At the beginning of August I started sowing one row per week of beets, carrots, endive, and parsnips. I’ll continue with these through September, or until I run out of room, except for the carrots, which keep getting planted until the first week of November.
In a week, I’ll start successive sowings of winter hardy lettuces like Winter Wonderland and Rouge d’Hiver romaines. September 1, spinach gets sown in flats and the resulting seedlings (fingers crossed) get planted out starting two weeks later.
We want a ton of spinach. We’ve never had enough spinach to feed our spinach-hungry faces. That is one of the holy grails of home gardening I have always aspired to.
Also, in the first week of October, in goes the mache and claytonia, very cold tolerant salad greens.
As I tear out crops which have finished, like the cantaloupes, cucumbers, and watermelon, I top-dress the beds with compost to replenish the soil and start sowing seeds.
For the record, the cantaloupes (Delicious 51) were a mixed bag: I only got about six or seven ‘lopes, two of which were eaten by raccoons, and the rest were pretty bland-tasting. Not particularly delicious at all, but edible. I’m not blaming the variety, because cultural factors are a part of taste as well as genetics, so I’m sure Delicious 51 is tasty for some folks.
As for the watermelons, there were three. They never got much bigger than cantaloupes and one was eaten by raccoons, one developed a little hole in the bottom which was the entree for ants which ate the center out of it before I noticed, and the third split after a week of rain.
The cucumbers did well, so one out of the three. I have another bed of cucumber vines starting up where those finished, hopefully I will beat the cucumber beetles and stink bugs to a few actual cucumbers from those new vines.
In other pest news, something is eating my beet seedlings.
I haven’t caught anybody in the act yet. Slugs? Sowbugs? Vampires?
I suppose I will have to start wrestling with row covers if I want to save them. Anybody with row cover advice (best row covers, best way to use them, water over them, obsessively check under them, etc.) please chime in.