Planting out the fall garden

Finally a break in the rain, and a chance to replant one of the towers with plants for fall harvest. The lettuce and pointed cabbages have all been harvested from this tower now, leaving it almost empty. We harvest our lettuce by taking the outer leaves and can harvest them many many times this way, but eventually they've given all they have to give and are nothing but stalks with clusters of tiny leaves up top - and then it's time to pull them.

There's no point in letting a whole grow tower stand idle when there's still time to grow this season, and I'm ready with plug plants to replant.

But first, I will freshen up the soil. There were large, robust plants growing in these planters for several months - in  particular the cabbage plants grew huge and will have used up the nutrients the soil was given at the spring planting - and the soil is dense with roots. Not conditions I could expect new plants to thrive in if they were just stuck into the holes left behind! So I'll break up the root clumps, add more nutrients and fluff up the soil.


When an entire level of the planter has been harvested I prefer to dump the whole thing in a wheelbarrow (or in a box, a bin, on a tarp, whatever one has), add the new ingredients, mix it all up and refill.

But sometimes only some of the pockets are empty, and then I need to use a hand trowel and refresh the soil pocket by pocket while still in the planter.

To replace nutrients I'm adding fish fertilizer, worm castings, and in the planters that have supported heavy feeders like cabbage, more all-round fertilizer as well.

This GreenStalk stands in the shadiest area of our yard and is getting refilled with lettuce, radicchio, spinach, radishes, coriander, dill, mustard greens and ruccola - plants that can produce a harvest in the few months left of the season here in Sweden. We didn't have any spinach or radishes this spring - I'd had a very busy spring and didn't get any sown in time for them to have a chance before the hot summer weather came, and I've missed them! So I'm looking forward to these most of all.

I'm planting two plants in each pocket (more for radishes and herbs). I'm not sure how fast they will grow with the weather we're having this year, if the lettuce and spinach should start getting crowded I'll remove one plant later.

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