Fall Has Arrived
It rained yesterday. That’s not surprising, it is early October. What is surprising is that the temeperature dropped about thirty degrees over the past four days.
Then, it was one of those grey days and the rain wasn’t rain, but a drizzle. And it did that all day long. My normally light shirt was replaced by a lightweight hoodie and t-shirt, and I didn’t take it off until I went to bed.
In southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, this sort of weather is unusual during early October. Many times I have seen it hovering around 100-degrees at this time of year, but this has been an unusual year. Spring was very late coming, and the rains continued well into the spring. Every growing thing got a late start and a short time to mature. The sad thing is that there is very little the average person can do about it, except accept the weather and go forward with whatever plans you have left.
That means concentrating on a fall garden. Now, it’s true that the garden, started this late in the year can be interrupted by early frost, but you still have to do the best you can. It can also mean a touch of warm weather can cause some of those cabbage and lettuce plants to bolt, but it doesn’t seem likely this year (in this area).
Basically, gardeners have two choices: change the garden plantings or find suitable protection for your tender plants.
If you choose the latter, make certain the plants you grow are cold hardy, like the cabbage family, some of the lettuce and root crops like beets. Leeks and onions will overwinter, and depending on your climate, will do quite well. Keep in mind that winter crops will take longer to mature than they do in the summer. If you have a greenhouse, all the better. For in a greenhouse you have control of the temperature and can keep plants at near optimal temps during the life of the plant. growing outdoors means lots of mulch, like straw, and covering plants at night, especially when frost is in the forcast.
Many of the plants normally thought of as summer crops can be grown in the greenhouse, despite freezing weather outside. The key is keeping the inside temperature at, or near, where summer temperatures might be. There are many ways of doing this. If you ahve a commercial greenhouse, they will often come with instructions on installing a heating system. If not, you must find a way to bring the temperature up and hold it there during long winter nights.
In the coming weeks we will touch more on this subject, and see if I can keep my greenhouse operating as it should.
- Fall Web Worms
- Cold, wet spring slows down Oregon agriculture
- THE BEE LINE