Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fall Planting Plans

This summer was our best container gardening season ever!

Of course, it's only our second season, and the first in which we tried to use as much space as we could. Kudos to the Centennial Apartments team that ok'd our experiment in the common area; we could not have done it without them! I hope the results paid off for them as it did for us.

Now Change the World Wednesday reminds us that it's time to start planning for our Winter crops. Everything we can plant for ourselves, or share with our neighbors, is just a little more food grown organically, locally and with pride!

For us, in our peculiar container garden, it's time to let the tomatoes gradually end their cycle and bury a few for starts next year. The spuds I think we can leave in the group a couple more months; Belltown has very mild winters and we might be able to have New Potatoes for Christmas!

Up in our rooftop Seattle Urban Agriculture experiment (which is not a private garden; all the food goes to the Cherry Street Food Bank) we're still growing a second round of greens, chiefly lettuces. We just put in a couple rows of chard and kale which should grow well into the winter.

Otherwise, I think it's time to look for rutabagas, turnips and garlic. Roots should continue to grow, albeit slowly, throughout the winter. Last winter, we started in November; they fell over in our unusual December blizzard, but once the snow melted they'd popped up again and grew to great size. They were incredibly little work for a very nice return!

What I may be learning from this is that farming cycles in the middle of a city may be different from those in rural areas. While we may never be as productive as rural farms, our microclimate is more closely modified to fit human needs and therefore our food plants may grow over a longer period of time. This may offset somewhat the restrictions in light from tall buildings.
(Let's try not to think about all the mineral enhancement to the soil from city particulates ;-)

1 comment:

mrs green said...

Lovely post and great pic! If your winter is mild and the ground doesn't get waterlogged, you can certainly enjoy new potatoes on Christmas day - I've been doing that for the past 2 years :)

I'm having a go at growing kale and some salad and herbs throughout the winter this year, thanks to the inspiration from the ctww challenge :)