Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jenny - September Veg Gardening Duties

Hi, y'all. Sorry for the long absence. I wanted to chime in to talk about gardening in September. In some areas of the country, it's time to plant bulbs and shut down the veg gardens for the winter. Not so in Texoma. We have the blessing of a long growing season and can now prepare for what's sometimes called the short season. You can also often get away with the cooler weather crops that most of us don't dream about earlier in the year, crops like peas, beans, and lettuces. I know that's hard to believe while it's still so blazing hot outside, but it's true.
If you have tomatoes, you may have noticed that they're still producing. Great! This happens to me all the time, and I'll often have tomatoes all the way until the first hard frost. Keep them watered and happy, and see what happens. Our pepper plants are also going strong. We've been harvesting steadily all summer. We have so many, we've had to give them away! We'll be keeping them happy for as long as possible also, as well as harvesting seeds from the tastier ones.
So go ahead and begin prepping your garden beds and get to replanting. Clear away any spent plants from your spring/summer garden. Loosen up the soil if it has become packed again. You might want to fertilize, especially if you've grown soil sappers like corn or tomatoes. You can also plant soil rejuvenators such as peas in those beds. They can help return some life to the soil. Many crops ideal for the short season can be sown directly into the soil. Good. That saves time. Peas, beans, and many lettuce types are direct sow. Squash are direct sow, though avoid any super-long growers (Check the seed packet), or "juicy" squash like zucchini that might resent coldish nights. Perhaps most importantly especially while the days still blaze: water in well!
Every garden is very dependent on tree cover, shade/sun exposure, wind, etc. Even in Texoma the terrain can change from one town to the next. My garden beds set onto straight prairie land perform differently than my friends who have a lot more tree cover. You know your garden best. Check your seed packet instructions (or look it up online of course), trust your instincts and have fun with it!