The weather is cooling here in the Deep South, which means it’s lowered from the heat of an roaring furnace full of wet towels down to the more moderate temperature of a steam-filled bathroom after someone has taken a shower for a half-hour with the hottest water possible.
We haven’t hit 90 degrees in almost a week, so we’re working on resetting the garden beds for a fall crop. I live in zone 8b, which means we are bound to get some freezes during the winter. That means we can’t grow beans, corn, melons, etc., through the winter months because a single frost will massacre those warm-weather vegetables. We can, however, get another round of some vegetables before the freezes, like green beans.
Our main concentration right now is on staple crops such as turnips, carrots, potatoes and cabbages. Bad times are almost certainly coming so it makes sense to grow calories. A fall garden is like having a savings account of calories in the ground, so we are working as a family to bank those crops ahead of when we may need them.
Every Saturday we work together as a family to garden. Here’s the video from the work we did this last Saturday:
I highly recommend planting a fall garden if you can. And plant more than you think you’ll need. I have a bad feeling about what may be coming and it’s good to be prudent. If nothing happens and we have a great winter, we’ll have extra food. But if we get more crazy times, that food may be quite important.
If you can garden a little every day, you’ll do fine and get lots done.
Carrots got so much easier to grow when I got some mushroom compost once – they like moisture while germinating, and it holds the moisture in for them. Unfortunately, as of last year, the mushroom compost source isn’t available to the public, so I tried using peat moss, which worked, but wasn’t as good – it didn’t have the same water-holding properties, and because I also like to grow a bazillion carrots, was not very cost effective. This year we had some peat-like compost from where we fed goats hay last winter, so I’m spreading that on top of the beds and then scattering the seeds. I’ve also noticed that the commercial carrot seeds always have the “beard” crushed off, and always have a lower germ rate than my home-saved seeds (I have been saving seeds from a one-season carrot called Pusa Rudhira I got from Baker Creek years ago). The home-saved seeds with the beard always do great. I think the beard helps hold in water while the seeds are germinating.
I used to love mushroom compost until I start hearing reports of aminopyralid contamination killing gardens. I bet lots of regular compost would do it. They must love the organic sponginess.
I haven’t saved carrot seeds – I’ll have to do that this next year. Thank you.