I got the rye planted in the trellis area and in a section of the main garden where we never got planted this year because it was too wet.

It is thrown up into beds so should dry out much easier next spring. If the rye gets too big before I can till it in, I will smother it with the rugs I keep in the garden for that purpose, usually used between the raised beds. The plan is that those beds have been composted now in the fall so should be ready to go for early spring plantings next year.

I also got another bed planted with rye where I had dug potatoes earlier. I spread compost and worked it in then planted immediately.

Normally I like to work the soil then let the first flush of weed seeds germinate so when I rake in the rye they are wiped out. If you let the dicotyledons (false leaves) fully emerge and then disturb the soil, the energy in the seed has been consumed but it hasn’t established roots yet that can draw sustenance from the soil. Hitting them at that time means no rerooting can occur and no energy left to try again.

I got caught up in the whirl of events in this case and planted straight away. I composted another bed that was idle and worked that in but was able to restrain myself. Well, not exactly, dark fell and came with clouds so I couldn’t see what I was doing anymore.

It is raining today so by the time it dries out the second bed will be seeded with normal protocol so the one seeded immediately will be an experiment. I will see next spring which bed will be weediest.

Most weed seeds germinate from the top inch or two (2.5 to 5 cm) of soil but are brought to the surface by tillage. While weeds will germinate all season due to some weeds being seasonal, like spring, summer, and fall weeds, when you work soil you can expect about three main flushes of weed seeds germinating. By delaying planting the first flush can be eliminated.

Of course in dry land farming you wouldn’t do this because each tillage operation means loss of moisture so tilling and planting in the same day is preferable.

I am also going to plant some spinach now in the hope it will overwinter and come on early in the spring. I have done this in the past and it has been successful. There is a special variety of spinach for doing this that I don’t have but will plant some regular variety and hope for the best.

I meant to plant it 1st of October but missed that, didn’t I? We have a small bed by the greenhouse with sides higher than the bed so if necessary I will use some glazing over that to get sufficient growth. The idea is that it has to grow enough to get a set of true leaves so it is rooted well enough to not frost heave out, but not get too big as juvenility seems to have some bearing on success.

I have done this on a field scale and it worked well but in this case I will try mulching some. I haven’t done this for a long time, more than a decade, so will be fun to try again.

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