Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Celtic Garden Fall Planting

Last weekend I watched the first round of Premier League football in England and Scotland. That always triggers my thoughts of the fall vegetable garden. It is time to think about some fall planting.

In a previous article, we discussed broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. It is not too late to still add these, but you had better hurry. You need to know your growing zone, and when your first frost will be coming. In the Ozarks, I have till around October 16.

Think back to spring time crops now also. Onions, lettuce, spinach, carrots are all good possibilities at this point. You can also use a cold frame to extend the growing season. The key is finding crops that can get their business done in around 60 days.

Get yourself some straw, and have it around to help with early frost. In addition, you want to make sure your crops are well watered through the remainder of the really hot weather. For me, that means mid-September.

Before you plant, make sure and fertilize the ground again, as summer crops will have taken needed nutrients from the soil. You can find an article on organic fertilizers in the archives of this blog. Feel free check it out. A good fish emulsion is also a favorite of mine for this time of year. Add a can or bottle of beer for the root system. Mix it all in 5 gallons of water, and add to the garden plot.

We will see you in the Celtic Ozark Garden again soon, feel free to email me with your questions about fall gardening, and I will share answers with everyone.

Ray Province

Ray Province is a retired minister who now works as an IT Programmer in the healthcare industry. He is also owner of The Celtic Ozarkian, a website that chronicles life in the Ozarks. He is an avid gardener, fly fisher, and Scottish football fan. You can reach him at contactus@celticozarkian.com or @celticozarkian on Twitter

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Get More Green Beans In


Now is the time to get another crop of green beans into the ground. The current long term forecasts for most of the United States will allow another round of green bean planting. However, you need to get it done quick.

When looking for sytles of green beans, look for the varieties with shorter growing times. From my home in the Ozarks, we have approx 12 weeks until the average first frost. That is, then, the time frame we have to get the green beans finished.

As crops come in, try freezing them for a winter treet. Pick your green beans, remove the tip ends, and snap your beans into 2 or 3 segments. If you have any blemishes, take them out. Blanch your green beans for 2 minutes in boiling water, then drop them into an ice bath. This stops the "cooking" process.

Once your green beans have cooled, place them in freezer style baggies. I use an 8 cup measuring device, so I can divide my beans into 2 bags. You want to use quart bags. One bag will be equivalent to putting 2 cans of green beans on your table.

For those who plan ahead, plan on 52 bags for a family of 4 to have green beans once a week all year. You can thank my dad for that handy bit of info. I can still remember canning green beans to this level every summer.

Ray Province
Celtic Ozark Garden

Ray Province is a retired minister and owner of The Celtic Ozarkian, a website dedicated to life in the Ozarks. Ray is also a freelance writer on religion, gardening, and travel. You can reach him at contactus@celticozarkian.com, or @celticozarkian on Twitter.