Friday, October 12, 2018

Garden Friday

Welcome to Soggy Garden Friday.
Bad Boy TS Michael is gone and good riddance.
The only damage I noticed yesterday when going to check on the garden,
was that my sweet potato teepee was a bit mangled.
The winds were gusting all morning and the rain was nonstop.
Thankfully, we were spared any real harm.

Earlier in the week, it was time to say adios to the okra.
I needed to make room for a new crop,
and although they were still producing,
it was time to pull them out.

It's always difficult to remove a crop that's doing so well,
but with limited space, you have to make those calls.
It's October, and the okra would not have done well
with the upcoming cold front moving through our area.

This crop was a real winner.
It's the Bradford Family variety that I got from Sow True Seed.
It had zero pest problems and grew with very little tending.
It will be in my summer garden next year for sure.

okra stem

Last week, I received my order of alliums,
in plenty of time to fill in the spaces of the raised beds
where the okra had been.
October is the perfect month to sow these crops.
Be sure to choose your location wisely,
as they need to stay in place for 9 months before harvest.

The variety chosen this year was a soft-neck type,
which stores much longer than the hard-neck version.
The hard-neck variety does better 
in colder parts of the country.
After breaking apart the large heads of garlic,
the most robust cloves were chosen for planting.
It's not necessary to peel the garlic of its skin,
but it is important to separate the cloves just before planting,
so they don't get too dried out.

The flat end goes in the ground,
about 2 inches down,
with the pointy end facing the sky.
They are spaced about 5 inches apart. 
Cover with soil and then compost or mulch,
and that's it!
Over the next few weeks,
growth will occur and then stop through the harsh winter months.
In spring, garlic will be one of the first things to take off in the garden.
Consistent watering will encourage growth
and fertilizing a couple of times will ensure your healthiest harvest come summer.

The French red shallots were also planted.
For folks who don't like garlic
(I can't imagine!),
shallots are a great alternative,
with a milder flavor and intensity. 
Sow True also carries Dutch Yellow shallots,
but I am trying these as an homage to my late momma.

These bulbs are significantly larger than the garlic,
but the same method is used.
As with garlic, a dozen or more cloves will be produced
from each individual bulb planted.

Unlike garlic, which is completely covered with soil,
shallots prefer to have their tops just barely under the surface.
An added layer of compost or mulch is beneficial for insulation
during the colder months.
If garlic is too potent for you,
 give shallots a try.
They are a very satisfying crop to grow,
even for the beginning gardener.

A few broccoli starts were transplanted
and added to the NE side of the garden.
With all the rain we've had this week,
they should be quite pleased.

With temperatures set to plummet today,
(our morning temps should be in the 50's),
we decided to celebrate the last gifts of summer.
So many gorgeous flowers graced our garden this year,
with more set to be planted in spring.

The change in temperature is a welcome respite,
and we are so happy to greet autumn with open arms!
Do you feel a change in the air?

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