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Not Conducive For Fall Planting

This is the time of year I should be thinking about the fall garden, but it's been too hot and dry. So hot and dry that the lawn crunches when it's walked on. Our days have pretty much been like this...

Friday's rainfall turned out to be an eighth of an inch.

Rain has been scarce this month too, with our last halfway decent rainfall of 0.7" about a month ago. Even with watering, those upper 90s mean that the last of the summer garden has been in survival mode. These conditions are not conducive for either growing or fall planting.

What to do? If I wait until October to plant, I'll end up with an early spring garden instead of a fall harvest! I had to do something, so I got out my seed trays and planted some starts.

Seed trays planted.

The problem with planting in seed trays is that the soil dries out quickly in hot weather, especially when the humidity is down in the 30s%, like it has been. I can water them and an hour later the poor little things are bone dry. That's not conducive for growing! So I decided to experiment. I put the seed trays in large shallow plastic containers that Dan found in a dumpster years ago. If I fill them with shallow water, I thought, I can prevent the seedlings from drying out.

Seed trays in water tray.

But mosquitoes have been bad this year. If I fill the blue trays with water, isn't that an open invitation to mama mosquitoes looking for places to lay eggs? So I thought, what if I fill the gaps with wood chips?

The wood chips should deter the mosquitoes, help keep the water from evaporating so quickly, and hopefully keep the seed trays a little cooler.

Seed trays in water tray with wood chip mulch.

A couple of days later...

Chinese cabbages sprouting.

Hopefully the rest will be up soon!

Anyone else working on their fall garden?