Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Maple Hill Hop 48

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)

Last week, we talked about the start of our fall garden.

The good news is that the beans are up.
This is the Slenderette variety,
and they are mighty tasty.

My farmer friends, Faye & Lynn had given me some lettuce seedlings,
to help me get a jump start on the goodies we're growing.

The bad news is that since we're still having oppressive heat,
most of them got burned up.
The cell packs really should have stayed on the covered patio
for another couple of weeks before planting.
So much of gardening is "in the moment",
and it takes a lot of flexibility to determine what will work in any given situation.

We had these screens just taking up space in our garage 
after they were replaced by our solar screens.

A few paver bricks were called into service.

The rain can still get through, 
but the plants will be protected from the scorching sun.
Not being equipped with shadecloth, we make due with what we have.

The newly planted lettuce and parsley seeds 
will also be shielded from extremes in sun exposure or wind.

Barring any really rough weather,
we should be able to transplant these goodies in a couple of weeks.
Homegrown lettuce far surpasses what's for sale at the grocery.
We also broadcast some dill seed,
mostly to host caterpillars.
Eggplant and tomato starts will be left in their cell packs 
for a bit longer until temperatures simmer down.
What's going on outside where you are?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Maple Hill Hop 47

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)

With the summer fading, it was time to plan the fall garden.
The raised bed has been idle for too long.

The list of crops was made and it was determined
what would be directly sowed, planted with homemade seed tape, or transplanted from seedlings.

This was the first time that I've sketched out
what I wanted the garden to look like.
It felt good to consider the aesthetic look of the veggie garden.

Then I found this cool online garden planner at
Gardener's Supply.
I transferred my basic plan to the online template
and voila!
Did I mention that it's free?

The chosen seeds were transferred to a small box
to take with me out into the garden.
We'll be growing carrots, beets, four types of lettuce, sugar snap peas, 
eggplant, green beans, parsley, thyme and dill.

Summers here are very trying for this gardener,
as it is our least productive growing season.
 Armed with the necessary tools,
it felt so good to finally be putting something in the dirt again.

A little rearranging was in order
to bring the plan to life.
The first step was to pull any weeds
and then rake the area lightly to aerate the soil.

The trellis for the peas was relocated 
to the western side of the bed.

Compost was added to the entire planting area.

In this area, the beets will act as a border.
Two rows were planted,
with successive rows to be planted every few weeks.

The eggplant on the other side of the trellis was then moved

into its new spot near the other eggplant.
These two have been struggling through the summer,
but I'm hoping the compost and cooler temps will help them do well.

A bit more thyme was planted in the center of this raised bed.
The morning glory will be kept in place
to soften the edges.
Lettuce seedlings will be started this week,
as well as creating homemade seed tape for the tiny carrot seeds.
(I'll post that process next week.)
As transplants are added to the bed,
I will add a bit more compost to the hole.
The folks over at Old World Gardens suggested that,
and it's the first time I'm giving it a go.

Fall is an exciting time here in Central Florida.
It's another chance to grow some great food 
and with all I've learned at Farm School in the past year and a half, 
I'm feeling more confident that we will be harvesting lots of goodies in the next few months.

Let's HOP!