Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Growing: First Plantings

   In the south where I make my home the growing season lasts year long, and this week we turn our focus to the fields. The fall planting is almost our second spring with plenty of hearty growing tasks to undertake. In the mid-summer our fall plan has to be set and ready to go..and nightshades/peppers are the first items on the list..and tempting those seedlings to life is quite a challenge.
   Seeds for peppers, tomatoes and eggplants have to be started in July and carefully nurtured until late August or early September. Once in the soil, these tender plants need to have plenty of grow time before the soil temps drop. I place mine under a green shade cloth with soaker hoses along the bases; drought, heat stress, and hatching pests keep us challenged. This year, peppers are still going no replacements were planted. Tomatoes, Roma-style cherries, are set in pots so when winter comes they can move to the greenhouse.
   Once the seedlings leave the greenhouse corn and squash are direct seeded in the garden rows. Warm weather grasshoppers make fall corn fields quite a farmboy loves to catch them for the chicks. This year's corn has been planted between the pepper rows with squash on each border.

   Hope is the heart of any gardener..and a fall garden needs a good healthy dose. Year after year, despite the lingering of summer heat or the dry thirst for rain, I just can't resist the longing of my heart to churn the soil, set the seed, and nurture the tender vines. These are the first of many fall plantings!


Hibiscus House said...

You lucky girl, to have such a long growing season. Your peppers and corn look wonderful.

Becky said...

Not being that far south, our growning season isn't that long. We're pulling things out now, but the peppers are still going. The okra would be too, but I've had my fill of it and was glad to pull out the stalks. :)
Next year I hope to make a better fall garden, but I didn't have available space early enough in the summer to have gotten things in before our first frost.