The summer has been slipping past us. We only have a few more weeks of true summer growing and now is the time to start thinking and planning your fall gardens. Of course, if you've had enough for one year than it's simple. You can begin to start closing your gardens down. I will talk about this at a later date with the things that I do to prepare my gardens for the next growing season. But since SFG'ers haven't worked all that hard in the garden, we usually have plenty of energy to extend the season. Right now is the time to plan and order things like garlic and scallions. This will go directly into the ground and will grow throughout the winter to be harvested in the springtime. In addition to feeding my family I now have the extra work of feeding 3 other people. If you saw my previous post I described a way to make some extra money from your SFG's. And it's put me to work. I had already decided what I was going to grow(seeds that I already had)and what varieties I would offer(also things I already had.) Talk about no start up costs! Picture your fall gardens when the weather has significantly cooled, the days are shorter, and the pests are gone. This is the perfect time to re-plant-from seed if you'd like-things like sugar snap peas, all varieties of lettuce, scallions, kale, Swiss chard, radishes, carrots, beets, spinach, etc. Now is also the time to start-from seed-items that grow well in cold weather that you'll have time to harvest. This would include things like the cabbage(don't plant them near your tomatoes!), brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. The timing would be pretty good. If you plant them now, by Labor day weekend you'll have 30 days of growth already under way. Add another 30 days until October 1st, and your not at 60 days. Depending on when your real hard winter starts, Here in zone 6 we have an additional 30 days after that-adding up to 90 days of growth-where you can continue to grow. Many of these items don't have to even be covered as they do very well in cold weather and even snow. All your produce items may have to be covered up if a hard freeze is the weather. But if you plant those things right now-from seed-you'll have plenty of time to grow and harvest as they will be done in about 6 weeks time. The picture showing is of 8 tomato plants taking up 8 square feet. You can see that they are different heights-reflecting when I put them in the round. The ones on the right hand of the picture were put in the ground about 3 weeks earlier than the 4 plants on the left side. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't plant that many tomato plants successfully that close together. This picture is about 2 weeks old and right now there are tons of blossoms on each of them.
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