October 23, 2010

The difference a week makes

When spring rolls around and gardeners plant out their transplants or put seed in the ground, it doesn't seem to matter if you get it planted this week or next week, by the time it comes to harvest, they both seem to produce at the same time.

However, when you are growing in the fall, it is said every day a crop is not growing can translate into 2-3 days later on the harvest time. That is why it is important to get your fall crops planted in a timely manner.

WHY? The reason has to do with day length. Every day, after the summer solstice on June 21st, the days start to get shorter. While at first it isn't very noticable, it does make a big difference the later you get in the season.

I have a great example of what the difference a week makes with carrots.


The carrots on the right were planted on August 16th. The carrots on the left were planted on August 22nd. The same seed was used, they were watered the same, they were grown in identical situations, the only difference is the planting date.

You can also notice a difference in whole garden plot.

August 16th

M1 Outside Growing space

August 22nd

M2 Outside Growing

So the next time you hear the saying, "What difference does a week make" you can say it means alot when talking about fall gardening.

October 17, 2010

Fall and Winter Garden

To all my RVP customers, I wanted to share where all your produce is coming from this fall and winter. Want to learn more, www.rvp.locallygrown.net My fall and winter garden consists of 3500 square feet of high tunnels and 1000 square feet of low tunnels.

Here is Hoop A
From left to right, Radishes, Beets, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Haikuri Turnips, Some left over broccoli, Lettuce, Napa Cabbage, Joi Choy, Red Choy, Tatsoi, Longevity (a type of tatsoi I guess), and Arugula.

Hoop A all

They all still need mini hoops and row cover to cover them, but that is on the to do list.

Hoop C
My most mature crops and most recently planted.
Left to right, Lettuce, Kale, Spinach, Under the cover Green onions, Bok Choy and Napa Cabbage, Freshly Planted Haikuri Turnips and Carrots

Hoop C

Hoop D
This building grew Bell peppers and Cherry Tomatoes this spring and summer. I tore out the cherry tomatoes. Too overgrown and slowing production. The bell peppers are great. They are loaded and I have been picking bunches every week for the Farmers Markets.

Outside rows are bell peppers and under the row covers I have spinach and lettuce. I just transplanted the 250 plus lettuce plugs yesterday and the spinach is coming up or getting its true leaves. I still have grasshoppers in here and they love spinach. They don't mind the lettuce, but they will eat the spinach down.

Hoop D

On to the Movable Buildings. I have two movable buildings and I have crops growing outside and I am going to move the buildings over the crops soon. One probably this week and the other one once I loose the green beans or in about two weeks.


Haikuri Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Carrots, Haikuri Turnips
M2 Outside Growing space

M2 Has the same crops growing in it as M1.

M2 Outside

M1 also has green beans growing inside.
M1 Green Beans

Low Tunnels Broccoli and Cauliflower.
I have over 400 broccoli and cauliflower planted. They will go under row cover soon. I have to get a lot of other stuff done first!

Broccoli and Cauliflower

3 heads of Broccoli

The first low tunnel hoop.

Low tunnel hoop

Brussel Sprouts

They go planted too late, but we are going to see what happens.

Brussel Sprouts

Last outside planting of Green Beans.

This was a last second Hail Mary Planting. I have rinsed the frost off of them once and I have picked 40 pounds of beans off of the first picking. I am hoping to get 1-2 more pickings!

Outside Beans

October 5, 2010

Flip That High Tunnel

HGTV's got nothin' on Jay.

In the past few weeks, he has torn the spring/summer crops out of Hoop A, C, and D, the three largest of our high tunnels. Out came the tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes, and in went the fall crops. And that is how this:

became this:

and this:
became this:

 We have spinach, lettuces, bok choy, carrots, and a lot of other greens growing in two of the big buildings now. And, in building D, the peppers are staying for now. They are loving the elbow space and have really flourished in the past few days. It seems odd to pick fresh salad this time of year, but it's a very, very good odd.

October 4, 2010

Fall and Winter Salads

To eat local foods and what is in season, one has to think about eating salads here in the fall. We have a huge variety of greens that we are growing and selling this fall/winter. They are all being grown in our high tunnels.

Here are just a few of the different varieties we are growing this winter. We have over 10 varieties of lettuce, 3 varieties of spinach, 2 varieties of Bok Choy, Napa Cabbage, Arugula, Kale, Swiss Chard, Tatsoi and beet greens.

These greens are very cold tolerant and some will continue to keep growing through the winter. They all will be put under rowcover as soon as I can find the time to make that happen! We are continusely planting to keep a steady supply of greens available. I just planted spinach on October 3rd. With any luck it will be ready to harvest by the 5th of November. I have over 400 more transplants to go out ASAP!

Check out what we are harvesting currently.
8 ounces of Salad Mix
Black Seeded Simpson

Green Salad bowl

Red Saladbowl
Red Sails

8 ounces of Spinach