03 September 2012

Fall Gardening

The weather right now isn't very convincing, but it is time for fall gardening - maybe even late.  Last week when I added the gardening calendar to the site, I realized that I was a little behind.  Still, I decided to plant everything I could.  There's still time for cool-season crops like broccoli, lettuce and radishes, but time is running out (or has run out) on late summer crops like beans and squash.  That's what I've been thinking about this weekend.

There's a feed store near where I've been attending a gardening class the past several Tuesdays - one time I bought chicken feed, another time hay.  I noticed that they had a large variety of seeds for sale.  Once I made the gardening calendar, I made plans to buy seeds for everything that I need to plant in the coming weeks, as well as what I should have planted already.  I bought a leaf lettuce, two types of radishes, two types of summer squash and two types of winter squash, and broccoli plants to transplant in the garden.
I put the broccoli in the other day and planted a few winter squash seeds, but saved the rest of my work until now.  I was looking up some of the seeds online last night to see if there was anything special I needed to know.  Mostly, I was curious about how long it would take them to reach maturity and whether the squash was a bush- or vine-type.  The "days to maturity" is important to know for the warm-seasons vegetables like beans and squash, because we have only a limited number of days until a frost.  Also, I planned to grow the squash on a trellis, so I wanted to know which ones would vine and which ones would bush.

The butternut squash I bought is 90-100 days, which means it's too late in the year to plant it.  Our first frost date is about November 20th, which gives me less than 90 days.  The other winter squash I bought is an acorn squash.  Its listed around 70-80 days, but it's a bush-type, which is not what I want for trellising.

I think I'm going to skip the squash this late in the season, go with the cool season crops - lettuce, radish and broccoli - and plant some beans, which, if they don't give me any pods, I can still turn them under, giving me a little nitrogen for my next planting.

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