our motto here at the urban homestead is “leave no soil/dirt exposed.”   In a successful garden, it’s all about the soil and fall is an ideal time for us to improve our soil structure.    Thanks to our many composters and citified farm animals here on the ‘stead we have loads of rich, dark and loamy compost to improve any depleted soil.  Take care of the soil and the soil will take care of you, providing healthy plants and bountiful harvest.   So if you are starting out gardening for the first time, Farmer D’s advice to you is “healthy soil equals healthy plants”.   So before you start growing all out – grow soil first.

Another thing, with the cooler temperatures means we are having to water less.  Well, actually even with the wacky dry year, we managed this year to cut our water usage in 1/2.   I would say about 90% of our water use here the urban homestead goes into the garden and so to have successfully cut it in half certainly is a plus.  Thanks to heavy mulching, smart gardening, clay pot irrigation and spot watering we have been able to save water.   We only water when necessary – hand watering to make sure those plants that need it most get water and those that are doing well we let them till they look like they need water. Sure it’s time consuming but in the end it saves both money and water and it makes the plants healthy not being water pampered, allowing the plants to roots to grow deep.  Speaking of growing deep around the clay pots submerged throughout the garden, we noticed that the plants grow considerably better because the roots are forced to grow below the surface.

Let’s hope and pray for a wet winter!

So, fellow urban homesteaders’s, how’s your fall-winter garden shaping up?  Are you liberating more of your yard this year – growing less oramentals and more vegetables?

Comments(10)

  1. risa b says:

    Oregon’s Willamette Valley here: We’ve got onions, garlic, sunchokes, kale, broccoli, bok choi, red leaf lettuce in the ground, tomatoes, apples, potatoes, eggplant, winter squash, and pumpkins in the cold room, plenty of duck eggs and dried runner beans, and the broad beans have gone in for next year. I’ve topped off many of the summer beds with heaps of leaves.

    Tomatoes were SLOW, plums didn’t happen, pears so-so, winter squash mostly a DISASTER, everything else was OK.

    Oh, and we got the pitcher pump going on the resurrected well, so now we have a backup for the jet-pump well. Next we’re adding more insulation and moving the deer fence to protect the new beds.

  2. risa b says:

    Oregon’s Willamette Valley here: We’ve got onions, garlic, sunchokes, kale, broccoli, bok choi, red leaf lettuce in the ground, tomatoes, apples, potatoes, eggplant, winter squash, and pumpkins in the cold room, plenty of duck eggs and dried runner beans, and the broad beans have gone in for next year. I’ve topped off many of the summer beds with heaps of leaves.

    Tomatoes were SLOW, plums didn’t happen, pears so-so, winter squash mostly a DISASTER, everything else was OK.

    Oh, and we got the pitcher pump going on the resurrected well, so now we have a backup for the jet-pump well. Next we’re adding more insulation and moving the deer fence to protect the new beds.

  3. gerry medland says:

    Hi!
    I am completely remodeling the yard now to escape the terrible effects of ‘blight’ this year.I shall be growing mainly under cover from now on.It is interesting that even here in nothwest UK,my winter squash were also a disaster!Undetered,I carry on!Inspiring to see them potatoes!
    blessings to all
    from my side of the pond,
    gerry mx

  4. gerry medland says:

    Hi!
    I am completely remodeling the yard now to escape the terrible effects of ‘blight’ this year.I shall be growing mainly under cover from now on.It is interesting that even here in nothwest UK,my winter squash were also a disaster!Undetered,I carry on!Inspiring to see them potatoes!
    blessings to all
    from my side of the pond,
    gerry mx

  5. nee says:

    Greetings from North Texas! I have a winter watering question. We have about three months that hold the potential for a freeze at night, and we don’t want to run the risk of keeping water in the garden hose (about 25 feet from the veg bed). How do I go about daily watering if I want to keep the Fall/Winter garden producing?

    Thanks,
    nee

  6. nee says:

    Greetings from North Texas! I have a winter watering question. We have about three months that hold the potential for a freeze at night, and we don’t want to run the risk of keeping water in the garden hose (about 25 feet from the veg bed). How do I go about daily watering if I want to keep the Fall/Winter garden producing?

    Thanks,
    nee

  7. Linda says:

    Hi Anais

    I saw your picture of potato plants and have to ask – Is this is the time of year to plant potatoes for our area? (I’m in Riverside, CA, a bit east of you.) What kind of potatoes? I’d like to grow them, but I thought they were a spring/summer crop and was going to wait until after the new year to put them in. Is it time to put in a plant or a seed-potato? Thanks so much for your help!
    Linda

  8. Linda says:

    Hi Anais

    I saw your picture of potato plants and have to ask – Is this is the time of year to plant potatoes for our area? (I’m in Riverside, CA, a bit east of you.) What kind of potatoes? I’d like to grow them, but I thought they were a spring/summer crop and was going to wait until after the new year to put them in. Is it time to put in a plant or a seed-potato? Thanks so much for your help!
    Linda

  9. Lemongrass says:

    Here in SC, I have kale, collards, radishes, beets and chards doing well in the cool weather. Cayanne peppers are staying green long, which is how I love using them. Herbs are also enjoying the weather. I am making extra plants of my applemint, spearmint and cocoa mints. My onions and garlic are popping out of the ground, and I’am excited. I am growing broccoli rabbi for the first time and add the young leaves to my salads and green smoothies. My lettuce are not doing great. Will have to get new seeds for the spring. The ants are keep me busy as they build their hills all over the place. I read somewhere that mints do a good job keep then away. Will have to try it.
    My project this week is harvesting my vermicompost.

  10. Lemongrass says:

    Here in SC, I have kale, collards, radishes, beets and chards doing well in the cool weather. Cayanne peppers are staying green long, which is how I love using them. Herbs are also enjoying the weather. I am making extra plants of my applemint, spearmint and cocoa mints. My onions and garlic are popping out of the ground, and I’am excited. I am growing broccoli rabbi for the first time and add the young leaves to my salads and green smoothies. My lettuce are not doing great. Will have to get new seeds for the spring. The ants are keep me busy as they build their hills all over the place. I read somewhere that mints do a good job keep then away. Will have to try it.
    My project this week is harvesting my vermicompost.

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