Okay, so the weather is weird. My basil hasn’t turned black yet, and usually that happens by October 15. I’m also still harvesting pattypan squashes, which has never happened before for me in November. Plus, I have tomatoes and lettuces together for once, and the tomatoes show no sign of stopping just yet. Peppers as well are still flowering, as is my eggplant! Advice is tough to offer regarding gardening in our grow zone, which was recently changed to 8A (south of about Lenox Road in Atlanta) from 7B. So, let me do my best to give you some timely gardening advice:
1. Yes, you can still plant fall crops, as this local community gardener is doing. Go with transplants, although the radish seeds children tossed last week are up already. If you’re tossing cover crop seeds (and trust me, you’re going to be glad you did when they are blooming beautifully in the spring), I’d say you have about two more weeks, if you want winter cover. I planted them a few years ago around December 5 and they didn’t grow until the spring, but then they took off. Then again, as we are seeing, every year is a bit different with the weather so there is really no telling, so feel free to experiment and see how far you can push the limits.
2. If you have leafy greens like lettuce, arugula, spinach, and tatsoi growing, you want to start thinking about covering them with row covers. This lightweight gauzy fabric adds a few degrees of warmth, protects from wind, and lets air, water, and sunlight penetrate. I have found that either single-covering or double-covering keeps me in harvests all winter. This is especially enjoyable when there is snow and I get to go out and snip my salads! Here is a little video on how to hoop and cover your bed. Farmer D Organics has row cover fabric. You may need two lengths clipped together to be wide enough to cover hoops.
3. Consider doing an herb bed on your kitchen counter and keep the healthy, green vibe going all winter within easy snipping distance. I think Farmer D’s little herb boxes are just about the cutest things in the world. I’ve tried growing in other boxes, like clementine crates, but they fall apart. One stop at the store will have you in love with them (there are even some pre-planted with herbs already), or you can order online.
4. If you haven’t planted your garlic yet, now’s your last chance this year. Here’s how.
5. Add crushed leaves as mulch around your plants, or even just on your bare beds (especially if you don’t get around to cover-cropping), for a little extra warmth and a boost of nutrients as the leaves break down.
Swing by the store or tap in online for gardening advice. We’re happy to help you keep growing. Do us a favor, if you would, and help us keep growing, too. Share our Farmer D Organics Holiday Gift Guide with your friends, and consider our unique product offerings for your holiday gifts.