October 14, 2016 ptillman




  • TEMPERATURE – With the greatest danger of frost past (in most areas) and the soil achieving a sufficiently warm temperature, most seedlings can be planted and seeds can be sowed outside except in higher elevations. Extend the harvest of row by “succession sowing”, planting a foot or two of seed every 7-1 days.  Follow the recommendations for thinning seedlings to ensure crops such as carrots and beets will grow to a good size.  Staggered planting will also improve the odds against being wiped out by a pest or disease.


  • WEEDING – Keeping up with removing weeds is important as the young plants will be competing for water and nutrients. When allowed to grow tall weeds will shade and rob young plants of available light and growing room. Weeds can also harbor pests and diseases.  Using a hoe or digging up weeds before they flower and go to seed will help long term.  While it is tempting to add greed weeks to a compost bin, most home bins do not reach a high enough temperature to kill the seeds.  Weeds are best disposed of by adding them to green waste.


  • CROP ROTATION – Crop rotation is a good practice for the benefit of soil quality and crop fertilizer needs.

    • Leaving the roots of a nitrogen fixing legume crop from one season can serve the needs of a subsequent crop of brassicas. Brassicas, as a group, include bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, kale and turnips.  As a group these plants are subject to many of the same pests and diseases.  The risk of an infestation is reduced by not planting the same varieties in the same plot season after season.

    • A planting of root crops which have a low requirement for nitrogen would be a third season option. The soil is not so vulnerable to being depleted of nutrients if crops are rotated.


  • POLLINATORS & BENEFICIALS – To get the maximum result for the effort of planning, planting and tending a garden, include some plants to attract beneficial and pollinators.  Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds will greatly contribute to the success of any garden.


  • BIRDS – Birds are welcome visitors to the garden when they are eating insect pests but not so much when our fruits and berries are consumed. Nets must be ready to be applied to crops subject to bird damage.


  • SUPPORTS – Be prepared with support options for crops requiring them. Supports are more easily installed when plants are young.  Fruit can be damaged or lost installing supports once plants are flowering or fruit is set.

  • TIP

    Get to know your neighbors!  See what’s growing in their garden.  Be inspired!

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