Hard to believe -Janet and I have been Hilton Head community gardeners for a year! Seems like yesterday we stood looking at plot 22D, in the August heat, wondering what on earth we would grow in the black, sandy soil.
With nighttime temperatures starting to dip into the low 70’s, we are getting serious about fall gardening. Our garden has been in maintenance mode since mid-June. The zinnias and marigolds provided interest, while the sweet potatoes we started from “slips” competed with the weeds for control of the beds.
Fall Gardening List – Planting for the Spiralizer!
This fall we are building our garden around Janet’s new favorite culinary appliance, the “Spiralizer“. The Spiralizer has made my gluten-free existence much more enjoyable. Four of our friends have also purchased this inexpensive kitchen miracle machine and rave about their creations.
Thanks to the Spiralizer, I now enjoy zucchini pasta noodles, sweet potato hash, carrot salad, butternut squash rice and much more. The list of vegetables Janet wants to grow and spiralize this fall includes sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, daikon radish, celeriac, cucumbers and butternut squash. We are also planting the usual cold weather crops – broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and cabbage.
We are direct sowing more seeds this fall. I’m making some changes to our efficient watering scheme. One lesson I learned from last year is drip irrigation works great for established seedlings but not for germinating seeds in the soil. I think I have solved this problem by setting up miniature sprayers, fed by 1/4″ tubing, at the raised beds where we plant seeds. These little sprayers keep the soil evenly moist and don’t waste water by spraying the pathways.
Fall Gardening Experiments – Growing Vertically
We are looking forward to seeing how our sweet potato cage works out. We found this idea on Mavis Butterfield’s gardening website. She uses cages for regular potatoes.
With no extra garage space at home we needed to find a use for our tomato cages in the fall garden. We are adapting them to grow pole beans and cucumbers . This saves both garage space and garden space.
We are trying not to plant the same crops in the same places this fall. Rotating locations is always recommended by the organic gardening experts. We also have a great batch of compost cooked up to spread around the garden.
The temperatures are pleasant, the weeds are dying, and there are fewer pests attacking our plants. It’s great to be back in the community garden again!
Please share some of your fall gardening tips and tricks in our comment area below!