Category Archives: Garden Journal

GARDEN JOURNAL ** FALL PLANTING ** Seeds to sow in August for a Fall Garden

Mixed lettuce

Mixed lettuce

For me, here in Julian where we get our first frost around mid November, late August is it for fall planting. The seeds I sow now must really like cold weather. Long Standing Bloomsdale and Winter Bloomsdale Spinach, Bronze Arrowhead Oakleaf Lettuce and Rough d’Hiver Romaine Lettuce, Evergreen hardy Scallions and a few last minute Bolero Nantes and Little finger Carrots all went into the garden yesterday.  I sowed Bright Lights Chard, Roquette Arugula and Calabrese Broccoli seeds last month from seeds I saved from my early spring crop.

GARDEN JOURNAL ** FALL PLANTING ** Iris Rhizomes

Iris Rhizomes ready for planting

Iris Rhizomes

I don’t usually plant non-edibles but often neighbors and friends ask me if I need or want something they have dug up because they have to many or they are doing garden remodeling. I really can’t say no and irises are lovely;  so today I planted a bunch of irises a neighbor gave me in a bed where I already had daffodils. It was perfect timing. The ground was still wet from the rain so the soil was easy to dig into and late summer is a great time to plant iris rhizomes. Iris rhizomes only get planted about four inches deep and they like to be well watered in.

 

Yellow Iris in full Bloom

Yellow Iris in full Bloom

 

 

 

 

 

GARDEN JOURNAL ** After the rain pull out the Bermuda Grass!

Bermuda Grass roots and rhizomes coming off a shoot and

Bermuda Grass roots and rhizomes coming off a shoot and

After the rain is the best time to go after Bermuda grass (and if you are brave poison oak or ivy). Why, what do these two undesirables have in common? Runners! Both of these plants spread from rhizomes or root crowns. This means they send out shoots and where those shoots touch the ground there is the potential for roots to grow from that shoot thereby starting a new plant that then establishes itself and starts sending out runners or shoots of its own. It just keeps encroaching deeper and deeper into your garden if it’s not weeded out. If you don’t want to use herbicides in your organic garden then after the rain is the perfect time to go out and pull up the Bermuda grass that may have been sneaking into your garden this summer. This happens in my garden because it was a converted (shudder) Bermuda grass lawn. I compost just about everything EXCEPT Bermuda grass (and poison oak). Bermuda grass has a strong will to survive, there is a reason it is used to cover sports fields! If you toss your pile of Bermuda grass weeds into your compost pile, over the neighbors fence or leave it just sitting in a corner of the garden new plants will grow where the pulled up weeds  touch the ground. They will start to propagate themselves all over again, SO Bermuda grass is one of the few things I bag up and send off our property.