Since (as I've mentioned a few times before) I don't have much space in my garden, I have to be pretty cagey when it comes to planning out my garden. As a personal rule, I don't like a lot of clutter, but I'm not opposed to crowding my garden a bit if it's in the best interest of getting a good harvest. I've been thinking a bit about my fall garden this year, and have come to realize that my thoughts are pointing me into the direction of not doing anything overly crazy. Basically, I'm going to give fall beets a second shot (after a failure last year), and I'm going to try growing fall spinach and overwintered spinach (the former was a failure last year...which led to a success for the latter). I'm also going to plant some carrots in my very reliable "carrot planters" in order to have some carrots to harvest late in the year.
The idea is to sow as follows:
July 26: First planting of Boro and Boldor (golden) beets in NE corner of the garden
August 2: Nelson carrots in planters in S section
August 16: Sow second planting of beets in WSW corner and fall-harvest spinach (Butterflay and Olympia) in NNW sector
September 13: Sow overwintering spinach in the ESE corner
I had good success with overwintered spinach last year, although it was a mistake that turned out well. I thought I'd plant spinach for fall harvest, but I ended up planting a few weeks too late for that (mid-September or so), so I left the spinach in the ground and it took off like mad in the spring. I'm going to see if I can replicate that this coming fall/winter, while actually getting a fall harvest as well. My only problem is getting a decent germination rate for my spinach. Any pointers on helping that along?
I planted Merlin beets this spring, and while I've harvested a couple of them that got to about 1", the rest are puny roots with nice leaves. I didn't fertilize with nitrogen (just a broad fertilizer), but I did crowd them a bit, so they probably just didn't like how I went about it. I plan to space them out better this fall, and want to see if a good fertilizer will help. Any suggestions on a good organic fertilizer for beets?
I'm going to post a layout of my fall garden a little later. Once the tomatoes and basil in the SW area are done, I'll pull them and plant garlic there. And I'm sure I'll find a spot or two for some extra carrots or herbs or something. I always do!