10-21-11 Seasonal Changes

In this issue:

  1. October in the Garden
  2. Upcoming Classes: Composting Workshop
  3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month: Planting Garlic
  4. Gardenerd Product of the Month: D. Landreth Seeds

1. October in the Garden

The leaves are changing along with the scent of the air, letting us know that fall has definitely arrived. Here in Southern California, seasonal changes are subtle, but for those of us who have lived here forever, those changes are just as noticeable as any killing frost. The wind carries a message; plant fall crops, it’s time!

We just planted Kettle River Giant garlic after pulling out the zucchini, and since we planted out the Lacinato, Siberian, Vates Blue and Red Russian kales in mid-September we’re already harvesting. It’s nice to know that there will be a non-stop supply this fall. Lettuces, spinach, mustard greens, and root crops are all coming up nicely. There’s still time to plant if you haven’t gotten a frost. Just remember, floating row cover is your friend!

I’d like to thank everyone who has been voting for the Gardenerd Test Garden daily on YourGardenShow.com. We’re almost there – please keep voting until October 31. We had a huge jump in votes this week. Your support has been tremendous! There are some great events coming up, including the Green Festival at the LA Convention Center on Oct. 29-30. I’ll be teaching a class on Heirloom and Open-Pollinated Seeds on Sunday. It’s a great weekend of sustainably-focused classes, lectures and vendors. Stop by and say hi.

Happy Gardening,


2. Composting Workshops

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND:: We had several requests for another composting workshop so we’re delivering. Join in our next Composting Workshop to get hands-on experience starting and maintaining your own compost pile. Details and registration are below:

Composting Workshop

3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month: Planting Garlic

Growing your own garlic may take more time than some crops, but the sense of satisfaction is well worth the wait, and it’s simple! You can order garlic from reliable sources (see our links page for companies we trust) to ensure that they are disease-free and are not sprayed to retard sprouting. Your farmers’ market is also a good place to buy starter garlic (just ask if they spray).

If you live in the north, grow hardneck varieties. Southern gardeners do better with softneck varieties. Follow these easy steps:

Condition your soil with plenty of compost. Composted manures are good too

Break up the bulbs into cloves, leaving the papery skin intact

Push cloves into the ground point side up, 2 inches deep. We plant 4 per square foot (Square Foot Gardening) or on 4 inch centers (Grow BioIntensive)

Cover with soil, water well

That’s it! Here’s a great resource from Peaceful Valley Farms with even more information:

Garlic Planting and Growing Guide

4. Gardenerd Product of the Month – D. Landreth Seeds

We’re taking a break from our regular programming to ask for your support for America’s oldest seed company. D. Landreth Seed Company is headed for bankruptcy and the owners have started a campaign to raise funds. Buy a catalog to save this heirloom of America. Read all about it here.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

There’s still time to get the 2011 Fall FantaSeed Collection (couldn’t help it)

Stay tuned for more tips and tidbits from Gardenerd.com. Happy fall gardening!