Looks like my tomatoes are pooping out on me. Just a few more to harvest. We've had a pretty good run together, considering it was my first season, and I still have a big colander-full of Juliettes waiting to be roasted. You wouldn't believe all the wonderful things that can come out of one batch of roasted tomatoes! Last night they went into a dish called Baked Feta (a real moaner!), but they are also great on pasta, pizzas, or as a topping for bruschetta, with a bit of goat cheese. I bet they'd be good in an omelette too. If I forget to share my roasting recipe with you soon, you must remind me!

Anywho, I don't really have a space for planting three more tomato plants for my fall garden, and I don't want to disturb the peppers and eggplants by digging that whole bed up, so, I'm thinking I will just yank out the cherry tomato plant - still a favorite with the stink bugs - and trim the other two way back, to see if they might rejuvenate when it cools down, and produce some fall tomatoes for me. Just have to do a bit of research first, to figure out how to go about it.

The bean and carrot bed bore the brunt of the deer's attention, each time they decided to "party down while she's outta town!", and has been pretty well trampled. I'm thinking I should probably yank all that as well, spread a layer of compost/mulch in all my empty spots, and let it do its magic until it's time for fall planting. Speaking of which, I've been doing my best to figure out this whole "crop rotation" business, and I have to say, it's got my head spinning!

The basic concept is pretty straightforward: you don't want to keep planting the same stuff in the same spot year after year. If you do, soil-borne pests and pathogens, specific to that particular plant family, will build up over time, and productivity will decline. So, just shift your plant families over one bed each year, right? Easier said than done.

It works OK if you've only got one planting season, and only one plant family per bed, but a potager doesn't really work that way. The goal is to keep it going year round, which we can do in this mild climate, with the aid of a little frost cloth. Whenever a spot opens up, you work in a bit of compost, then fill it with whatever else can be successfully planted during that particular window of time (again with those closing doors and opening windows!). What you end up with is several different plant families mixed together in one bed, but you have to be very careful how you do it. Some families get along pretty well, while others are like the Hatfields and the McCoys. Oh my aching head. Like I said, it's complicated!

P.S. Many thanks to Organic Gardening Magazine, an invaluable aide to any gardener, and the source of my crop rotation chart, pictured above.
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Reviewed by juragan asem
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Rating : 4.5