UPBEAT’s Pre-FALL Guide SEPTEMBER 2019 Many Surprises by Kimberly Childers •

Santa Rosa, CA. ~ Tiniest of hum- mingbird sipping water with long thin beak, feathers glistening, robin thor- oughly splashing about then preening on edge of grey concrete rim in sun- shine, most divine! Planting seeds, watching them grow, developing into gorgeous plethora of flowers, deli- cious vegetables and fruit, absolutely amazing, spectacular, surprising! The word surprise was first recorded in 1425-75 from medieval Latin, su- perprehendere.

Anglo- French, sur-

prendre, originally meaning an un- expected seizure of a place, or attack on troops! Now surprise is defined as amaze, astound, astonish. Could be the pure meaning of the garden for most aficionados and incredible for all that appreciate and are totally immersed. When gardening, we need to pay

more attention to nature. Observation is so important for gardeners. Notice- ably the days of September are chang- ing, morphing with the po- sition of the planet around our star and the tilt of the globe spinning in space among bright stars. Every month in the gar- den is busy, right?!

tember is no exception. From planting


Sep- for

new fall crops, to dead- heading flowers of all kinds, turning the break- ing-down compost bin and harvesting your lus- cious fruits and vegetables. August and September are great times to get fall gardens going, it’s your second chance before winter comes. Remem-

ber polyculture is better than mono- culture. Mix plants together flowers, herbs and veggies confusing hungry

nutritious Purple Lady bok choy. Plant salad greens such as mache, mustard, arugula collards, dinosaur, dwarf Si- berian or blue curled kale, mizuna, salad burnet, and other ‘speedy -crops. Don’t forget radishes! They are an incredible powerhouse of vitamins.

Check them

out online and be totally amazed! Onions, shallots and garlic should be planted now for spring harvesting as well as cabbage. Seeds will germinate quickly in the warm soil of autumn. Get your hands on a copy

pests yet pollinators rejoice! Plant delicious slow-bolting spinach, May Queen butterhead lettuce, Little Gem petite romaine lettuce and incredibly

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of Baker Creek’s the Whole Seed Catalog and prepare to be amazed or should I say surprised?!

Make sure your soil is still full of

nutrients for the fall crop. You don’t want to ‘burn’ your new seedlings and starts, just get them going and add fish emulsion and/or MaxSea seaweed products and organic all-purpose fer- tilizer for vegetables. Offer them these nutrients when they are a little bigger, 4-5 inches tall. If it’s really hot make sure you have lightly covered the area so they don’t fry. Observation, remem- ber?!

Harvest, harvest, harvest. Time to start canning, drying and freezing. When the dark days of winter are here, you’ll be glad you did, I prom- ise! Clean up the garden from debris although you should leave seeds stalks etc. for birds and other wildlife. What a surprise when you glimpse birds eat-

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You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice. ~ Bob Marley

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