Plant Fall Garden Vegetables as Midseason Replacements
Disasters of all kinds can hit your garden at any time; be prepared with fall garden vegetables that serve as wonderful midseason vegetable replacements.
A gardener plants a broad bean plant, a great fall garden vegetable to use as a midseason replacement.
I knew my garden was in trouble when my pea plants went on strike. After sprouting, they remained low to the ground and seemed in no hurry to grow upward.
It had been a wet spring. The weather gods had decided to give the Northeast all of the Northwest’s rain, leaving New England submerged while Washington state suffered a drought. But I thought peas would do well in the wet spring, since they are a cool-weather crop.
One morning, I awoke around dawn and decided to do some early gardening. I soon discovered the reason why my peas were stunted. An army of slugs blanketed the wet ground, chowing down on everything in their path. I looked around at the rows of veggies I thought were slow in coming up and realized that they had already come and gone.
Many gardeners have experienced similar sinking feelings with their patches. Maybe you’ve woken to find a herd of deer munching your beans to the ground. Maybe you’ve discovered your dog’s been digging up a new row of your garden every night. Or maybe you’ve finally realized those red and black bugs on your potato plants aren’t really ladybugs.
It would be tempting to throw in the trowel, but that would be a waste of a good gardening season. You have all winter to curse your fate, but for now you need to get busy.
While the ground is clear of frost, there’s hope. You can still grow a bountiful crop if you’re willing to fill holes with whatever works. Throw out that carefully drawn diagram of your garden; it’s time to improvise.
Stop the bleeding
First, take a good look around the garden and see if you can improve the chances of survival for replacement fall garden vegetables. Nothing’s more frustrating than seeing the next round of seeds meet the same fate as the first.
If the problem is critters, like rabbits or deer, erect a fence or find some other way to eliminate the welcome mat. If your problem is slugs or bugs, you can opt for a natural pesticides (beer traps work wonders with slugs!) or consider manually evicting them. (Be sure to wear gloves, as it can be sticky work.)
No matter what the problem, consider spending more time in the garden every day. Often, as in my case, garden problems get out of hand because of gardener inattention. You shouldn’t blame yourself for bad weather, but the only way to help your garden is to notice that it needs help.
Dispel false hope
Next, you need to let go of all illusions. Consult your seed packets and check germination rates for rows of crops that aren’t showing signs of life. If things don’t come up soon after the packet says they should, they never will.
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