October is bringing in abundant sunshine and it is quire rare here in Pacific Northwest. Fall has begun and we are appreciating everything this garden hhas been producing.
I have been picking so much over last week, here is recap:
Sunday: Green beans and one small early girl tomato. Green beans are mix of Contender (Ed Hume Seeds) and from cheap seed packets of Harvester (American Seeds). Early girls come from seedlings I picked up from local drugstore early summer.h
Monday: few cherry tomatoes
Tuesday: More tomatoes, more green and wax beans and Muncher cucumber
Saturday: Tomatoes (mix of Early Girl, Cherry and San Marzano with some blight). I checked remaining of San Marzanos of any of them showing blight and removed affected promptly. More beans, un-pollinated Zucchini and more Muncher cucumbers were picked. While walking our lovely Sammamish river trail, me and friend came upon this lovely Pear Tree loaded with fruits along the riverside. Us and few other folks did pick few fruits.
Harvest Summary for week:
Green/Wax Beans: about 45 Tomatoes: 17 Cucumbers: 5 Misc: small zuk and pears
“There are very few things to harvest this year, it seems so strange” I told my husband. He responded with YES. “I haven’t seen you much in backyard all spring long” He said.
So it dawned on me, To get Summer harvest, I have to kick start in Spring get soil prepping, sowing in Spring. Hmm. What was I doing all spring long? Well, life happened and things were just too busy. Not anymore.
All hope is not lost. Now I get it. To get Fall harvest, I have to start planting fall garden NOW.
Summer in Seattle has not arrived yet. Well, we got few sunny days but last 2 days were so dull and damp. Fremont solstice parade saw many umbrellas and rain coats, lack of sundresses and shorts. Hoping for good weather ahead, at-least 6-8 weeks of warm growing season. Let’s keep hoping. This Picture if taken from Kerry Point in Seattle. Looking at Space needle, downtown buildings and majestic Mount Rainier at distance.
It’s end June and the summer garden season is not even really started for me, and yet I am thinking ahead to the coming fall and winter season. I want to do fall and winter gardening and I have to come to terms with the fact that we always have to be thinking about 2 to 3 months ahead of our current situation, sowing seeds and prepping now to meet future harvest expectations. Even though I tried fall vegetables last year, this is truly first full year of growing for me and I am learning as I proceed.
Typical fall and winter crops for me will include Fenugreek, Turnip, carrots, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, Swiss chard, lettuces and spinach. Here’s base plan for me.
Harvested last of the zucchini, few snap peas and loads of fenugreek planted on 5th Sep here. I wasn’t sure if fenugreek will grow in cool weather, it did. I am going to sow some more seeds in container today, let’s see if they give me yield before frost hits 🙂
Fall sown seeds have germinated and nice seedlings are bracing chilly temperatures in night. Although days are unusually sunny and nicer, our nights are down to 45F now. We did get down to 40F last night. Not sure when the first frost is expected. Lot of local weather stations suggest frost does not occur until October 22nd but it can differ by couple weeks depending on particular location. I am up on plateau and not shaded by trees etc. I’ll start keeping track of frost here on this blog.
Here’s update on fall planting:
Beets (Top, above brick): Beet seedlings have emerged. seeds planted 15th Aug, 75 days, expected maturity 10 Nov
Fenugreek (bottom, below brick, barely visible, day 5 in ground) : seedlings just starting to form. Seeds in 5 Sept, 30 days, expected maturity 5 Oct
Fenugreek (bottom, day 15 in ground) : edible greens forming. Seeds in 5 Sept, 30 days, expected maturity 5 Oct
Brussels Sprouts (Top left corner in background): no sprouts forming yet. 3 July, 120 days, expected maturity 3 Nov
Radish, cherry belle: ready to harvest soon. lost many to slugs, poor soil. 20 Aug, 27 days, expected maturity 20 Sept
Carrots: seedlings. 15 Aug Aug, 90 days, expected maturity 15 Nov
Radish, Icicle: will be ready to harvest soon. 15 Sept, 30 days, expected maturity 15 Oct
Turnip: seedlings, need to move them in ground. 5 Sept, 60 days, expected maturity 5 Nov
Bunching onions: seedlings, need to move them in ground. 5 Sept, 70 days, expected maturity 15 Nov
First time in last 5 months, I went to sleep with sweater and socks on last Monday Sept 8th. It was rainy, cloudy and cold here yesterday, few thunderstorms made an appearance too. Well, according to weather reports low temperatures stood at 43 F.
This is time to pull summer vegetables from garden, weed and prune roses. Instead, what did I do in the garden? – I did sow some seeds. This itch to sow and grow, experiment never dies. I am playing a pure gamble and let’s all watch what happens to my late fall garden experiments.
so what did I sow yesterday? 1 – Fenugreek: This is my experiment, I want to assess if fenugreek will germinate and produce this late in summer. Since very few people grow fenugreek for greens, there’s hardly any data available on web. This is for my own knowledge, I am trying fenugreek this late. During summer fenugreek yields in 30 days, so I have some hope here before killer frost arrives.
2 – bunching onions: these will go under cloche if it gets too cold 3 – spinach 4 – bok choy 5 – icicle radishes 6 – beets 7 – turnips
To get faster germination, I helped seeds in warm water for 24 hours except spinach. Spinach seeds went into freezer for 12 hours, followed by 12 hours in tap water.
I’ll keep updating about this winter gardening over few months…
Peas are up, yay!!! My girls are going crazy. So far Peas have been easiest to grow in my garden, this is our first harvest of fall planting. I used Ed Hume seeds, variety – Super Sugar Snap . This is what says on packet
I helped seeds for about 24 hours into warm water and directly sown into the garden. I planted 10 seeds at a days interval so I have a plant which is producing pods right now and other just beginning to germinate. Biggest plant has already given me 10 peapods in last 3 days.
Peas life cycle –
tiny pea seedling 3 days old ( 6 days after seeds were sown)
Pea seedling with true leaves – 10 days after germination
Pea plants are crying for help – we need support. Time to build trellis, in my garden I go cheap route using sticks and fiber twine.
Leaves are turning colors and sedum is showing pink buds, butterfly bush are busy blooming. Every man tended garden is green and rest is yellow golden, it is summer in its best form here in Pacific Northwest.
We have short growing season and truly blessed this year by unusually hot summer. Summer is coming to an end and something tells me that it is time to start my fall vegetable garden(or is it too late?)
I moved into into a house few months back, this is my first house with yard and my first growing year. I don’t even have vegetable beds built, most of the vegetables I grow are in containers and some open area in the yard. All my vegetable planting so far is trial and error.
For fall season, I’ll try growing these veggies – 1 – Fenugreek 2 – Butter crunch Lettuce 3 – Beets 4 – Carrots 5 – Bok Choy 6 – Brussels Sprouts 7 – Peas 8 – Spinach and 9 – Icicle Radishes