- Author: Paula Pashby
It is late summer now and moving quickly into fall. I am looking forward to this coming season because of the vibrant colors, cooler weather, hopefully, some rain, and the planning for the next crop of interesting plants.
I have three raised garden beds and am still getting harvest from one that has the late-blooming crops of eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers. Originally, I was thinking about planting basic cover crops in the other two non-producing beds to replenish their nutrients. I hate to admit this because I am a passionate gardener, but I was frankly looking forward to taking a hiatus from planting to just take some time to relax in the garden.
However, my plan came to a quick halt after attending some inspiring Master Gardener events that focused on planting a winter vegetable garden. As many gardeners can attest to, once you get that notion and desire to do some planting, there is no going back! It was on a recent Saturday evening that I came to realize that I needed to plant a winter veggie garden as soon as possible.
So, how to plan out this new project? Things to consider for preparation:
- Pull out the depleted summer veggie plants,
- Add compost to the garden beds – do not till it in too much, just mix gently so the soil components (minerals, organic matter, water, and air) are not disrupted; and
- Identify plants to purchase, Yay!
Of course, all previous commitments went to the wayside. So, on Sunday I set out to a nursery to find my fall veggie seedlings but did not have much luck. Meanwhile, I heard of another nursery that had just placed many of their winter veggie seedlings out on the sales floor. BUT they aren't open Monday…oh, the patience to wait until Tuesday for my desperately needed veggie starts – and I had to work my regular job first thing Tuesday morning!
OK – new plan – get up extra early on Tuesday since I do not need to be available for work until 10:00. So, when does the nursery open? I had to get up early and be at the nursery at 9:00 in the morning, focus on the list of winter veggie plants and please do not let me stroll away to herbs and other native plants… Just stay focused on the winter veggie plants right now…stay focused!
On the way over there - I don't know how to explain it - but I almost felt like a little kid playing hooky – sneaking over to the nursery before work to snag the best plants...When I got there – WOW! I was overwhelmed! Not only did they have every plant on my list, but ‘then some'!
I found my plants - Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Spinach, Lettuces, Radish & Artichoke – and quickly headed back home with my treasures to be planted in a few days… and made it just in time for my online meeting with colleagues… mission accomplished!
Now for the fun part…as you can see with the photos!