The End of Summer in the Garden
Labor Day marks the end of hot summers and the beginning of the cool fall season. It also is what we like to call the changing of the gardens. Around the middle of September those of us in the Southern California region will begin to remove our harvested summer vegetables and fruits. Everything we take out of the garden gets chopped up and added to our compost to provide nutrients for our future crops.
We like to sit down in the month of August to plan out how much vegetables we would like to harvest for the winter months. What ever extras we have we donate to local food pantries. Planning our winter crops is just as important as planning your spring crops. We also like to cut back, cover, and keep certain plants warm during the colder months. As we are big fermentors we will be cutting back our hops and our California Natives. I like to wait as long as possible before cutting back natives to allow pollinators the chance to collect the pollen that they need.
We add chicken fertilizer and compost to our soil to increase our available nutrients for our winter planting. Remember when using chicken fertilizer you should allow about two weeks to pass before planting or the fertilizer will burn the roots of your starters and the seeds that you sow directly in the ground. After the two weeks we begin to plant our seeds and plant our starters.
This season we will be growing:
Crimson Clover, Mustard, Leek, Radish, Alyssum, Winter Peas, Swiss Chard, Radicchio, Endive, Nasturtium, Parsnip, Brussel Sprouts, Bok Choy, Kale, Napa Cabbage, Broccoli, Green Onions, and Beets
To protect our starters from larger pests we use wire baskets or covered frames. Once everything is planted we will spread cedar mulch around the garden to prevent weeds from popping up.