September marks the start of the growing season and I personally couldn’t be happier. The weather is starting to change for the better already and the daily garden work consists of much more than weeding after a long “weedy” summer. The fields are beginning to take shape and the nursery is in full effect. I’ve got enough screened compost stored in barrels to start thousands of seedlings, 5 gallons of kelp to amend planting beds, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants already germinating in the “hoop house” and new found energy to work long days. The energy comes from the excitement of all the gardening activity, this is my favorite part of the season!
We’ve got the majority of the Sunn Hemp cover crop cut and drying on the field so the beds are ready for planting. I use a calendar to schedule when each crop should be planted based on when I’d like to begin harvesting, using notes from previous seasons about how long certain crops took to be ready. Surprisingly, most recommendations about harvest times on seed packets vary widely from my notes and I believe it’s because they are written for a Northern Spring season and we are growing in a Southern Fall season which means different day lengths and temperatures among other things. Although I take the seed company’s recommendations into consideration my notes are much more valuable and I’m reminded of how important it is to keep good records. I make note of harvest times, germination times, pest issues and many other details I find notable.