12 August 2010

Planting for Another Season

The Pacific Northwest certainly has it's failings: Weather here is hard to predict.

It is best to learn the way of the old farmer who smells the rain and snow, who feels the high pressure of clear skies, knows from which direction of the wind, the weather is to come. But on the larger, seasonal scale, La Niña or El Niño are dynamic.

Spring and fall are perhaps the most consistent of PNW seasons- the injurious crime of unpredictability we cast our judgment upon, are the solstices. Our summer and winter bear consequence of global weather patterns. We know not from year to year if the summer will be long and hot or late and cool- winter mild and wet, or deeply chilled.

Though we’re not safe from weather extremes, we are indeed a mild region and can garden around the calendar. When one season fails to bring forth much fruit, no worries, another crop is ready for planting.

From mid-July for several weeks we plant for the early fall through the late winter harvest. No self sustaining here- what comes out of the garden in the winter is sparse but we enjoy a harvest with a few new lessons learned and more winter-hardy varieties discovered.

2010 08 04_0520

Fall Peas are in the ground and happily sprouted. ‘Alaska’ and ‘Oregon Sugar Pod II’ (snow). This crop should harvest mid October and then only four months and we plant again.

Discovery: ducks like pea seeds- staple down well, burlap or Reemay. For most practical purposes, ducks in the beet 'Early Wonder'garden is genius. Trample, perhaps, but their destruction is nothing to a renegade chicken, scratching and digging. Ducks eat the slugs and bugs and leave organic material behind.

Beet ‘Early Wonder’ and turnips ‘Purple Top White Globe’ have sprouted and next week, another crop for staggered harvest along with rutabagas and greenhouse seedlings such as brassics and alliums.

potatoeLast autumns harvest of potatoes left us sprouted ‘Red Pontiac’ and ‘Yukon Gold’ from a burlap sack. We threw them in the ground and they should provide several weeks of new potatoes this fall.


Mildred said...

I love hearing about all the different vegetables you plant. My older brother left for San Jose' today to start a new job so I will be more in tune with the weather on the west coast!!! Hope you and the family are doing well.

Daisy said...

Very interesting to garden year round. We don't do anything much in fall and winter here. I enjoyed your picture seeing new pea sprouts coming through. Brought back some good memories for me. :-)

A. Joy said...

I was hoping my dad's arthritis would at least be good for predicting the weather around here. So far, his didn't come with that program installed. I was just complaining to the guy at the store "Why do you guys stop selling pool filters in July when we don't even get to set up our pool until August????"