By Amy W. Hill
It’s October, and for most home gardeners this is a time to start slowing down. Tomato season is over. Green beans and melons are spent. Maybe you grew your Halloween pumpkin and it’s time to carve it.
For me, this is a time to gear up. With the kids back in school and hot temperatures abating, I have (slightly) more time and energy to think about gardening. I am around more, but the insects and fungal diseases, for the most part, are not.
And I am fortunate to live in a part of the country where I can garden year-round. For the past few years, I’ve raised root crops and greens at a local community garden. This year, I’m hoping to try it at home.
The seed catalogues have already begun appearing, and yesterday I dug out some packets of lettuce and winter herbs tucked away in an airtight jar in the back of the refrigerator, which I’d kept since my spring sowing. Technically, it is a little late to direct-seed most greens in Zone 7b, but I have had luck in the past with spinach, kale, lettuce, and chard even into November. I’m also keen to try my hand at garlic in the home garden.
My primary goal this fall is to go slowly. The seed catalogues tempt me with unusual foliage and flavors, but my limited space forces me to pick and choose. And my secondary goal is to remember to repeat sowings every few weeks. This year, I’m putting a reminder on my online calendar, set to repeat every two weeks. If I can just sow a little bit here and a little bit there, I should be able to keep myself in salad all winter.
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