Planning the Fall Garden

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.”
–Henry David Thoreau

It is safe to say I have usually not taken Thoreau’s advice about simplifying when it comes to gardening. In the past, I always figured that if growing 5 tomato plants was good, then growing 25 would be even better! But the last few years, it seems I have been gardening more and more, and enjoying it less and less. So, I finally decided it was time to change all that, since I had no one to blame but myself. I went to work last month on coming up with a scaled back garden plan for next year. I’ve made a good start on that, and then I went to work on cutting back on my fall gardening plans for this year. I want to continue to grow most of the same things I’ve been growing, just less of them. And I want to emphasize things we really enjoy and those things we can’t readily buy.

collard seedlings

For the fall garden, that includes a variety of greens like kale, turnip greens and collards. While you can buy those greens at the grocery, the homegrown ones are typically more tender and flavorful, especially when they mature in colder weather. I also want to sow some daikon radishes for fermenting, and brassicas like sprouting broccoli and kohlrabi. I started seeds for collard greens back in late May, and those seedlings are now in 3.5″ pots and ready to be planted in a week or so.  I need to clear a spot for then and get it amended with compost and fertilizer, which I plan to do in the next few days. And this week I started a scaled back list of seeds for kohlrabi, broccolini, cabbage and kale. Those plants should be ready to set out in early August.

seedlings for fall

One more chore to be done this summer is to replace the greenhouse. I was hoping to get another year or two out of it, but the wood around the bottom of the outside panels is rotting. That has let the panels fall, leaving a gap at the top which lets in cold winter air. I have sealed the gap using metallic tape, but that is only a temporary fix. The door is also in bad shape, and other wooden parts are showing signs of deterioration. And the twin wall polycarbonate panels are clouded up and letting in less light than when it was new. The greenhouse is almost 12 years old now, and I figure if I get 12 years out of the new one, I will be 78 years old myself by that time and quite possibly ready to scale back gardening even more!

greenhouse panels rotting

I assembled and put up the current greenhouse all by myself, but I have decided to get help for the new one. It was quite a chore back then, and I really don’t want to do it all by myself this time. If I can get someone else to do the hard and heavy stuff, I can handle the site prep and the finishing tasks like installing the shelving and benches. Hopefully I can get it all done in time to get things planted for fall and winter inside the new greenhouse. I’ll be sure and share updates on that project as it progresses.

taping over the gaps

I hope you have enjoyed this update on what’s going on here, and I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres!

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3 Responses to Planning the Fall Garden

  1. Sue Garrett says:

    Autumn/fall tends to be a winding down time for us when things planted just hopefully tick along without us. We get some preparation done for the following year until winter forces us to take a break. A break is good as it gives us a chance to become enthused again.

  2. Your plans to scale back seem well-reasoned and sensible. My husband urges me to made similar considerations regarding our permanent landscape that is non-edible.

  3. Margaret says:

    I’m doing a bit of catch up reading on posts that I missed this past month and see that I’m on the exact same page as you are – cutting back to enjoy more. And you certainly have cut back – I’m so used to seeing multiple seed trays on the go in your posts – quite the difference from the single tray you have going now.

    It’s so easy to lose sight of the goal – enjoying the garden – and fall into the more is better trap. At some point, more ends up being less….enjoyment that is. That’s when you know it’s time to step back and re-evaluate. I do still want a greenhouse at some point, though…can’t get too crazy with the scaling back, now, can I 😉

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