Saturday, August 1, 2009

Succession plantings for vegetables

Those of us in warm climates have LONG gardening seasons, and fall vegetable gardens do wonderfully well, with the hardiest kales and cabbages overwintering for spring harvest. Often winter varieties of lettuce and spinach overwinter, too, providing a head start on late winter and early spring growth.

It's hard to imagine on a hot, humid August day, when parched plants are grateful for the hose.

My second round of squash and tomatoes are doing well, although the dry weather is encouraging powdery mildew on squash leaves.

Not surprisingly, the root-knot nematodes problems in the main vegetable garden weren't vanquished by the supposed predatory nematodes, but I did get quite a few squash and beans from early plantings before they went into decline (and show the definite knobby galls of root-knot nematodes on their roots).

But fall is not far away, and I'm thinking about the different varieties of kale, spinach, and lettuce (as well as beets, chard, and turnips) to sow in the coming weeks. And maybe I'll put in a round of fall edible flowers: calendula, borage, nasturtiums, and violas.

This time of the year is definitely trying for Southern gardeners. A friend who writes the weekly garden column in our main regional newspaper had a great piece today that describes our August gardening dilemmas. It's hot, it's humid, and we need to be out there early in the morning or in the evening. And those darn Asian mosquitoes that have invaded the Southeast in recent years are really annoying (they fly all day long and reproduce in a drop of water). So even those of us who never had mosquitoes before have these, making repellents (however nasty) an unfortunate necessity.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I feel as though "I have bug bites" is my middle name.
    I am giving up on tomatoes-- found more green ones half eaten laying in the garden.

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