1439 Henderson Tanyard Rd., Pittsboro, NC info@shakorihills.org 919-704-9174

Happening in the Garden 8/27/12

Hello garden folks!

Hope that all are well and enjoying the garden and the cool weather. I think fall has more or less arrived – I’d be surprised if it got super-hot again, at least not for very long. Unusual, for sure, but I’ll take it.

Some of the following topics pertain to planning activities and what to grow for fall. Feel free to comment or give feedback through email to the whole group. We can get a conversation going this way. Speaking of conversation, I think it would be cool to arrange a group meet-up/work day so we can all meet each other. Maybe we can even come up with a “permanent” best day to work together. My best availability is now Thursday afternoon through Monday (my class is Thursday morning) Let’s talk about the best day to get together.

We have two and a half beds open right now for fall planting, so folks should speak up concerning what they are interested in growing. I, for example, have an interest in spinach and I know that My would very much like some space devoted to traditional (curly) kale. What fall vegetables would you like to grow?


We have a new member, Tabitha. Welcome to the garden!

Summer crops are still plugging along out there and while some things are winding down, other crops are really beginning to flourish.

All the climbing beans are looking good and we’ve finally got them turned around and headed up! Thanks to all who put work into this. The corn is making tassles, so hopefully we’ll get some good corn in a few weeks. The sunflowers are blooming and standing up nice and tall! The sweet potatoes have really taken off and are shading the weeds very well (thanks also to Kearney and his mulching in the aisles). These plant look very healthy – I think we might get a pretty good haul on sweet potatoes this year. (BTW, if anyone is out there and notices leaves eaten in the sweet potatoes, this is a sign of a grounghog, which we have dealt with every year. Let me or My know and we can lay a trap for him.)

Tomatoes are still producing, but winding down and it looks like the second planting is getting some pretty heavy disease – a definite risk for a later plantings in a rainy year. The melons are finishing off – there are probably still a few more to get out there. The bush green bean were finally ready to go with the last gleaning harvest happening last Friday. The sweet peppers are doing the best they can considering being blown over by the storm last month. You’ll find the best ones under a protective cover of leaves. The hot pepper plants are finally beginning to yield, so don’t forget to get some. Leeks are showing signs of what looks like disease – perhaps due to so much rain. We should go ahead and start eating them even though they usually grow until late fall – I’m worried that we will lose them altogether if we wait. I don’t think that we should just pull them all out at once, but beginning by harvesting the worst-looking ones first would be a good idea. Finally, it looks like we lost all the butternut squash to the squash bugs and disease, and quickly. I was surprised to see it happened so fast when I got back from vacation. It happens sometimes, and there aren’t a lot of organic options when it does. Next year we will try to plant earlier and try not to put them close to where the squash was the previous year.

Things to do right now:

1) Clear out all the dead and diseased butternut squash plants, load it all in a wheelbarrow and carry it up the road and dump it in the woods, far from the garden.
2) Pull large weeds out of strawberries, sweet potatoes and along fence line that divides the two sections of the garden. (This is mainly about not letting any weeds go to seed in the garden, if possible)
3) The electric fence could really use some maintenance: replacing any missing or loose stand-outs and “gateway” wires would put it right pretty quickly (My, do you know offhand what supplies we have on the farm right now?)
5) Continue training up the climbing beans in both sections of the garden.
6) Continue tying up the second planting of tomatoes.
7) Plant fall crops as soon as we decide what we want 🙂

Thanks everyone and talk to you soon!