It's that time of year. The days are getting shorter and I start resisting the idea of turning the clock back an hour. I hate that! I really do! Let's not do mess around with the clocks because it sucks.
But, it's the time of year to plan for the the fall garden. In San Diego, the weather will cool and we can plant crops that will continue to produce through December, January, and February.
- Observe. It can be busy during the summer. We forget to observe without working. Take some time to just observe the garden. Observe from different angles. It can be refreshing and surprising to stop and observe the garden from a different perspective. Reflect on the progress.
- Garden notes. I don't know about you but I tend to not keep a garden journal so now is a perfect time to make a few notes on the summer's wins and losses. What crops did really well? How were conditions in the garden? The water, the weather, the soil, the compost pile? What crops didn't meet your expectations? Were there surprises? What is a must plant for next year--the rock stars in the garden?
- Seed sorting. Go through your seeds and determine what you are going to plant for the fall. Do you have extra seeds that you can pass on to other gardeners? Make sure you have marked all of the seed you have saved from the summer garden. Do you need to order seeds or ask around for seeds you need?
- Perennial additions. As the weather cools, there's an opportunity to add plants to the garden that may have a more stressful time in the heat of the summer. While summer is typically means garden centers and nurseries are swimming with enthusiastic gardeners and full carts--I love fall and winter to plant in the garden. I have more time to focus on more challenging plants and the plants seem to have more success with the cooler weather.
- Trees. How did the trees perform this year? Make notes of terrific performers so you can share scion wood. Do you have plans to replace or add trees? Special orders for trees usually need to be placed early. Do you need to find scion wood to add varieties to your garden? Ask around.
- Mulch. Add mulch where needed. Mother Earth doesn't like to be naked. Perhaps add cover crop seeds.
- Compost. If you don't have a compost pile, start one for the spring garden. If you have completed compost, add it to the garden.
- Garden clean up. I get busy and things can get ahead of me. I've found that a quarterly garden clean up is a good practice. Get all those tomato stakes in a neat bundle. Clean and organize gardening supplies. I also take some time to do tidy up pruning (removing suckers, water sprouts, and so forth)
- Chop and drop. While not the sexiest move, I still chop and drop. Cut back grasses and perennials in need of a haircut. Get plants in bounds that have had lots of summer fun. If you are building a compost pile and you don't like the look of chop and drop--add it all to the compost pile.
- Cut annuals at the ankles. As summer annuals start to look forlorn, I remove them by cutting them at ground level and using the tops to mulch. This keep the soil structure undisturbed and provides instant mulch for the new seedlings that I am going to plant.
- Special thanks to Dale, Nia, Kiki, and Steph for all the love and support!
- Raleigh, the guy I love to hate when it comes to all things internet, thank you for all your great ideas...not!
- Aaron Glasson, Permaculture Velocity logo
- Music: Tell Somebody by Alex Beroza featuring AdmiralBob, digccmixter, licensed underCreative Commons 3.0
- And to all those podcasters out there sharing good information on podcasting for those of us just getting going with this podcast thing! Thank you!