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I was out watering the garden this afternoon, preparing to put on the row cover again. Everything is extremely dry, and with the row covers on, any rain we get tomorrow will not make a lot of difference in the extremely dry soil. When I checked on the carrots, I found that there were a few carrots that were a nice size for snacking.

The bigger, orangier carrots are ‘Napoli’ and the more pink/salmon colored carrots are ‘Atomic Red’. Yum!

Experimental Planting

If you remember back almost a month, I posted these plans for our fall garden.  As I explained then, these are experimental plans that are pushing the envelope of what may be possible here in South Central Kansas.

On Tuesday, we did our first planting of spinach, lettuce, and other greens for the planting date trial. Yesterday, I transplanted the leek and onion seedlings into the other bed. I also planted carrots, beets, radishes, chard, lettuce, spinach, and other greens. As always, how things are on paper isn’t quite how they work out in real life. In this case, I just couldn’t bring myself to pull out the cantaloupe plants, so I planted around them.

Row after row of fall veggies. I’ll probably throw a few more seeds into the spot where the melons are when they are done.

Some of the leek and onion seedling look really good, while others look a little sad. I guess the worst case scenario is that they all die, and the other worst cast scenario is that we have some nice plants that can take off and grow in the spring.

Fall Garden Plans

As promised, here are the two Fall Gardens that I’m planning on right now.

Spinach & Greens

This garden is mostly a planting date test, as well as a test to see how much of the winter the spinach will still be harvestable. It will also be interesting to see which plantings of spinach will be harvestable first in the spring. Of course, the results are very dependent on what type of winter we have and how cold it gets how soon. I’m planning to use either 1 or 2 thicknesses of a lightweight row cover fabric throughout the winter, since spinach shouldn’t need much protection.  Our general recommendation for planting fall spinach is to plant from mid-August to mid-September and harvest by early November. I know we can go a lot later than that, so I’m definitely pushing the envelope on planting dates here.

Root Vegetables & More

This garden will have a variety of root vegetables, including carrots, beets, fall radishes, leeks, and onions. I’ll probably also plant some bok choy or other Asian greens. Most of these vegetables are usually planted in early August for a fall garden, so waiting until early September may be pushing our luck. Or, we might go ahead and plant some of them a couple weeks early. The goal with these vegetables is to see how long into the winter they will retain enough quality to continue harvesting and also to see if any of them will overwinter for an early spring crop. We’ll be covering this garden with a 4 mil clear greenhouse plastic in late November or early December, whenever it starts getting consistently cold.

Harvest Report

Even though the garden is looking a little bit scorched, we still had a good haul of produce this morning. There was a big pile of cucumbers from the Asian Garden, over-sized long beans, several nice tomatoes, and a few gold zucchini from around the garden.

The Family of 4 Garden yielded quite a bounty, especially since we harvested the rest of the carrots and beets today. We’ll be replanting soon, so this will give the spot a short rest.

This Week’s Harvest:

2 bunches of beets @ $3.00/bunch = $6.00

2 bunches of carrots @ $2.00/bunch = $4.00

4 cucumbers @ $0.75/each = $3.00

5 oz. peppers @ $2.50/pound = $0.78

10 squash blossoms @ $0.50/each = $5.00

1 bunch Swiss Chard @ $2.99/bunch = $2.99

1 lb tomatoes @ $2.00/lb = $2.00

3/4 lb zucchini @ $1.50/lb = $1.13

Weekly Total = $24.90

Yearly Total = $163.86

Harvest Report

I was informed that I need to post about what we harvested in the garden this week, even though that harvest is pretty pitiful.

First off, we harvested about 1 1/2 gallon bags of beans – a beautiful mix of purple, yellow, and Italian green beans.

And that was it. Seriously. I didn’t even manage to take a picture of our bountiful bean harvest, despite walking past it 5 times with the camera. Surely that rates me as a complete and total failure as a blogger. Wait! I can fix it!

There, just for all of you, I walked out to the garden, picked a handful of beans, and laboriously photographed them just so you can get a little taste of what our beans looked like. Now I have to do something with them…like toss them unceremoniously into our curry tonight. I will tolerate almost any amount of vegetable prep in the kitchen, but I HATE prepping fresh beans.

One thing we didn’t harvest was gold zucchini? Why? Because for some strange reason, the initial zucchinis have not been adequately pollinated, so they keep dying after a couple days. Like so.

Isn’t it sad looking? Of course, I could have solved the problem by eating it while the flower was still on it, but it’s always nice to at least give your vegetables a chance to produce first. Happily, I think there’s a couple that have been successfully pollinated now.

Yesterday I harvested 1 bunch of beets and a 1/2 bunch of carrots from the Family of 4 Garden to use for our Brown Bag Lunch in the Garden recipe. Yes, the theme tomorrow is Beets & Carrots. (I decided to lump them all together, instead of doing 2 separate weeks.)

Aren’t they gorgeous? You have to come now, right? Yellow carrots and chioggia beets are coming your way! In case you’re counting, I estimate that it’s about $4 worth of veggies, bringing our running total to $94.