The Garden Plot

Ray Baird

The garden in autumn is interesting – One thing that makes the autumn garden most interesting is there is less work involved and temperatures are more comfortable. Plus there are few insects to contend with. Cool weather vegetables planted in autumn, if taken care of, will provide harvest all the way into winter. There’s still time to start cabbage and broccoli plants, onion sets, a row or bed of mustard, mixed, or Siberian kale greens, turnips and collard plants. They will grow quickly because the coolness of September soil will retain more moisture which promotes growth of cool weather vegetables.

Siberian kale is sweetest of the greens – Autumn is the season to sow row or bed of greens and Siberian kale is tough and cold weather resistant and produces from late autumn all the way through winter. An ounce of also an 8 x 4‘ race bed or a 40 foot row.

A good organic fertilizer for autumn vegetables – A quick acting organic fertilizer for cool weather vegetables at a very reasonable price at around five dollars a bag is named Dr. Earth‘s organic. It is sold at Home Depot. It has a fine texture and a little goes a long way. It blends well into the soil and promotes quick growth in autumn soil. This product proves that organic does not have to be expensive and this product is practical and effective.

Keeping a lookout on late green tomatoes of autumn – The first frost date is usually around October 15 which is a little more than a month away. There should be plenty of green tomatoes developing on the late tomato vines. Apply liquid miracle grow tomato fertilizer to perk them up and get them to green tomato harvest stage so you can harvest them and wrap in sheets of newspaper and place in shallow box to ripen inside the house to provide a ripe tomatoes in late autumn after frost arrives.

Enjoying a large county fair near you – There have been plenty of small county fairs in our area that have been interesting as well as entertaining and educational. As we move into mid September, the larger players come on the autumn scene with giant rides, sideshows, huge exhibits and displays and free shows. Some large fairs in our area are the Mountain Fair in Fletcher which is near Asheville, Catawba County Fair in Hickory, Alamance County Fair in Burlington, Cabarrus County Fair in Concord, Davidson County Fair in Lexington, Rowan County Fair in Salisbury, Dixie Classic in Winston-Salem and NC State Fair in Raleigh. Fairs are great family entertainment for all and offer fun for every age. Enjoy a whole day and night of fun, unusual food concoctions, shows, rides, and entertainment at a fair near you.

The garden plot is now in slow down mode – There are still some red tomatoes as well as sweet and hot peppers to harvest and most cool weather vegetables are sprouting as well as new set out cabbage and broccoli plants. Onion sets are in the ground but have not sprouted yet. The warm weather vegetables only have a few more weeks in their season, but the garden will have some life in it in every season of the year.

A season of color is now arriving – The nip in the September air is causing a tint of color in dogwoods, silver Maples, and birch trees as well as elms. With a bright blue sky, their colors standout like paint on an artist canvas. In another month, Jack Frost will touch the leaves and the season of raking leaves will begin.

The sound of thunder in September – A thunderstorm in September is not very unusual because we do have some warm days and enough humidity to produce a thunderstorm even though they may not be of the severe type. September is also the hurricane season so a hurricane off the coast can result in thunder and some rain to go along with it. A bit of a lore goes along with the thunder in the month of September and the lore states that thunder in September is a sign of abundant crops of fruits and vegetables next year in farms and gardens. Rumble on big boomers of September!

Hummers are getting ready to move south – The hummingbirds are still around and will be with us for several more weeks. Summer flowers are slowing down, so keep nectar in the feeders to keep them tanked up for their long journey to Mexico in the next several weeks. Replace nectar in feeders twice a week to prevent fermentation.

Getting the barn or shed organize for spring – Now that cool weather vegetables have been planted, it’s time to organize and clean up the outside storage building and get ready for winter and spring. Play snow shovels in the front of the building. Hang up all hoes, rakes, and garden tools. Sweep the building floor, store supplies and spray. Place everything where you will know where it is at the time you need it.

Ray Baird