Garden Log 8-3-06

August 3, 2006

The summer isn’t half way over and temperatures reached triple digits today but I’ve already begun planning and planting my fall vegetable garden.

Last week I sowed seeds of rutabagas, turnips, and various kale varieties directly into an empty raised bed.

Looking Forward to a Fall Vegetable Garden

This past weekend I followed up by planting kale, collards, kohl rabi, cabbage, broccoli, calendula, and a few other winter vegetables indoors in containers under grow lights.

Later this month I’ll plant seeds for lettuce, spinach, cress, arugula, mache, and other salad greens directly into the garden for a fall harvest. And in September I’ll plant gourmet garlic and shallots in time for them to germinate and establish root systems before over-wintering for next season’s production.

Summer Harvests from the Garden

Speaking of garlic and shallots, I harvested this year’s crop a couple of weeks ago and have hung the bulbs to cure in an airy, dry, and warm location. The gourmet garlic grew extremely well this year and produced nice looking bulbs with extremely large cloves.

The garden has also been yielding crops of heirloom tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and loads of cucumbers, especially the Japanese Climbing cucumber variety which I grew for the first time this season. These cukes are long, dark green, slender, and covered with tiny prickly spines. They quickly climbed to the top of a six foot bamboo teepee and have produced plenty of delicious cucumbers over the past month.

The Royalty Purple Pod Beans have matured and need to be harvested before they get much larger. Lima beans, runner beans, and other pole bean varieties have covered a tall twelve-foot trellis but are not yet producing beans. I also planted a crop of cowpeas for the first time. The plants of these varieties of black eyed peas are tall, healthy, and just starting to set pods.

Groundhog Woes

I’ve been overrun and fighting a battle against destructive groundhogs all summer long. So far the score is a total of seven groundhogs trapped and relocated to my credit, and an entire bed of leafy greens, carrots, and parsnips decimated by my greedy adversaries.

The groundhogs also seem to enjoy dining on the summer squash plants, a container of Magenta Lambs Quarters, and the annual flowers around the patio. Hopefully I’m getting the groundhogs under control and won’t have to watch any more plants be stunted or destroyed by these unwelcome critters.

Other Related Vegetable Gardening Posts:

  • I’m interested in any details you can share about how you plan your gardening, whether you track yields or other stuff, map it out on paper… I tend to be somewhat “spontaneous” but know I could make the garden more productive if I had more of a plan. This was sparked by your mention of starting your fall garden now, when I’m feeling full of tomatoes, etc!

  • Pingback: Planning the Vegetable Garden » Veggie Gardening Tips()

  • We’ve had great luck with the Japanese climbing cucumbers and have created a “living wall” of cucumbers with this variety and the Parisian pickling cucumbers.

    Photos of Japanese Cucumbers

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