The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Planning for fall

Pea seedling

We plant some of our fall crops in June (brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli) and July (carrots, peas). But August is really the make-or-break month for our fall garden. This is when I decide which beds are going to be seeded in oats or oilseed radishes and taken out of commission for the rest of the year, and which will instead feed us lettuce and leafy greens all fall and winter, along with slowly bulking up garlic and potato onion bulbs for next spring.

My August goal is always to have the entire garden planted in something by the end of the month. That might be lingering summer vegetables (sometimes with cover crops interplanted for fall), buckwheat to hold the ground for later plantings, fall cover crops, or the first tender shoots of autumn vegetables. There's no place for weed patches in our fall garden!

Cat silhouette

Once the August planting push is done, the garden slowly begins to calm down. While the landscape remains vibrant, there's less work after everything's planted and mulched, and Mark and I start thinking of our fall vacation. We're planning a staycation this year, probably in late September or early October. It's nice to have a carrot to dangle in front of our noses when the sun pounds down on our heads and the garden threatens to eat us alive (rather than vice versa). We hope to visit Bristol Caverns, go on a hike, and generally rest and relax. I can hardly wait!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I've planted lettuce, spinach and cole crops but they all seem to die with the first frost/freeze. How are you keeping your lettuce and spinach from dying from the cold?
Comment by NaYan Sat Aug 8 09:30:19 2015
NaYan --- We use quick hoops to extend our growing season.
Comment by anna Sat Aug 8 09:48:38 2015

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