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Time to plant that fall organic garden

Author with bumper harvest of heirloom organic tomatoes
Author with bumper harvest of heirloom organic tomatoes
Merlyn Seeley

Did you plant a spring garden? Are you going to plant a fall garden? If not, why not? Many questions may surface when someone talks about organic gardening to others, especially if organic gardening is your passion. One thing is for sure, though, the question of when to plant your fall garden can be answered quickly and precisely....plant it now! End of July and August are the time, in southern Missouri, when fall planting is best. Average temperatures in this area of the country are usually pretty hot, but we have had a pretty mild summer this year and so fall, the month of August, usually our hottest month, has been quite cool. If you ask a homesteader, like myself, it is time to plant that fall garden to take advantage of the short fall season that we just may be in store for.

According to the Killeen Daily Herald, "Expert gardeners and amateur enthusiasts gathered Saturday afternoon at the Activities Center. The city’s second Seed and Plant Swap was sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department." If you are into organic and heirloom gardening seed swaps are the cheapest and usually the best way to get your organic and heirloom seeds. Seeds that are heirloom have not been altered from their original beginning, some 100's of years back. Organic seeds could very well be hybrid which have been altered in some way. If you are going to plant an heirloom or organic fall garden, look for seed swaps in your local area and make sure to protect own heritage through seeds before genetically modification (GMO) makes them all extinct!

Usually seed swaps are held a few times a year and are a great way to get free seeds for your fall garden that you may be lacking. If you have extra seeds you can trade them for what you may want/need to plant in your fall garden. Some seed swap gatherings also swap seedlings and plants. Enjoy these gardening tips and put them to use in your fall garden.

Using organic manure and humus
When you are planning your organic garden you have to take into consideration the condition of the native soil. If you have hard dry looking soil then chances are you have a very acidic soil which will grow certain plants while others will not only not grow well but the seeds may not ever sprout. If you buy humus/manure mix make sure it is an organic humus mix or you will not have an organic garden growing. Your soil has to be amended too, and prepared before planting seedlings or seeds so that you will get a good harvest instead of one that just starts out slow, grows slow and then just stops growing. This is usually what happens when you try and plant in soil that is not all that great.

In Missouri, we have pretty acidic soil so some things grow well and some do not. Sometimes carrots planted from seed can be planted 3 times a year and all 3 times never even get a sprout. Other things in the garden can do really well such as, collards and cabbage and peas, tomatoes. So amending the soil using a mix of organic humus and manure really helps. Now you can buy this by the 40lb bag at most stores that carry potting soil and it is really cheap, around $1.97 cent for a 40lb bag. Plants will grow much better and quicker in the newly amended soil you will notice. If you have access, a place where manure is abundant, such as a cattle auction barn, then you could get loads of cattle manure for free. Never plant seeds or plants directly in manure/soil mix. Always allow a week or more to pass by so the manure does not burn the plants/seeds.

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