Greens and broccoli
Potatoes growing among the submerged ollas or clay pots
Peas growing among the ollas or clay pots
Towering fall tomatoes
Garden in transition
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?