Tag Archives: vegetable garden

Planning My Fall Garden

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Planning My Fall Garden

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After years of planting a vegetable garden, I finally learned that one can plant continuously throughout the season.   By mid-July, garlic, peas, and spring crops have been harvested leaving room in my garden.    Planting more seeds will keep the weeds at bay and provide more crops for an autumn harvest.   Cooler autumn days are a mere month away,  so its time to gather seeds and make a plan to get those crops in while the days are longer and the temps are warm.   This method of following a harvested crop with another is known as succession and/or seasonal planting.

The following is a list of some of the crops I’ve successfully planted in late July/early August:

  • Arugula, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mesclun, Pak Choy, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Peas
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Crops planted in late July are taking off by late August — beans, cabbage, beets, kale.

 

There are more options including curly parsley, claytonia, turnips, mizuna, radish, endive, leeks and mache.   For a successful late fall harvest, you need to time your cold-season crops properly.   They should be planted when the weather is still warm — in late summer or early autumn — and while there is still more than 10 hours of sunlight per day.     Cold-season crops should be almost mature by the time the cold weather finally arrives in late autumn.   Protecting the vegetables with a season extender like a cold frame or hoop tunnel will enable them to hold on through the winter.

 

 

 

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Getting the cold frame ready for late summer planting of cold crops.

Here are some examples of fall crops planted from locally purchased seeds:

Scarlet Nantes Carrot

  • Days to germination:  12-18 days
  • Days to maturity:  65-75
  • Plant dates:   August 1-31
  • Harvest date:  October 10-November 15

Early Vienna White Kohlrabi

  • Days to germination:  6-12 days
  • Days to maturity:  58 days
  • Plant dates:  August 10-September 10
  • Harvest date:  October 15-November 15

Chinese Cabbage – Pak Choi

  • Days to germination:  5-7 days
  • Days to maturity:  50 days
  • Plant dates:  August 10-September 10
  • Harvest dates:  October 5-November 5

Red Acre Cabbage

  • Days to germination:  7-12 days
  • Days to maturity:  65 days
  • Plant dates:  August 1-5
  • Harvest dates:   October 6-15

Ruby Queen Beets

  • Days to germination:  10-14 days
  • Days to maturity:  55 days
  • Plant dates:   August 1-15
  • Harvest dates:  October 5-15

When its time to start,  I gather my supplies, clean up the planting area and add compost if needed.   I set aside a day in late July/early August to plant seeds.  If I have time, I’ll do a second planting a week or two later.   I make sure to map out my crops on paper and mark the rows well so I can see what’s coming up.

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My friend Jen helped me plant carrots, beets, lettuce, kohlrabi, cabbage and more.. August 4, 2017.

This last round of crops is awesome but can be a challenge to process with the avalanche of tomatoes, peppers and other warm season crops that pile up just after the first frost — late September to late October in Denver.   Make sure to set aside time for cooking and preserving in September and October.  I often invite friends over to preserve together to make it more fun.  The investment in time will be worth it.   The planting is easy and  you grow more than you can eat or preserve, share the surplus with friends or donate to the local food bank.

I challenge you to plant a fall garden and you’ll be happy with the results!

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The broccoli in the raised bed survived the frost and we harvested into November.

 

 

 

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Christine’s Garden — Easthampton, MA

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Christine’s  Garden — Easthampton, MA

Visiting other people’s gardens is one of my favorite things do.   I am eager to see how they do it and possibly learn something that I can apply to my own gardens.    During my trip to Smith College for my 30th College Reunion in May, I was forturnate to have the opportunity to provide rides for the Headquarters Chair, Christine Kravetz Mc arthy,  whose only form of wheeled transportation is a bike.   Our chief mission was to harvest fresh lilacs from her yard to decorate the tables at one of our reunion dinners.   Making several trips to her house in Easthampton, Christine gave me an inside glimpse of the surrounding community, her garden, the local farm stands, the bike paths, and the Northampton Community Garden.   What a treat it was!!!!

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Harvested lilacs ready for transport to Smith College Reunion Dinner. Imagine the beauty of all little blue flowers lighting up the Spring lawn!!!

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Seedlings sprouting in egg cartons.

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Christine giving me a tour of her berry patch.

Even though, it was barely mid-May, Christine’s garden was already blooming with flowers, salad greens, herbs, spinach, fledging tomatoes, garlic and more!    The last frost date must be earlier in Massachutts — we are so often bitten by frost, snow or ice as late at May 22 in Denver.   On her driveway, Christine had seeds sprouting in egg cartons and other seedlings housed in a kiddie pool.

A bed ready for planting.

A bed ready for planting.

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The backyard was blooming with flowers, lilacs and spring veggies behind a sweet white house on a quiet street right off the bike path.

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Lettuce happily growing in straight rows.

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Autumn’s garlic standing tall with kale in the background.