kimism72
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Location: Springville, Alabama

Late Garden

I just moved on to several acres of land in central Alabama. I know it's late but what vegetables can go down now?

DoubleDogFarm
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Looking at your weather forcast through mid December looks iffy.
https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/springville-al/35146/daily-weather-forecast/336636?day=21

Next couple days are cool, then it warms up, then it looks like it dips to low 30's.

If it is not to wet, You may just think about prepping for spring planting.

Someone closer to you will chime in soon.

Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rainbowgardener
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Looks like you are in zone 7B. That's only one zone warmer than me, despite how far south you are (do you have some elevation?).

Agree with Eric, that there's really not that much you could plant now.

Here's a zone 7 planting schedule:

https://www.thevegetablegarden.info/planting-schedules/52-zones-7-8-planting-schedule

Getting the garden ready for spring would be good. "Spring" comes early where you are. Per the chart, you could be planting some cool weather crops in Jan and Feb.

However, if you really want to be planting something, you could probably still plant garlic and short day onions.
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rkunsaw
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If you have a garden spot or beds that are ready for planting you can plant onions and garlic now. Turnips and collard greens might make it too, but it is a little late.
Now is a great time to start getting ready for next spring.
I started with nothing and still have most of it!!!

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ElizabethB
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A little late or a little early depending on how you look at it. In south Louisiana zone 9b I am turning compost into my beds and mooning over seed catalogs. I give this bit of advice a lot so please excuse any redundancy - call your County Agent and get a vegetable planting guide. The information is free, research based and region specific. You will get information on what varieties to plant, planting dates for both seeds and transplants, plant spacing and days until harvest. You may also want to have your soil tested for both pH and nutrients. There is a small fee but it is worth it. I have mine tested every couple of years. Both you and your CA will receive copies of the report. Call your CA for an interpretaion of the findings. You CA will tell you exactly what and how much needs to be added to your garden for optimum results.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

cynthia_h
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ElizabethB wrote:I give this bit of advice a lot so please excuse any redundancy - call your County Agent and get a vegetable planting guide. The information is free, research based and region specific. You will get information ....
That may be the case in Louisiana, but several counties in California--and, for all I know, other states--have severely curtailed this service. Several of our members have reported that soil testing is no longer available for free in their California counties, and at least one farmer (in my off-line life) told me that she had to produce her tax forms to prove that the farm was her primary source of income, i.e., not a "hobby" farm, to receive soil-testing services at all. I was so stunned that I forgot to ask how much she had to pay. :shock:

This means that the experience of members here is, in many cases, the *only* source of information available to other members. The THG membership is also more international than it may initially appear; at one point a couple of years ago, every fifth new member was from outside the U.S. I agree that all gardening is local, but gardening is also (and paradoxically) universal.

Happy gardening, everyone--everywhere! Cool weather or not....

To the OP: I've planted fava beans on the winter solstice, in the spring, and in the fall. Maybe favas?

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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ElizabethB
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Cynthia - thanks for yor correction. You are correct that I should not assume that everyone has the available sources of information that I do but it is worth a try. Soil test are NOT free - just resonably priced for the amount of information provided. I may be new to the forum but I am not new to gardening. I believe in using all sources of information available. County Agents and state land grant universities are "FREE" only in the aspect that you can get a lot lot of information for little or no $$. The service is already paid for by our tax $$. Why not at least try to make use of that service?

If the resourse is available why not use it?

I have developed a relationship with my County Agent and the office staff. As a Master Gardener I volunteer to answer the phone 4 - 8 hours a week. Yes I do have personal experience but when asked for advice I make an effort to provide research based, region specific information. Sometimes that means a referral to another source.

Gardening practices that apply to my region will not apply to yours.

My goal is to provide the best information possible. My experience may or may not be the best information depending on where the asker lives. That is why I recommend a relationship with your County Agent.

Sorry for the rant - I just rreally believe in using the professional resouces available. You may live in an area that is under staffed. You can still avail yourself to their knoweldge if you make regular visits to the extension office and get to know the people working there. Yes it does come down to favoritism but who cares if it works.

Get information where ever it is available.

Sorry for the rant - just a pet peeve of mine. Make use of the knowledge that you are already paying for with your tax $$$.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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ReptileAddiction
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For me it s very annoying when I ask questions and people just tell me to call my county extension. Like I said in another thread I have never got a hold of them.

cynthia_h
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ElizabethB wrote:
My goal is to provide the best information possible. My experience may or may not be the best information depending on where the asker lives. That is why I recommend a relationship with your County Agent.

Sorry for the rant - I just rreally believe in using the professional resouces available. You may live in an area that is under staffed. You can still avail yourself to their knoweldge if you make regular visits to the extension office and get to know the people working there. Yes it does come down to favoritism but who cares if it works.

Get information where ever it is available.
I agree, and I hope that the following will explain why The Helpful Gardener is that "available" place for so many.

I'll present the facts as they pertain to the county in which I've lived since 1997, a mixed urban/agricultural county. I think the numbers show that, for almost everyone here--as well as commercial growers, almost none of whom are here--the idea of a relationship with a County Agent, at least in California as currently run and for the foreseeable future, is an out-of-reach fantasy.

Setting aside the questions of "What do we get back from paying our taxes?" or "Where does the money go, anyway?" or "Whatever happened to California schools, which were once the envy of the nation and are now 48th or so?" I'll confine this discussion to County Extension (Agricultural) Agents and the hard-and-fast reality, not the what-ifs....

Once upon a time, there was a County Extension Office off of I-80 on an exit maybe 5 miles from my house. I'd be en route to another location, take that exit, and see the sign: "blah blah County Extension Office." It was a small, humble sign and a small, humble office building, but by God it was there. :) Sadly, though, it's been a long time--at least three years--since I've seen that sign. Which, given how slowly things seem to move, probably means that the office was closed four or even five years ago. (Property management companies don't always move quickly to announce vacancies in that particular neighborhood.)

I checked the county website this evening (beginning about 2 hours ago--this post has taken quite a bit of research to develop). Although telephone access to Master Gardeners has improved (they're now available by phone Monday-Thursday 9:00 to noon, which is a vast improvement over the previous Friday only, approx. 9:00 to 2:00 or so situation), the paid staff for the entire county Extension service is:

--1.2 Farm Advisors (the County Extension Director, plus 0.2FTE of a second Farm Advisor)
--four Family Nutrition Educators/Advisors (not gardening/orchard/farm knowledge people)
--one CalFresh/(food-stamp) Administrative Assistant
--and 0.2FTE of an IPM advisor

The Urban IPM Advisor and the non-Director Farm Advisor are each shared among five counties:

1) The Urban Integrated Pest Management Advisor is shared among Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties; total population = approx. 6.2 million.

2) The Delta Crops advisor, the only non-Director farm advisor, is shared among a different set of five counties: San Joaquin, Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, and Contra Costa; total population = approx. 3.9 million, and the heart of California's rice-growing lands.

The population of this county alone, est. January 2011, is approx. 1.1 million, of whom 650 are active farmers/ranchers, according to the Extension's [url=https://cecontracosta.ucanr.edu/Commercial_Agriculture/]"Commercial Agriculture"[/url] webpage.

It's unrealistic, in my view, to expect gardeners--and even, sadly, commercial growers--to develop a relationship with a department so manifestly understaffed and thinly stretched.

Seeing how the paid Extension staff were assigned, I then checked the [url=https://ccmg.ucdavis.edu/Find_Us/]in-person,[/url] as opposed to telephone, availability of Master Gardeners.

--Master Gardeners are available for consultation at eight selected farmers' markets once a week for 2 to 4 hours during part of the year in Central County (notice all those qualifiers).
--They are available on the same basis at one farmers' market in East County (the agricultural, or Delta region).
--Master Gardeners are not available in person at any time of the year at any of the farmers' markets in West County, where I live and where a large percent of the population could really use help on how to grow veggies/fresh food in apartment and urban situations, esp. in Richmond, a socio-economically depressed city. I'm a member of a Community Garden task force here in El Cerrito, but really, that will affect a very small number of people, even after it becomes a functioning garden and not just a demonstration project.

I'm glad that there are states--or at least one state--where it's possible to develop a relationship with the county Extension service, but I hope that presenting the specifics of the county I'm most familiar with here in California has helped demonstrate the "uphill and against the wind" situation of those of us without such resources.

Please continue to share knowledge on this forum; obviously, many of us can use the input. :)

Cynthia

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ReptileAddiction
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Well said.

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rainbowgardener
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I have tested my soil in a number of different places for pH. Beyond that I have never done any testing and don't expect to, because whatever might be missing (and after a decade of gardening it, I think my soil is pretty built up), my answer to it would be the same: compost! I think well balanced compost full of browns and greens, kitchen scraps, and multiple sources pretty much supplies all the trace nutrients, etc.

I don't use any commercial products in my garden. Therefore, it doesn't really matter to me what the test results would say. And since it works well for me, I don't have much motivation to change. That's not to say a beginning gardener starting out to garden a new space that hasn't been a garden before wouldn't benefit from a soil test starting out.
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rainbowgardener
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Incidentally, since I have always heard about the "county extension office" and never contacted one, this discussion inspired me to go looking.

Apparently in Ohio the county extension program is part of Ohio State University. The county extension program has a website with lots of info. There is one county extension office in my county (Hamilton County, Ohio). I could not find on-line any info about hours of operation or staffing. They say they put out a newsletter, but apparently the last issue was Summer 2011 (either that or the website hasn't been updated to show any later issues). Trying to find info you get referred from website to website. Apparently the only actual service the CE office provides to home gardeners (other than some on-line info) is the Master Gardener Volunteer Program.

Going to that website, what you see in large bold font is this:

IMPORTANT NOTICE
WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT THE HAMILTON COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE WILL CLOSE IN JANUARY 2013!

As it is the Master Gardener Calendar of Events is about empty and no info or phone number is given about how to contact them...

I think referring people to county extension offices is probably a thing of the past.
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ElizabethB
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I found this vegetable planting guide for Alabama. I list recommended vegetables, planting dates, plant spacing and days until harvest. Hope it helps.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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rainbowgardener
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:?:

Did you forget a link?
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ElizabethB
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:oops:

Sure did

https://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0063/ANR-0063.pdf

Getting old and forgetful.

:(
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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lakngulf
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Anything put in the ground now will be a 50-50 proposition. We will have some 70s temps over the next couple of months, and we will have some 20s. As posted above, you might find some collard plants at the feed-seed store that will do ok. I have turnip greens and mustard greens growing now, but got them planted in late September / early October.

The suggestion to use this time to get soil ready for next spring is a good one. Our County Agents are pretty good, so make an effort to contact them. That is where I get my soil sample packets. Cost a little bit to get it done, but will be the best money you spend, as long as you take the advice of the machines, and experts.
Nutin as good as a kitchen sink mater sammich

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