2021 Fall Garden Observations

Weather

  • Temperature
    • Mid August’s high was in the low 90s and dry. Temps fell to high 80s about 8/25/21.
    • September ‘s high was 91 but only for a day. Most days were in the high 80 and low 70’s at sunrise.
    • End of September, soil temps still in the low 90’s at 3 pm in the sun.
    • First Frosts – Air temp was 35° and dew point was 34°. But, the tomatoes, peas, and peppers were not damaged.
    • Third Frost was 11/27/2021 – Air Temp was 32 and dew point was 30. Frost blanket on the tomatoes protected them. Everything else had been well watered. Peppers still going strong.
    • Fourth Frost was 11/30/2021 – At 3:30 AM air temp was 37° and dew point was 36.5°. Frost blankets saved the tomatoes. Again the peppers were not damaged.
    • Fifth Frost was 12/22 &23/2021 – Frost blankets saved the tomatoes. Again the peppers were not damaged.
  • Rain
    • August – Total of 13″. Hard, extended downpours.
    • September – Total of 7.35″. The heaviest rain was up to 4.32 inches per hour and in 25 minutes dropped 1.5 inches.
    • October – Dry month with one heavy 2.41″ rain on the 26th that packed the soil.
    • November 22 – Got a quick 0.35 inches of rain as a front blew through. First rain since 10/26/21. Other than a few very light showers, heaviest being 0.07″, November only recieved the 0.35″ on 11/22/2021.
    • December 6 – Got 0.48″ of rain that is the first since 11/22/2021.
    • December 9 – Got 1.42″

Insects & Diseases

  • August 3rd week – Flea Beetles hit the squash, bean, and pea seedlings. Sprayed with malathion and spinosad.
  • Found aphids in a few places but not widespread.

Beans

  1. Rocdor – An experiment that failed.
    1. coming up 8/15 after sowing on 8/11; 4 days!
    2. Did not get full germination so plants are spread far apart.
    3. Flea Beetles hit them about 8/21.
    4. 10/15/21 most of the pods had turned yellow with small peas so picked them all. Had enough for two meals for the two of us. They did not taste like anything special and given the poor production (four servings from a 30 ft row) we will not try them again.
  2. Colter – An experiment that failed. Poor germination and plants struggled to the death. Not Again.
  3. MS Purple Crowder did well.

Beets – Detroit Dark Red Beet

  1. Bought at G&D.
  2. Soaked 30 minutes, rinsed, repeated 5 times. The first sowing did not come up likely due to the soil being too hot.
  3. Second sowing with the soil temp in the recommended range, and seeds rinsed 6 times several weeks in advance, came up great. While germinating, there was no rain, so lightly sprinkled every day so no water puddled and all soaked in immediately to not create a crust.
  4. 1/18/2022 – Small plants are not growing.

Brocolli

  • Bought 6 Bonnies Green Magic Broccoli plants and planted at same time as sowed first seeds.
  • 10/1/2021 – Green Magic Broccoli seeds came up well and Bonnies growing well.
  • 1/18/2022 – All ages of brocolli are producing heads and when cut most produce secondary small heads. Good production and should plant in the early spring 2022 garden.

Carrots

  • Waited until the soil cooled but still had no noticable germination.
  • Failure of:

Corn

  • 8/11/2021 – Some corn has come up 6 days after sowing.
  • Hard rains and wind in late August thru Sep may be why it was stunted.
  • has a mineral deficinency that Epsom salts sprayed on seemed to help but did not fix it.
  • 10/10/2021 – Gave up and disced them under to sow mustard seeds as ground cover to also kill RNKs. Johnny Sessions said his also failed and he believes it was due to the heavy rains as last year his fall corn did well.

Cucumbers

Poinsett 76 grew short runners and a few blooms but did not set fruit before dying in the heavy rains and drought.

Multiplying Onions

  • First planting – Late August sowed about 18 ft. Small bulbs planted 3″ apart with dbl row hole spacer came up well. By the last week of Sep Mary is starting to pull some.
  • 10/7/2021 – Planted 15 feet of a dbl row with 1 lb of onion sets
  • Replanted more and as usual they did well and provided onions when everything else struggled. Likely this is the only variety we should plant.

Mustard

Savanna Mustard from HOSS sowed 10/7/2021 grew well and our first harvest was 11/12/21. The mild flavor and tender leaves are very nice. Something eat small round holes in the leaves and damaged a lot of it.

10/16/2021 – Sowed Florida Broad Leaf as a cover crop in the north half, east 3 rows plus where the fall corn was that failed. Heavy rain after a good stand of 2-leaf plants was up killed a lot of it.

Peas

  1. MS Purple Crowder
    1. peas sowed for a cover crop to mitigate RKNs came up well 8-9 days after sowing.
    2. Flea Beetles hit them about 8/21.
    3. By 9/30/21 we have small pea pods.
    4. Had a good crop that went to seed.
  2. Oregon Giant Dwarf Snow Pea
    1. Sowed in Mary’s Garden
    2. Mole ate most of 1st sowing but not second sowing.
    3. Getting 4-6 pods a week off scattered plants that are growing slowly. The pods taste good but we do not use them.

Peppers – Added to the Spring Peppers that were still bearing

  1. Pimentos – Got some fruit that was thicker walls and bolder flavor that bell peppers.
  2. Early Jalapenos – Did not survive the heavy rains.
  3. Carolina Cayenne – Struggeled and failed
  4. Cayenne Long Slim – Struggeled and failed

Radishes

  • September sowing resulted in spindly, winding stems as it was too hot. Soil temp got into the low 90 in the afternoons.
  • Replanted when soil temp was right and several different plantings produced well. But, we used very few in salads.

Spinach

  • Waited until the soil cooled and they came up much better.
  • Fantail – Young Libby walked down the newly sowed row leaving deep foot prints. Still had some germination.
  • Corvair – Libby also walked through this row but not as much. Scattered germination.
  • Bloomsdale – Consistent even germination. Plant this variety next time and not the other two.
  • Sidedressed with 33-0-0 and Miracle Grow,
  • As of 1/18/2022 the plants are still only 2-3″ tall but doing better with the MG although now the weather is cold and day lenght is minimum.

Squash

  1. 8/11/2021 – Most of the Betternut and Primavera Spaghetti Squash have come up 6 days after sowing.
  2. Flea Beetles hit them about 8/21.
  3. Spaghetti did come up about 50% and the re-sowed also came up but never got to the running stage. Flea beetles did not help but the problem had to be more than them. Gave up on 10/16 when the first cold front blew through and we will be cool enough to plant other fall things

Tomatoes – A Great Success

  • 8/21/2021 – Better Boys rooted from suckers are blooming. Began thumping the stakes to aid pollination. Do not see any bees.
  • 10/5/2021 – Still blooming and have a few small green tomatoes.
  • 11/11/21 – Healthy plants survived the first two light frosts on the 7th and 8th. There are a lot of green tomatoes.
  • Dec-Jan – Covered the row with a frost blanket when frost was expected and we got it right; i.e. a frost did not kill them until the second week of January.
  • 1/15/2022 – Picked the last of the green and slightly ripening tomatoes. Have canned 5 quarts and 6 pints of relish and still have 4-5 dozen tomatoes.

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