By Gini Bramlett
For the Calapooia Food Alliance
So, what do you do with the empty spaces in your vegetable garden when something is harvested? My garden has gaps here and there from my spring lettuce. I also have a fairly large space from the kohlrabi that is almost done.
It’d be a shame to waste the space with so much great weather yet to be. Planting a fall, winter and early spring garden is the answer. There are lots of plants and seeds that can be planted right now and on into the fall.
Seeds that can still be planted in July, with some even later are beets, carrots, cilantro, collards, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, overwintering-type onions, parsnips and spinach. For carrots, buy seeds that are specifically for storage and winter harvest.
In August, plant lettuce and arugula every couple of weeks to have a longer harvest. And, believe it or not, fava beans, the most hardy of the bean family, can be planted from mid October through November for harvest the following June, either fresh or dried on the vine.
Some nurseries offer a small selection of vegetable plants this time of year, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower among others.
Winter fertilizing methods vary from summer in that the microorganisms that are seriously active in the summer slow down in winter rendering manures or granular fertilizers inadequate. Use liquid fertilizers such as manure or compost tea or fish fertilizers and do it weekly for heavy feeders such as broccoli, cabbage cauliflower and Brussels sprout. Otherwise every couple of weeks is adequate.
Some overwintering plants may need some sort of protection if freezing temperatures threaten. Sometimes it’s as simple as throwing a light covering over the plants, such as a sheet of light plastic or fabric. Whatever works for you is fine, as long as it gives a little protection from harsher weather.
An Invitation to the Community Garden
The Calapooia Food Alliance is inviting the community to join them in a visit to the community garden to see what’s happening on Wednesday, July 29 from 6-9pm. Refreshments will be served. This open event is a great opportunity to learn about how the garden works, how it helps feed our community, and to introduce children to gardening and connecting with the natural world.
Activities include an art table, Build-a-Bouquet, garden games and more. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket and enjoy an evening in the garden. No alcohol or smoking please.
For more information about the Calapooia Food Alliance and what it does, visit gocfa.com.
Also, visit our Brownsville Farmer’s Market Facebook page for information about our new Thursday Market day from 3-7pm. In addition to locally grown produce and other local products, look for lots of fun activities and live music throughout the summer at the market on Main St. See you there!