Sunday, August 8, 2010

Zone 8 Second growing season

This morning before my run I went to let the Dogs out and realized I was not being choked by thick Georgia humidity. It was such a relief to breath crisp air with an actual cool breeze in my face. Sometimes we tend to take these things for granted when we have them everyday. I guess its human nature. Nevertheless, this weather has sparked my interest into prepping my garden for the second growing season of zone 8.

Last year I learned alot about planting cool weather plants for the second part of the growing season in zone 8. Although I had great success with the variety of plants and reaped a good yield; my plants were the target of many ailments that had to be monitored. I suspect this was from a few reasons. First, the bugs were gorging themselves on all my leafy cool weather greens; Second, the heavy rains smothered alot of my young plants and caused some others to be water logged causing many of the plants to have ailments associated with over watering.

Farming is tough and I give credit to all the farmers who have to do this day in and out to survive. Throw in organic and its a whole nother animal. Weather, bugs, and a little bit of negligence your crop is wiped out. This year we are planting just a little bit earlier while the ground is still relatively warm. I think with all my amateur experience that warmth during the germination stage kicks start the genetic code of the plants and will give them their real bang for the buck. This will translate into a plant that has a healthier root system and I'm assuming this will enable to the plants to ward of disease opposed to them being planted in cooler weather where they tend to be a bit lethargic and not able to defend themselves as well. This is all based on my experience and a bit of experimentation. During this second season, I have planted:

Butter Nut squash
Egg plant (Still Producing from first season)
Sweet Peppers
Brussel Sprouts
Swiss Chard
Spring Onions
Lima Beans
Pole beans
Bush beans
Alacante Beans
Sun flowers

Looking forward to this second season. Some plants like spinach just can not be planted in this heat however there are some Japanese spinach varieties that do very well in heat. Unfortunately the seed packet got wet and the seeds prematurely germinated and all died. Dammit!!