Thursday, August 14, 2008

Second Plantings

It is early August, the time of second plantings here. With the mild autumn coastal weather, the first frosts come any time between mid-October and mid-November, with the first hard freeze not usually arriving until Thanksgiving. This means that cool-season vegetables can be planted again now and harvested in the months of October and November: lettuce and other greens, as well as broccoli and other members of the cabbage family, peas, and spinach and chard. I'm a little late starting it, because I'm still harvesting lettuce and greens from the spring plantings, along with beets, potatoes, cabbage, onions, and early tomatoes. The rabbit has gotten most of the snap beans and has eaten the top leaves of the edamame, part of which I covered and hope to bring to harvest.

I was able to find some buckwheat seed after all, and so I planted it as a cover crop where the peas grew. This stony part of the garden has many weed seeds that come up annually, but growing buckwheat now should smother them for at least next year. I intend to plant some oats and clover in another garden as a cover crop later this month.

This morning I heard the song of a phoebe, unusual at this time of the year. In the spring they are usually around, and often they have built nests near the house; but this year was notable for their absence. This morning's appearance was surprising. On the other hand, the song of the barred owl has been startling near the house on many nights this month.

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