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Good Gardening: Fall Thoughts

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John Fischer
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  This is a good time to make notes on things you might do a bit differently in your yard and garden next year, and to consider wholesale changes in the way we grow fruits, vegetables, and grass.

  

  

  It is drier longer than it used to be.  The 5th of July end to the rainy season has moved to before memorial day.  And with warmer weather, the same amount of rain won't produce the same growth in plants.
  That means you will have to water more, grow less, grow different crops, and grow in different ways.
Beans, tomatoes, peppers and zucchini can do well with minimal water once they are established.  Cut off the water to your tomatoes now, and cut off new blooms so fruit already set will ripen.  I experimented with some deeply mulched tomatoes.  With 2 feet of leaves around the plants, I only watered a little in August.  and got fewer, but super tasty tomatoes.  I will experiment with more semi dryland growing next year.
  Corn and midsummer broccoli or lettuce use a lot of water.  Next year grow more spring crops- peas, cauliflower, cabbage, beets, and carrots that are largely mature by the time the soil starts to dry out.  Mature fruit trees need no summer water in much of western Oregon.
   The biggest water user in town is grass.  And much of it is more ornamental than functional.  If you water your grass - I don't - look at where you are using the lawn- and where you are not.  Next year consider keeping only the area that functions as outdoor living space green, while letting the space that only gets walked on when you are mowing go dormant.

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Credit John Fischer
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  It will green up as soon as the fall rains start in October- or maybe November..
I'm John Fischer with KLCC's Good Gardening.
 
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