This weeks marks the point where I need to start seedling for our fall garden. If I count back from our expected frost date of Sept 22nd I see from the packages I actually should have started a couple of weeks ago. I should be okay though, I can always use the row covers if I need to.
The good thing about this time of year is I can start the seedlings in pots and keep them in a lightly shaded area right outside. Saving me the space in the house and work of setting up tables for them. Some like the lettuce, radish, spinach, carrots, beets and peas go directly in the ground.
Now the trick will be to find the space for these. This means son #1 will be helping me build the rest of the raised beds in the kitchen garden. They are going to go in the middle and probably be 3-4 feet wide and how ever long they can be and still leave a walk way all the way around it. In these I want to put the beets & carrots so they are close to the house and this winter I won’t have to walk through deep snow to find them. Through the use of thick mulch, hay bales and row covers I am going to try and store them directly in the ground and harvest as they are needed. In theory if started now and grown to maturity then left in the ground, protected well they should not freeze and store in the cool ground until I want them.
This year I didn’t get last year’s tomato bed even tilled over yet so it sits full of weeds. I put the tomatoes in the raised beds in the kitchen garden. Originally I didn’t want to do this I wanted the fenced kitchen garden space for more cucumbers and greens. It didn’t turn out that way so I’ll try it the other way around.
So here I would like new greens and root crops to dehydrate for chicken feed. And of course some of them for us too. I grew swiss chard and spinach earlier in the season and it grew to be quite large. I think this is what I will plant again for them. The carrots & beets planted this spring are just about ready so I will have those tops to dehydrate. I will save some of them and make a stock from them to go into the freezer for soup this winter.
Those green beans continue to run and are starting to flower. I put in a few poles for them to climb. It’s time again to start another section for a late harvest. I made a few jars of pickled green beans and froze a few bags so far. The rest we have eaten with our dinner.
All in all the kitchen garden is doing very well for a first year garden. I have a few things to write down for changes to next year’s lay out. I put the zucchini along the fence thinking it would be taller and should be in the back. It is, but I put cucumbers in front and they have nowhere to climb. So I either need to change those two around or remember to try bush type or non-running cucumbers next year.
I love that it is right outside the front door and I have 10 minutes or so each morning to pull the few weeds and give everything a quick check. It also looks very nice and everyone who sees it comments that it looks like a picture book garden all clean and neet. I agree.