Friday, August 3, 2012

Planting for a fall crop

This picture is taken underneath the area in the garden where the beans and tomatoes are growing.  They form this great shaded area where moisture is retained in the mulch well enough for mushrooms to grow.  The grey thing towards the middle is actually a little volunteer mushroom.  This means to me that I did a good job with the mulch and the additional help from the shade layer is retaining plenty of moisture for my plants.  Hopefully, this should also be enough moisture for me to plant a fall crop among these plants.  I have always failed in my attempts at growing a fall crop in the past because I'm not good about remembering to go out and water the new seeds.  If fact, I rarely water my garden at all.  That is why it is important for me to use as many methods as possible to retain water.  It looks like this year there may finally be a good set up for my fall plants to be able to sprout.  I planted radish, turnip, lettuce, spinach, and kale.  The plan is to throw the seeds around with a little soil cover and then wait and see if I set things up for them well.  I also planted quinoa among my corn and nasturtiums.  That may have a harder time since the corn doesn't provide as nice a shade layer as the leafy tomatoes and beans.  As the plants start sprouting and the beans are finishing up providing, I will slowly cut them back so the strong plants underneath can get the sun that they need.  The bean plans I cut will be spread on the ground around the fall crop to continue retaining water for the new plants.  The roots of the beans will stay in the ground to break down and provide organic matter for future plants as well.  Bean roots are extra nice because they have the nitrogen nodules on the roots that are so good for the future plants as well.  Well this all sounds good in theory, we will soon see if it is going to work well or not.

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