Kentucky Fried Garden is my journal of vegetable gardening in humid western Kentucky USDA zone 7a. Knowing where my food comes from and whether it comes from non-genetically modified seed is important to me. I try to use open pollinated varieties in an effort to continue maintaining the diversity of food plants available to humans. Trying to extend the harvest by experimenting with hardier varieties and overwintering plants will be one of my projects.
October 31, 2015
Weather Watching and Planting the Last of the Winter Garden
Ah. Watching the weather with hawk-eyes, trying to outrun the cold and get some fall planting done. I finally got the last of the lettuce, spinach, Asian greens, radishes, carrots, beets and turnips planted about a week and a half later than I had planned but at least it’s done. I’m crossing my fingers and toes for a mild December like the weather people are predicting but we shall see. We’ve been eating lots of radish and turnip greens from thinning their beds, the radish greens are perfect because the stems cook up tender and thus they don't require de-stemming. The greens have been tasty sautéed with onions and garlic, a dash of Vietnamese fish sauce and sometimes finished off with a couple of eggs cracked over the top and cooked sunny-side up and then served atop rice. Sometimes I add a squeeze of lime but lately I've been eyeing the flavored vinegars at the grocery store.
The radish roots themselves have been pretty spicy with the warm weather, I’ve been giving them to a friend who enjoys the extra bite. The October planting of radishes should be wonderfully mild and crisp and grow to gargantuan size by early December.
And come to find out most of the carrot beds that were planted at the end of August are now pretty much shaded most of the day, so there’s little chance for those carrots to mature. The beds I’ve been planting this week get a lot more sun but it is getting way late in the season. Gardening in a new place does that to a person. Our old place got full sun all day long and everything grew and grew fast.
There's still 2 beds left that can be planted up but it's probably not going to happen. In the spring my husband is planning to till the whole yard and rake it flat, so garlic will have to be planted in containers.
October 29, 2015
Tomatoes Cleared Out And An Update On Late Summer Sown Vegetables
Finally cleared out the tomato beds. Such a chore. Getting the posts from the tomato fencing down was tough, my partner must have used a sledge hammer to pound them in the ground.
But it had to be done if there was any hope to get the lettuce, more spinach, carrots, turnips, and beets planted. I've been watering everyday by hand with the watering can while the newly emerging infant plants get established. It's been so dry this fall, we might have had one rain storm in September and a couple light rains in early October. The ground was so dry to begin with, the rain actually made the soil the perfect texture to dig. I'd been digging each bed as I got them cleared out and then planting them up one by one.
All the old seeds has been getting used up this fall which is so satisfying. If they don't come up I just seed something else in its place. A surprise was the ancient kohlrabi seeds from 2009 and 2011. All of them must have come up and now there's a 25 foot row of them. Hilarious. Especially since we've never eaten kohlrabi.
Carrots and radishes were planted together in a couple of beds. Never again. What a horrible mistake. When you pull radishes the carrot seedlings come up right along with them. It is so much trouble. But come to find out it's better to thin a bed when the soil is dry, I was able to carefully pull radishes without bringing up too many carrots along with them.
Did I ever mention they had a pitcher's mound in the middle of where the garden is now? A gigantic pile of sand. Huge. It's made the clay soil really friable in places, hopefully it'll make for long delicious carrots this winter.
They were predicting our first frost to be November 18th. We shall see. The weather had been in the 80's (26 degrees Celsius) the last couple of weeks, but has cooled down this week in the 60's and 70's.
These carrots were planted August 27th, so they are definitely growing slowly, very slowly.
Shogoin turnips planted at the same time as the carrots, this variety takes longer to mature in general and they are just starting to head up.
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