Fall planting: Time to put the plan(t!) into action
By Farmer Bubba
I love that entrance. Aloha means welcome and ya'll means, well, all ya'll. All those who read this column have a garden or want to start one. Either way, thank ya'll for coming to the GLOB each Wednesday and finding your way to my virtual farm.
Well guess what? Remember when I talked about how to get ready for the Fall planting? Well it's time. The days are still a bit warm but the nights are gettin' cooler. As a matter of fact, this next week in our part of the state, we're supposed to see temperatures in the low 70s and high 60s.
Why is that important? Cooler weather, like lower than 75 degrees night or day, triggers fruit plants to bloom. And how do I know that? I just pay attention to the temp and how it effects plants during previous growin' seasons.
BUBBA NOTE: Plants are a lot like us when it comes to the heat. They have a hard time producing new growth and fruit when the temperature is always hot, just like we have a hard time going outside on hot days and workin' in the garden.
To recap from the previous growing season: Your dirt should be alive with nutrients and invisible garden-friendly critters and your summer compost should be ready for the Fall garden because it's time for Fall growin':
> Through the summer, I hope you have been thinking about your seed selections for the Fall harvest.
> You have found the best place in your yard to put your garden, and you're ready to get your hands dirty.
> It's time to forget any failures and try again. That is, if you had some failures. Personally I know I've had more failures than I can count. But I firmly believe that failure is the greatest teacher.
Let's look at some Fall harvest plant suggestions:
> Peas, beans, potatoes, short-season tomatoes, onions, garlic, all the leafy greens, and some peppers will produce a bountiful amount of produce.
> If there's something you want to grow special in your garden, and all the experts say NO to growing it at this time of year, turn the word around to turn it into ON.
Startin' seeds for a Fall harvest does need a little more attention than in the Spring. In the Fall, it's not as hot and the dirt doesn't dry out as fast, so Fall plants don't need a lot of water to keep growin'. But you still have to have a watering process. Remember the Bubbalosophy: "When you start a new seed, you enter into their world and they depend on you to get them through tough times." You'll be surprised at what these old garden plants will produce with a little help from their favorite gardener.
BUBBA NOTE: If you're startin' plants from seed, remember to finish what you start. If you took the time to plant even just one seed, take the time to take care of it. Why buy more when just one will do if you take care of it?
As previously mentioned you'll notice how much faster plants grow in cooler weather. So if your garden plants look a bit beat up and tired from the summer season, don't send 'em to the compost pile. Take a look at them, If you see new growth at the bottom of the stem, they're telling you they want to keep growing. You can help them out here. Cut off their tops, add a little compost and your special mix of fertilizer to the soil and get ready for a special, new Fall harvest from you're tired Summer plant.
Now that we're moving into a new growin' season, I want to recognize all those farmers, vendors, and garden shop owners who work hard to give you the best seeds and plants available. There are a lot of seed and plant sellers in our part of N. Florida. There are large and small nurseries, small garden centers, and farmers of all sorts who work hard to give you the best they have. Nowadays, it seems everyone sells seeds and plants. Seed counters, racks, shelves and catalogs are everywhere. Check them out and see who's got what.
Believe it or not, I've found some really good seeds at The Dollar Store in High Springs. Some of my favorites seed shops are Oliver and Dahlman Feed and Seed in High Springs and Alachua Feed and Seed in Gainesville. Home Depot, Lowes, and the Dollar Stores may have that one special seed packet you've been lookin' for.
The most important thing I look for when buying seeds is the expiration date. If I find some seeds that are out of date, I buy all there are. First, you can find good deals on old seeds, but more than that, I'm always lookin' for that one good seed. Who knows what that one special seed could give me in the future. If one of those seeds sprouts, that will most likely be a hardy plant.
BUBBA NOTE: Startin' seeds is a lot like startin' friendships. Anyone can pick out a seed or a new friend, but it's only when we take extra steps to help it grow that we will get a good harvest. In both human and plant worlds, it's all about commitment.
This week I want to mention another farm near mine that I support Farmers helping each other might not seem to have anything to do with what's on your plate, but it's an important component to what makes a farm work. Those of us who have a Compost Team to feed sometimes depend on other farmers to grow that food. The Skylight Mini Horse Farm in Alachua and Farmer Bubbaland have that kind of relationship
SPECIAL BUBBA NOTE MENTION: Good friend and Skylight Minis Horse farm owner Angel James is having an Open Farm Reception Sept 15 from 9-2 pm in Alachua at 6407 NW CR 235. You can come to the farm and check out these . . . well, my friend Lynn would call them adorable . . . miniature horses and maybe even buy one of them. Door prizes and snacks will be available. If you've never seen a mini horse in person or if you've ever thought about having one, this is a great opportunity. Follow this link for more information.
Now, I'm going to plant a seed: You don't have to have a garden or be Willie Nelson to appreciate farmers. If you eat, you're involved in farming. That's a seed that should grow into food for thought.
Aloha from the desk, on Farmer Bubba's Farm.
Do you have a gardening question for Farmer Bubba or a photo of your garden you would like to share? Email Bubba or add your question in the comment window below, and Bubba will try to reply as quickly as possible. Farmer Bubba is an all natural grower who sells seeds, plants, and produce in various N. Florida locations. Email Farmer Bubba for a location near you and to do whatever it takes to get you get your garden growing.
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Crystal Friday, 14 September 2012 16:21 Comment Link
Also, the Gardener's Edge (old Greenery Square) in Gainesville has 5 double sided racks of ALL heirloom and open pollinated seeds, if you're into that! They are going out of business October 31st, so get 'em while you can
depot bob Wednesday, 12 September 2012 21:02 Comment Link
Good article and some very good info.hope your surfing day went well.
Tonya Upton Wednesday, 12 September 2012 16:33 Comment Link
Great article. I'm going to go check out the mini horse farm this weekend! Sounds fun!