Nothing like taking 2 weeks off from gardening in July!! We recently left town with everything little, mulched and ready to grow, and upon returning– well grow it did!! There was a ton of work waiting for me when I returned and though I haven’t gotten through it, I feel invigorated to do so,especially with this glorious cloudy weather in the skies above!! I often need this break, after a big push in the spring, often mid June, I am simply done! I let my greens go to seed in the swelling summer heat and I sit back and sip lemonade, or better yet split town. Even though am always happiest to come home, that break really helps me with perspective, refreshing my brain and helping me find new energy. Now that I have been ‘refreshed’ I wander the garden a find in doesn’t have mush to yield me right now with the exception of abundant Basil,some promising green Tomatoes, tiny Cucumbers and an amazing array of flowers
Beyond the beauty I mostly just have work to do…..I have got tomatoes to prune and tie, garlic to harvest, onions to harvest, lots of lettuce, spinach and cilantro seed to harvest…..and then when I do all that I let my chickens and turkeys lose to forage and clean up the rest. After they do their number my garden will be pretty wide open for a whole new spring of sorts…well fall I guess.
With this rain and cooling weather it is a wonderful time to make way for all those fall crops. technically we could still have almost 90 good days of growing season left so we might as well fill the garden with seeds rather than weeds….
So you might ask what do I plant and when? Well…. I may experiment with sowing an extremely late crop of Summer Squash and transplanted Basil… and then I will plant more Carrots, Beets, Lettuce, Kale, Chard, Bok Choy, Fennel, Spinach, Cilantro, Dill, Radishes and then more Lettuce from seed…..probably in that order in the next 2-3 weeks. Hey I might even try Marigolds, nasturtiums and Cosmos to see if I can get anything this late in the game. If you are doing the same and want an another encouragement I found this coaxing email for Johnny’s Select Seed Company telling you all the fall varieties they are selling and even a handy planting guide quite convincing. Succession planting is really the key to a constant food supply so I remember, you don’t have to plant everything all at once. Spacing things a couple of weeks apart will in turn space your harvesting a couple of weeks a part making your fall abundance constant!
Since I nurse my garden along through Christmas and somethings into the new year, this planting succession is crucial for my food supply for the next six months and has proven to be the most abundant time in my garden. I too start to perk up with the rain and relish in all the green that blesses our high desert soils this time of year… so throw out those seeds I say, and give thanks for the rain!!!