Establishing the Fall and Winter Garden

West of the Cascades, germinating fall and winter crops in the heat
of summer is always difficult. Even when the entire garden is well
watered, midsummer sowings require daily attention and frequent
sprinkling; however, once they have germinated, keeping little
seedlings growing in an irrigated garden usually requires no more
water than the rest of the garden gets. But once hot weather comes,
establishing small seeds in the dry garden seems next to impossible
without regular watering. Should a lucky, perfectly timed, and
unusually heavy summer rainfall sprout your seeds, they still would
not grow well because the next few inches of soil would at best be
only slightly moist.
A related problem many backyard gardeners have with establishing the
winter and overwintered garden is finding enough space for both the
summer and winter crops. The nursery bed solves both these problems.
Instead of trying to irrigate the entire area that will eventually
be occupied by a winter or overwintered crop at maturity, the
seedlings are first grown in irrigated nurseries for transplanting
in autumn after the rains come back. Were I desperately short of
water I'd locate my nursery where it got only morning sun and sow a
week or 10 days earlier to compensate for the slower growth.

ENEMIES OF THE CURRANT Evaluating Potential Rooting Ability facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail