Preparing the Fall Garden

Reader Contribution by Faithful Homesteader
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Our summer garden was a bust because of heavy flooding, but now it is time to put that behind us and prepare our fall garden. I certainly hope our fall garden will do better than the summer one. I am still mourning the loss of my tomatoes, but life goes on.

My husband has been busy tilling and getting everything ready for planting. We had a wet spring, but a dry summer so tilling was a challenge because the ground was so hard and dry. He certainly had a good workout trying to bust through that dry ground.

Because of the hot climate, we use a couple inches of mulch for a cover. It shields the soil, keeps the temperature of the soil cooler and, of course, helps to retain moisture by slowing down evaporation. We use straw, leaves and pine needles for mulch. Throughout the year, it starts to decompose and turn into compost. We then till it into the ground for the fall garden. We also use composted cow manure and till it in as well. Doing all this helps to build the soil up because ours is mostly sand.

This was the patch for tomatoes. Now we will see what we can grow for fall.

My husband worked hard on this patch of ground.

This fall/winter we are planning to grow garlic, kohlrabi, carrots, turnips, radishes, lettuce, cabbage, peas and oats. My husband likes to experiment with growing different things, even stuff we never eat. We have to figure out what to do with the new crops. Until a couple years ago, I had never had kohlrabi, then my husband decided to grow some. Our chickens really liked it and so did we. We used the bulbs like we would potatoes and fed the leafy greens to our chickens. Last year was the first time that I ever ate radishes. The main way we used them was in a stir-fry type of dish.

It is great to have fresh garden vegetables. The less money we can spend at the store the better. It is always interesting to see how the garden does since my husband likes to experiment.

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