Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Gardening in August

Colossus Peas
It is tempting to get out there, turn the soil, and start gardening.  If you live in North Florida or where the weather is hot and humid, wait a little longer and do your garden a favor and let it rest until the end of the month, at least.

I am anxious to start the fall garden and I have cleared off one garden plot, a 12 x 12 sq ft area.  I pulled up the rambling tomato vines as well as the egg plants but left the peppers standing.  I turned the soil but did not add any compost or other nutrients.

I know it's somewhat late to plant a cover crop but I sowed Black Eyed Peas in the newly tilled plot.  My intention is to use the peas as a cover crop and to fix nitrogen.  The peas germinates in 6 days and matures in 60 - 70 days.

When the time comes to plant the fall crop, I will mow down the rows of beans and use as a green mature.  If the peas are mature, then that will be a bonus.

Black Eyed Pea Seeds

My mathematician on the Back Forty informed me that the other garden plot is 204 sq ft.  The Sieva Pole Beans have their fixed place, still producing, near the fence.

My granddaughter sowed a row of Colossus Peas as a cover crop and every seed germinated and they are making nice greenery.  They are next to the butter beans.

The Colossus Peas are a legume much closer associated with beans.  Consider their germination 6 - 7 days and they mature in 55 - 75 days.  The peas are ready for harvesting when the pods turn brown and show sign of splitting.  Chuck 'em and store 'em.

Colossus Pea Seeds
In addition to the peas, I plan to clear off the weeds in the large plot and sow a row of Bush Straight Neck Squash, germination 6 days and 60 - 70 days to maturity.

Finally, at the end of the month when more space is cleared off, I plan to sow another row of Contender Snap Beans, germination 6 days and 60 -  70 days to maturity.

The green beans are a true and tried crop with excellent results and we are once again ready to eat snap beans.

Earlier this summer, the Plant Ranch gave me a book Home Grown Food by Milo Shammas also known as Dr. Earth and he writes that "gardening gives you more than the activity and the harvest.  You become a steward of the earth."

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