Whoopee! We made it to September! As you know we don’t usually, instantaneously, go right into fall when the calendar flips months but it sure feels that way this week. Our farming friends in Texas are celebrating too as the temperature finally fell below 100 degrees after months above it, now if they can just get some rain, makes one realize that our summer has not been too bad. The lowering angle of the sun and the darker mornings are the first signs that fall is really around the corner.
We have had shade cloth on the transplant greenhouse and some of the little sliding tunnels all summer to try and moderate the temperature a bit. The lettuce we have had for the last few weeks is only possible with some shade cloth and consistent irrigation. Likewise the celery and Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving, that have been in the ground since late July are only really possible with the help of shade cloth (in my opinion anyway). But now the amount of daylight is so much different than just a few weeks ago that, today, we are taking all of the shade off for the rest of the season. Too much shade and the lettuce, in particular, gets wacky and starts to twist as it grows. We have learned this one the hard way when we first tried to grow lettuce in the late summer and had an entire hoop house cork screw up and didn’t harvest a single head.
Soon we will be mowing down what cover crops we have and the remains of the other summer crops and begin the preparation of the soil for next years crops. It is a slow process this dismantling of the summer farm but one that feels good as it goes along. Tomatoes and trellises out. Lisianthus and Celosia trellises out. Irrigation lines taken up bed by bed as they are no longer needed. The Big Tops uncovered, rolled and stored for another winter. Soil amendments spread to help feed next seasons crops. Finally by mid October it is all seeded to cover crops for the winter and another market season comes to a close for us. Breath deep, you can smell fall just around the bend!
Picture of the Week
The lengthening morning shadows of September, celery and Brussels sprouts under shade