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GoDawgs September 6, 2019 04:49 PM

Changing from summer to fall
The porch tables are now cleared of accumulated spring and summer "stuff"; dead pots, empty pots and trays, etc. They are ready for fall plantings. The parsley, oregano and rosemary (these last two at the far end with a camellia to be planted out this fall) do well out here. The thyme doesn't like it at all and has died so it's time to start more thyme and grow it indoors. That's old Callie cat on the left side, checking to see if I've left her some room on that lower shelf. It's her favorite morning "sleep in the sun" spot.


To make room under the lights for the new stuff I had to bump some of the earlier started brassicas out to the front porch to start hardening them off. Plants harden off pretty nicely on the lower shelf of the porch table because of the shadows created by the railing spindles. I just have to remember to keep them watered and turn them around daily so they don't lean towards the sun too much.


There's one more window box of mixed lettuce that has popped up this morning and I need to do some rearranging to get it under the lights too, at least for a little while.

Callie is now 17 years old and is still healthy and pretty spry for her age. Being the oldest she used to keep the other cats in line, earning her the nick name of "Swimbo", SWMBO, "She Who Must Be Obeyed". This pic was taken five years ago:


upcountrygirl September 7, 2019 02:18 PM

GoDawgs I have to ask..are you a Kresley Cole fan?

Labradors2 September 7, 2019 03:15 PM

How about a Rumpole fan?


GoDawgs September 8, 2019 09:20 AM

[QUOTE=Labradors2;745492]How about a Rumpole fan?


BINGO! Loved that guy. :))

GrowingCoastal September 8, 2019 11:15 AM

Your porch is wonderful! I love that you make good use of it too. I bet Callie likes it a lot as well.

GoDawgs September 8, 2019 12:56 PM

Thanks, GC. The tables were Pickles' idea. One day two years ago Home Depot had plastic saw horses on sale as well as those dogeared fence boards ($1.25 ea) so her light bulb went on and she bought two sets of the sawhorses (sold in pairs) and enough boards for the top. It worked so well she went back and bought enough boards for the bottom too.

It's a great place for hardening off stuff as it gets sun until maybe 2pm. Later this fall and winter there will be window boxes of lettuce and arugula to go with the parsley there now. Also baby bok choys.

Rajun Gardener September 8, 2019 01:56 PM

Changes are happening here despite the high temps. The hummingbirds have been here a week and the big gum tree is starting to shed leaves.

A break from the heat is on the way!!!!:aprd:

GoDawgs September 8, 2019 05:25 PM

Rajun, feel free top pass a little of those lower temps this way. 98 again today. So I brought up my weather data spreadsheet and yes, the first half of September here is hot and it starts getting a tad cooler after mid month. Last September we had 20 of 30 days between 90-95.

Rajun Gardener September 9, 2019 10:02 AM

I wish we had cooler days, it was 98 here too but it should start cooling off soon. This should be the last month with temps in the 90's except for a few in October.

GoDawgs September 9, 2019 03:54 PM

More Summer To Fall
It's time to get the fall beds forked up and ready for planting. The brassicas are scheduled to go out Sep 17th if this heat wave breaks. 108 heat factor this afternoon. Carrots, turnips and daikon radishes as well.

I started on the worst bed yesterday. It's near the grape fence and a crape myrtle so fibrous roots of both creep in under the bed sideboards and it needs to be dug up every spring and fall without fail. It was done this spring but every forkful was still a challenge and I ended up with a big 15 gallon bucket 3/4 of this stuff after a long hard slog.


Last Sunday two beds of beans and one of peas were planted. That's about two weeks earlier than I usually plant but I was rolling the dice, hoping that Dorian would bring rain. Nope. Just heat. The bean beds:


So I kept the beds wet down to help cool them off and help germination. It took about 8 days and I was getting worried but this is what I found yesterday, a very welcome sight!


Meanwhile the Red Ripper field peas are going nuts! They were planted right in the old corn rows which had a lot of fertilizer input when they were growing so I sure didn't add any at pea planting. I hope they'll actually produce peas and not be just all vine. That's happened before when there was too much fertilizer.


And finally, we know fall is coming when the grapes get ready. Time to make muscadine jelly.


b54red September 14, 2019 04:51 AM

I still have a couple of tomato beds with producing plants. My oldest one was set out way back in late March and only has about 8 plants still alive out of the original twenty but I just hate pulling them up because three of the plants are still producing large tomatoes on vines over 15 feet long. I also have had more bell pepper plants that are continuing to produce abundantly than most years so that's a couple more beds that aren't available yet. I am also growing two beds with Pappadew peppers for sauce which I try to make every two years and they produce the best in late fall. I guess I will just have to clear out one or two tomato beds and one pepper bed and I might just have to get rid of the okra bed because I have got to have somewhere to plant fall stuff.

I have fall beans in the greenhouse ready to set out but nowhere to put them. I do have a nice fence of fall cucumbers that are producing really well but they need constant watering in this heat. I am afraid it is going to end up being one of those falls like last year where the hot dry weather lasts well into November but I am keeping my fingers crossed for some rain and cooler weather.

I haven't even started any of my normal fall crops except to test the germination on some of my older seed. It is still too hot to get good germination with daily temps hitting near 100. We did have one day where it only got into the low 90s but I need to see some nights in the low 60s and days in the 80s before starting all those seed because I can't keep the greenhouse cool enough to keep them alive the way the temperatures are running now


GoDawgs September 14, 2019 10:38 AM

There are still three spring tomato plants left out of 15 but they're not setting anything because of the heat. And EB is hitting them so the decision has been made to take out the plants. The four new tomato plants that get some shade during the day are setting fruit, especially the cherry tomato.

The peppers are still going full bore. I've got all the pickled and frozen whole jalapenos that I need so I'm letting the ones on the plants turn red for future pepper sauce. Gypsy peppers will be turned into stuffed peppers. carrots are supposed to go down both sides of the pepper bed. All of the pepper plants are on one side of that bed so when it comes time to sow carrots, I'll only have one side of the bed available for a while. Call it a staggered crop!

The okra is on its last legs. I've got a few pods that will be let go to make seed for collection. Turnips will go down each side of that bed, regular old Purple Tops on one side and some Korean turnip down the other. Got the seed pack from a Korean grocery (couldn't help myself) and I can't read it but the photo is pretty. LOL!

The brussels, half of the broccoli plants, the cabbage, collard, cauliflower and kale plants will go out this coming week.

b54red September 14, 2019 01:52 PM

Dawg I would wait on all those plants until you see a bit more of a cool down. It is only 90 here today so that is a very welcome thing but I would never set out anything but Rutabagas in this heat and they might not make it. I have set out all of the ones you mentioned when it was this warm before and had 6 to 8 inch tall broccoli set tiny heads and Brussels die on me. They really don't like the heat and if they are really small when set out they like it even less. Of course you might luck up and have a nice cool down and everything will go swimmingly but I no longer take that risk except with things like mustard, rutabagas, and turnips cause the seed are so cheap and easy to plant. What usually happens with them when set out too early is the whiteflies just suck the life out of them before they can get large enough to survive but I haven't seen a lot of whiteflies this year so I may start a small patch of mustard greens next week.

I have to admit it is a tricky business down here trying to have a fall garden with cool weather crops. I now stagger my plantings of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, spinach and greens in order to hit the timing right at least once. I used to go all in at the same time but ended up lossing too often so I started doing what I have done with tomatoes and bell peppers and stagger my plant out dates and it has worked out much better for the past few years.

I just couldn't wait any longer and dug up most of my okra plants so I have about 25 feet of bed that I can prepare and I pulled out all of the tomatoes in my small bed which gives me another 15 feet of bed to get ready for fall. Man I hate pulling out tomato plants with green tomatoes on them. At least it wasn't a lot of them and the plants were pretty poor looking. The okra on the other hand had about done its thing and was dying down fairly fast. I feared it must be RKN but when I dug them up I found no sign of nematodes. I guess it was just a very hot dry summer and I must have let them get too dry too often. I left only one producing plant but it will probably die back in the next week or so. We're making chicken and sausage gumbo tonight to celebrate the end of the okra.:D


Worth1 September 15, 2019 09:20 AM

The only way I can tell it is getting close to fall is the shadows are getting longer at any given time of day.
Rain in the forecast is a blessing too.

GoDawgs September 15, 2019 09:54 AM

AND it's getting darker earlier!

For a long time I've planted out the cole crop things right around mid September, give or take a few days, and so far have been lucky not to have had heat-related problems. Depending on the year, the 90's start going away after Sep 15th.

Here's a section of my weather data spreadsheet which goes back to 1999. This is the maximum temps part of the September tab. Farther to the right would be the minimum daily temps and rain totals. The temps and rain totals come from a U of Ga weather site 3 miles from here. It's really handy in helping me figure out planting dates, etc.


Last September was a real stinker with 20 days at 90 or above. Most of the coles went out Sep 12 with a second round of some two weeks later. I was amazed they all did well but they were heavily mulched. I think that made the difference.

The plants that are ready now are really ready and I'm afraid to hold them much longer so I'll roll the dice again.

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