Friday, September 19, 2014

Autumn Draws near

This picture was snapped on Wednesday evening after the market.

Welcome back to another episode of Lost In The Farmer’s Market this week we have some rather good photos from the field. Before we really get into the images of the week, for note since the last episode the area of the test gardens has had approximately three precipitation events with 2.1”, 0.3” and 0.5”. The weekly total as of this writing is 2.9” With this extra rainfall we have had more fall-like temperatures and cool night time temperatures which is perfect for transitioning away from your warm season crops to your cold season crops. This means the summer flowers that are sputtering might get replaced with pansies, snapdragons, chrysanthemums or dusty miller. The vegetables that are really sputtering now could be replaced with Kale, Cabbage, Mustard, Lettuce, Radishes (very short season), carrots, beets and Swiss chard. The herbs are not immune to the changes either as now is the time to stick in the last of the parsley, while cilantro, cumin, dill and chamomile could replace basil and seasoning peppers in instances where the plants are not doing so well. But speaking of fall flowers the fall crowd is looking good in the test gardens. The show has just begun but with an early fall response like this…

You know it’s really fall when the chrysanthemums are in bloom.

Yellow Echibeckia

Orange Echibeckia – Summerina Orange

Rudbeckia laciniata – Cutleaf Coneflower
Bunia orientalis – Warty cabbage
The options remain open, as you can see maybe everything does not happen at once but then who said it ever had to? Fall is the season for a color change and preparations to move your gardens into a low-activity mode of sorts. The usual date for the first frost is October 20th-28th depending on weather with the first killing frost often appearing in late November or December.  Now is the best time to start thinking of your fall colors and consider where to place your chrysanthemums in the garden. As I’ve stated before few realize both Chrysanthemums and Dusty Miller are perennials and fewer still realize that snapdragons planted now will likely return in spring and may resow themselves.

But of course as you readers might know despite the change in the weather the Farmer’s Market goes on. The City/Farmer’s market in downtown Fayetteville is a year-round affair. The Wednesday market likely will continue into winter at its usual time between the hours of 2:00pm to 6:00pm. The Saturday Market will continue on in its time slot of 9:00 am through 1:00pm and with the Multicultural Festival coming up next weekend you can be sure that the Saturday market will be very lively. The market is located at 325 Franklin Street in downtown Fayetteville and is spread across the Fayetteville Transportation museum property. On Saturdays parking enforcement is off-duty so parking is unmetered and free.

Southward Skies: A northern guide to southern Gardening
This is the second edition of my book, which was published using data compiled from several years of test garden operations. It’s written to aid gardeners of all skill levels in successful garden methods that are targeted for the south east but had proven to be a valued resource for gardens across the eastern coast. It’s certainly a good gift for that gardener you know or for yourself if you’d like to have a reliable field guide. The book costs $25.00 and we do take checks for this item, you can even have it signed.

Cold-Season Crops
6x Mustard Greens, India, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Mustard Greens, Red Giant, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Kale, Russian Red, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Collard Greens, Georgia, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Lettuce, Black seeded Simpson, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
4x Onion, Egyptian Red, 3.5” pot ($3.00)

2x Artemesia, 3.5” pot ($2.00)
6x Baloon Flower, White 3.5” pot ($2.00)
6x Nicotina, Flowering Tobacco, 3.5” pot ($2.00)
6x Rudbeckia, Irish Eyes, 3.5” pot ($2.00)

Perennial Flowering & Fruiting Vines:
1x Muscadinia rotundifolia, Muscadine Grape Vine (Copper) – 3.5” pot ($3.00)

Coming Soon:
Dino Kale
Stonehead Cabbage
Wakefeild Cabbage
Romaine Lettuce

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