late summer planted crops languishing

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late summer planted crops languishing

Post by Heavydesk »

I planted carrots, onions, radishes and lettuce in cold frame in July. the carrots are good, ready to harvest, but everything else is spindly. I wonder if the plants did not get enough water, after irrigation system was turned off in late September or if the plastic type panel which has condensation between the channels has not let enough light in. I have started propping the lid open on days that are not too cold to see if this will improve things.
Regarding the water, The cold frame is in a garden bed, so I had thought rain on the surrounding bed would take care of water needs.

Advice welcome!
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Re: late summer planted crops languishing

Post by Danoost »

Sunny days are so rare here on the West Coast through the fall and winter that growing in a greenhouse presents a major challenge. High humidity adds to the challenge.

People who live in colder areas with more light typically have greater success. Light is essential.

My advice for growing in the greenhouse on West Coast:

1) Seed fast maturing greens in February or March.
2) Grow sun-lovers through the summer from a May planting: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, ginger
3) Transplant kale, lettuce, romaine and chard in August. Winter protected, these will give you food till Spring.

The problem here is you probably won't have room to plant them in August because the sun-lovers are still actively growing. If that's the case you'll need to make the tough decision to remove some tomatoes or cucumbers to make room for the foods you want to extend into the winter.

Alternatively, you could leave the sun-lovers one month and seed fast-maturing greens in early September. If the your tomatoes, peppers, and cukes are being trained up a string (recommended), you probably have room and light at their base to plant or seed fall/winter crops.
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Re: late summer planted crops languishing

Post by TomF »

I want to build a cold frame to get starts going that won't get devoured by the slugs. Interesting to hear the challenges on teh wet coast though. I would not think that would be as much of a problem. What is the negative impact of humidity in lower temperatures?

This summer I planted two types of turnip, beets, and kohlrabi after my red and storage onions were done. This was early July so a bit hot but wanted to have them ready for winter feeding. They all germinated well and then I left for holidays with my son looking after and watering a few times a day so they wouldn't dry out. When I got back from holidays, half were devoured. Once I started regular watering again I was seeing all teh new leaves disappearing each morning. Only two turnips and one multi sown beet survived.

So in September, looking at an empty bed with "nNo bare soil" and "Living root in the ground" echoing in my ears, I got left overs from the local garden store. Spinach, two lettuces, more beets, and some onions. I felt better about having living roots in the ground but they did not take off and really didn't know how they may do. It was cooler and overcast this fall though. I did get some harvest off the lettuce and thought that whatever survives the winter may come around in the summer but I did not get a tune over them so just continuing to experiment.

My learnings so far is I need to do my own start so I do not have to destroy the plant roots established in the starts when I try to break up a somewhat mature multi sewn garden start. I want to plug them in intact Charles Dowding style. Also I need to just get a good plan together now that I have learned a bit more about how to go about that with Dan and Jack. I want to do starts indoors but could do some July seedlings in a cold frame and likely keep that going with some winter harvest veggies toolkit late lettuce and spinach I imagine.

We did really enjoy those two turnips as soon as they melted out of the snow a week ago though.
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