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Post  OldCrow on 8/29/2020, 5:49 pm

Hello Everybody,
We've been away for too long. But life and elderly parents happen. 
 Our garden was going nicely until mid/late July then a rush, rush out of town Sad 

Well on return about two weeks ago the garden was a mess. About the only survivors were two cucumber, one cabbage, three tomato and two peppers. The heat and drought was a beast and then the cabbage worms had a field day on our kale and cabbage.  I was very depressed. 
Took a few days to get motivated, watching the news will do that Shocked , but then we cleaned up and harvested what we could. 

Now two weeks later things are looking much brighter, one cucumber is a prodigious producer, cherry tomatoes are trucking along, and my Banana pepper is ready to open a half dozed blossoms.  Very Happy

So anyway back to the topic, I've sowed in 2inch cells lettuce and kale, and spinach and carrots in containers. 
I'm building a double wall hoop for one raised bed and the containers will be on our sunroom porch or inside. I've already moved our surviving peppers and tomatoes to porch/inside. 

So I curious what you all do for fall/winter?  I'm inspired by Eliot Coleman's book "The Winter Harvest Handbook" plus his farm is only about 25miles as the crow flies from our home. 

OC
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/29/2020, 6:47 pm

Hi OC!

Life happens.  No worries!  I love your plans—you could certainly plant radishes, I love them.  They are almost my faves next to maters!  OK, and peppers.

I think you should just let what you have play out.  Peppers are very hardy in my experience.  I am a huge fan of Eliot Coleman. I have his 4 season harvest book, which is what inspired me to get a cold frame!  

I am going to plant a Straight-neck Squash in there...45 days.  If it gets cold, I will close it.  I have never used the cold frame in Fall.

Can’t wait to hear what you’re doing!
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Post  OldCrow on 8/29/2020, 7:24 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:you could certainly plant radishes, I love them. 
You and me both! I love radish as bite snacks or on salad. 

I tried radish this spring, had 4 squares of French Breakfast Radish and I think only 3 or 4 were good. Don't know what I did wrong. A couple that looked good were hollow thinking, and several that had nice greens had tiny roots thinking
Had similar but better luck with carrots. Go figure. 

OC
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Post  OhioGardener on 8/29/2020, 7:39 pm

@OldCrow wrote:I tried radish this spring, had 4 squares of French Breakfast Radish and I think only 3 or 4 were good. Don't know what I did wrong. A couple that looked good were hollow, and several that had nice greens had tiny roots

Being too hot and dry tends to cause them to be hollow and pithy - planting summer radishes, such as the Sora or Saxa 2, prevents that.  Nice greens, but no bulbs, indicates either too much nitrogen in the soil, or compacted soil that they cannot grow in.

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Post  OldCrow on 8/29/2020, 7:49 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:Being too hot and dry tends to cause them to be hollow and pithy - planting summer radishes, such as the Sora or Saxa 2, prevents that.  Nice greens, but no bulbs, indicates either too much nitrogen in the soil, or compacted soil that they cannot grow in.
Must have too much nitrogen as the soil is very loose and never stepped on. But how can a square be made lower in nitrogen? I imagine planting something like corn would use lots of N. 
Is this true of all root vegetables like onions and beats? I may need to make a dedicated root veggie box?
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Post  OhioGardener on 8/29/2020, 8:09 pm

@OldCrow wrote:
@OhioGardener wrote:Being too hot and dry tends to cause them to be hollow and pithy - planting summer radishes, such as the Sora or Saxa 2, prevents that.  Nice greens, but no bulbs, indicates either too much nitrogen in the soil, or compacted soil that they cannot grow in.
Must have too much nitrogen as the soil is very loose and never stepped on. But how can a square be made lower in nitrogen? I imagine planting something like corn would use lots of N. 
Is this true of all root vegetables like onions and beats? I may need to make a dedicated root veggie box?

Yes, that is true of all root crops, with the possible exception of potatoes. Plant some squash, cabbage, or broccoli to use the nitrogen. Root crops such as radish, onion, beets, and carrots like more phosphorous and potassium, and less nitrogen.  If you pull carrots and they have a lot of fine roots all up and down the carrot, that indicates too much nitrogen, too. 

I don't use any fertilizer in my beds, just well-made compost and rock dust, so the soil tends to stay pretty balanced with the minerals, nitrogen and other nutrients. But, if you do use fertilizer, either chemical or organic, ensure the N-P-K ratio for root crops is low in the N, such as 2-8-8.

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Post  OldCrow on 8/30/2020, 9:09 am



Yes, that is true of all root crops, with the possible exception of potatoes. Plant some squash, cabbage, or broccoli to use the nitrogen. Root crops such as radish, onion, beets, and carrots like more phosphorous and potassium, and less nitrogen.  If you pull carrots and they have a lot of fine roots all up and down the carrot, that indicates too much nitrogen, too. 

I don't use any fertilizer in my beds, just well-made compost and rock dust, so the soil tends to stay pretty balanced with the minerals, nitrogen and other nutrients. But, if you do use fertilizer, either chemical or organic, ensure the N-P-K ratio for root crops is low in the N, such as 2-8-8.

This gardening so much more complex than I ever imagined. One more data point to file away and access when planning my 2021 garden. So many lessons learned this season Shocked
Thanks so much
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/30/2020, 10:30 am

Take notes, OldCrow!  The first couple years I didn’t even attempt a late season.  What I need to do better is succession plant; when a square opens up, plant it right then!  I do better with some things than others...

My second or third? year I waited way too long and nothing made it to harvest.  Lately it’s been better.  A really easy fall crop is to grow some garlic.  Around here, you plant each little clove on or around Halloween, let it go all winter, and harvest next July (and the hardneck varieties have these wonderful things called scapes, very mild garlic flavor, green and delish!  Lots of info on this site about garlic.  You almost can’t miss!
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Post  OhioGardener on 8/30/2020, 11:02 am

@OldCrow wrote:This gardening so much more complex than I ever imagined. One more data point to file away and access when planning my 2021 garden. So many lessons learned this season Shocked
Thanks so much

Worry not, OldCrow!  Like SR said, keep a journal, and every year will get better.  I have been organic farming/gardening for 60+ years, and still learning something new or better every  day.

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Post  OldCrow on 8/30/2020, 12:44 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:
Worry not, OldCrow!  Like SR said, keep a journal, and every year will get better.  I have been organic farming/gardening for 60+ years, and still learning something new or better every  day.
Hi OG, I did start a log back in February when I started. It has already come in handy just seeing how various plants grew under differing conditions. Great stuff. The log is in a Pages document on my Apple MacBook Air. It's great to be searchable but I really doubt it will be available in 20years much less 60 Smile  
I think my two biggest discoveries were 
1) how much a plant can change in one day!
2) how short our season is and how cold it gets! 
OC
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Post  OldCrow on 9/17/2020, 9:15 am

update, my kale, lettuce, carrots, spinach are all developing well. This Sept has been pretty warm and I needed to cover these cool loving plants several times, but it's great for my Peppers and tomatoes! 

My biggest adversary are small field mice breaking through my best Boarder Wall. Lost a couple lettuce and spinach seedling but finally built a bette wall with metal window screen. Took a couple tries to get it right to keep this illegal alien out. But oh how fun it is to watch these guys frustration at not getting to those sweet tender seedling Smile Trail cameras are so much fun. 
OC
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/18/2020, 11:35 am

Triumph!  I love thwarting the bandits...sounds like your fall crop is moving right along!  I have notes on my Apple devices and a paper layout of where I plan to plant what, this changes, lol!  So I have a Plan, and then a What Happened version!  Don’t forget our need for pictures when able, OC!
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