I must admit my garden has been slow going this year.
With all the rain I wasn’t sure if I should even continue planting because the ground is really soggy. Instead I scaled back and earlier this week harvested Italian Beans.
These are my favorite and a family tradition.
Harvesting the Garden
Harvesting is my least favorite part of gardening; I know that sounds crazy because this is the reward. It’s possible I get overwhelmed with the abundance of food because I’m not much of a food prepper either.
I really just enjoy eating vegetables from garden to table.
If you’re a new gardener, harvesting is exciting; serving fresh vegetables is a wonderful experience and the nutrients are superior.
If you find you have an abundance of food growing you have the options to freeze, can, dehydrate or giveaway the additional. I normally choose to freeze and giveaway.
I’m not a big fan of canned food because I prefer bright colorful meals. If canning is of interest visit Tracy at Our Simple Homestead. She offers some great tips and makes the process so easy.
When harvesting arrives don’t get overwhelmed. This time of year can sometime cause burnout due to the additional workload. For many gardeners that first harvest inspires expanding the garden especially if the yield is amazing.
Plans to Expand
If you’re in the middle of harvest and thinking it’s time to expand try and figure out what that expansion looks like and will you wait for the following year or try to get it in before the fall hits.
In Texas we’re blessed with two planting seasons and now is the time to plan and add additional beds if you’re thinking about a fall garden.
If your goal is to continue planting but you want to stay small there are a few things to consider.
Planning for Fall by Staying Small
You can plant in your existing beds but there are a few things you need to do prior to fall planting.
Most spring plants will begin to die off around the end of July and August; they look crisp and their growth has slowed down. I normally trim back my plants like tomatoes in July.
Once the bed is cleaned out then it’s time to get nutrients back into the soil.
Ideas would include:
- direct composting,
- llama, sheep fertilizer
- Animal fertilizer in general would in addition to natural debris.
Caring for your soil is what gardening is all about, I’ have a detailed chapter on this topic in my book, Startle Garden. This is a great read and full with tips to help you grow your best garden.
Planning for Fall to Expand
If your plans are to expand the garden before fall then adding one or two additional raised beds is efficient. Take a look at these ideas because you may find them helpful. I especially like the covered raised beds because you just cover it with a tarp when freezing temperatures surface.
Prepping a raised bed is pretty simple, read establishing a raised bed for details. To get more on Fall planting check out the following:
It’s my hope your garden has become a place you can be proud of. Enjoy your harvest is the reward and take pictures so you have a memory to share with family and friends.