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Monday, September 24, 2007

Fall Plantings

I am by no means an expert when it comes to fall gardens. Actually, this is the first year I have tried some fall plantings, although I heard about my Grandpa putting in his fall seeds while growing up. Today, I finally picked my first vegetables from my fall planting - BEAUTIFUL green beans!

I had planted green beans in the spring. The plants looked great at first. Nice solid leaves with no signs of pests. Well, that didn't last long. By the time my beans were ready to be picked, the leaves looked like lace from being chewed up so badly. The beans were just as bad. I tried to salvage some of the crop, but it was hard to find even an inch on a bean that hadn't been nibbled by insects.

Many people suggested powders and chemicals that we could treat them with to chase away the bugs, but that equaled more expenses. As you might have noticed, we are trying to do things with as few inputs as possible. So I gave up my hopes of canning beans, pulled all the plants, and decided to do some research so I could try again next year.

As I was doing my research, I found out I didn't have to wait until next year. I read that many times fall beans will be better than beans planted in the spring since most of the pests are gone by the time the beans mature. So off I went in search of more bean seeds. Most stores had sent theirs back, but I found one greenhouse that had 1/4 cup of seeds left. I bought them out.

I had a little bit of a late start in getting my fall beans planted since it took me so long to locate seeds so I soaked them overnight to hopefully cut down on some germination time. After they were well swollen, I put them into the soil. A few days later, up popped my beans!

I was pretty excited with the thought of another try with beans this year, but I soon became somewhat worried as I saw their leaves starting to look a bit like lace again. As I resisted the urge to pull them out, the nights started becoming cooler. As the nights started to become cooler, I noticed that the new leaves weren't getting eaten. (Hopefully you can see the difference in the picture.)

Today when I went out to the garden, I saw that there were a few beans ready to be picked. I was somewhat apprehensive as to what I would find hidden within the plants. What I found though were beautiful, long green beans without any signs of insect damage. It seems as if the insects clocked out for the season when the nights started to get cooler - and just as my beans started to mature!

So now I still have some hope of canning beans this year. I also still have some hopes for my spring planting of beans. While doing a little digging around I read that planting savory next to your beans will help ward off bugs. I think I will give that a try next year.

Here are a couple other pictures of my fall plantings. The first is peas. I don't know if they will amount to anything. I found extra seeds in my basement quite late but decided to throw them in the ground since I had them. The other is lettuce. I will be planting new patches every 2 weeks until it stops growing so we can have fresh lettuce too throughout the fall.
I'd love to hear comments from other fall planters as to what works for you.


~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

What a smartie you are!! I never would have thought of doing this. I'm so glad I followed this link from your first blog.

~Cindy~ said...

I have corn and okra up and my pepper plant is still producing, I have some zucchini up but it is pitiful, I have a black walnut tree right next to my little raised is coming down this year before New can see pics of my little fall garden at my garden blog..

OHH I followed your link to your blog from Homesteading Today and I am also a pastor's wife.

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