I adore autumn.
And although it’s still pretty hot here in Florida, fall is just around the corner! So yesterday I declared it time to plant the fall garden.
We started seeds about 2 or 3 weeks ago in paper egg cartons. I was really pleased with how the pumpkins, acorn squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions did in the egg cartons.
The beets and the carrots are another story…
I tried to extend their growing season by starting them in the cartons, and I just don’t think that paned out well. I lost an entire carton of beets, and about half of another. Bummer. And it was really hard to transplant them as they were so fragile still. I think either I need to let them grow longer in the egg cartons, or just skip the seed starting and always plan on direct sowing. Luckily I planned on direct sowing most of the seeds anyway, I was just hoping for two rounds of harvests. Lesson learned!
To prepare the soil we tilled in our cover crop, and I spread a layer of rabbit manure over top the soil (thanks, Tundra!). Then I mulched with a bale of straw over that to keep the weeds from taking over my tenderly prepared garden soil. So it was all ready for transplanting yesterday.
It was a breeze to transplant the larger plants. And of course my favorite four year old helped me out:) The egg cartons worked really well. I would suggest doing this in the morning when the cartons are still damp, it makes it really easy to tear them apart for planting. I also gently ripped off the bottom of the carton to make it easier for the roots to reach the soil.
Time will tell if all this work will pay off or not. But I really am hopeful that we’ll at least have a better garden then we did in the spring. We’ve put much more effort into soil preparation this time around. Fingers crossed!