Thinking ahead to the fall garden...

chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Seed Saving & Fall Prep

Even with a full garden and a busy schedule of preserving looming in my near future, my mind always turns to the fall garden this time of year. I know if I do not think about and plan for it now, it will never happen once the season of preservation begins! While I plan to sow some seeds directly, such as beets, spinach, turnips, and carrots, I took some time yesterday to sow some others that will take a bit longer to mature. One variety that I have been very happy with is a broccoli named aspebroc. While this is a hybrid (not GMO though), I have been beyond pleased with its performance! We planted four plants in the spring and have gotten two abundant harvests already so far, and they are still going strong in our 90+ degree heat wave! I also sowed two varieties of cabbage - chinese cabbage and one called Charmant (a small french heading storage variety) - they have been reliably good for us in the past. A new variety this year which I sowed in spring (Violageo Di Verona) has been growing steadily and is huge! I will need to space these out more next year :) I did choose to sow one extra of this variety to experiment if it will mature in time between now and winter... if that works, it will free up more space for me in the spring to sow something else and still get my cabbage harvest in :) Anyone else thinking ahead to the next round of sowing? What are you planning?


  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    @chimboodle04 you are totally organised but isn't it worth it. I'm the opposite here in Australia, thinking of spring. Started buying seeds to plant in late winter (august) and have ready to plant out mid to late September. Tomatoes, beans, zucchini, cucumber, eggplant, okra etc. This last autumn though I did plant 3 different varieties of peas for winter and staggered the plantings, we are now reaping the benefits. Sugar snap, snow and telephone peas are starting to really produce. Same for lettuce, red oak leaf, freckle and buttercrunch. We got hit really big in March/April with butterflies and my young brassicas have done it tough but the purple sprouting broccoli seems to have made it. Have you grown broad beans before? Anyway all the best with your garden and preserving.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,358 admin
    edited July 2020

    No broad beans... I'll be growing greens, greens and more greens... collards, turnips and mustard especially!

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow yes, being organized IS worth it :) - but I really took the hard way there as far as Fall planting is concerned. Years of "Oh, I will get to it and I am sure there will be plenty of time for things to grow", only to be left with immature veggies and a few leaves were good and tough teachers lol! Now, I set a reminder to get my butt in gear earlier so I will not be sorry later! Honestly, I have never grown broad beans... Are they harvested for the pods or the beans inside? Any good recipes you could share? Always looking for something else to add :)

    @judsoncarroll4 same question for the collards and mustard greens - any really good recipes you could share for inspiration? I grow kale, chard and spinach, and these seem to cover anything I would want a cooked leafy green in, so I haven't really sown collards or mustard...

    Thanks to you both :)

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    @chimboodle04 the beans inside the pod are very yummy. The bean itself needs to be shelled, they are great in risotto, cooked up with bacon and garlic or simply steamed as a side dish. I have tried 3 seasons here now and was really hoping to harvest some, freeze some but I'm starting to think it's just not cold enough here. Anyway they are a legume and if nothing else put some N into the soil!

  • Alison
    Alison Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

    I live in Australia also; Southern NSW.

    We are currently in winter. While I didn't have time to start much from seed for this Autumn/ Winter, but I did buy some heirloom punnets of broccoli and cauliflower. I planted some among carrots that were about 1/2 to 3/4 finished and found the cabbage moth and aphids left them alone. Most of the others I put under exclusion netting straight away. When aphids moved in I then dealt with those with an home made spray and then put netting over them also.

    This year I also cast out some carrot, purple top turnip and parsnips around the broccoli and cauliflower. All is doing well and I am harvesting the turnips as needed. The purple cauliflower is coming along nicely, while the broccoli is yet to form a head on most plants.

    I started these out in our mid February to ensure they had time to grow before it got too cold.

    I have a few areas of snow peas and peas. They too are producing well. I put a few cauliflower below them so that they could benefit from the nitrogen.

    I won't be planting out this coming year as it's a rest year for my land. I observe a 7 year cycle for my property. So every 7 years I don't plant a crop. I have an abundance of annual fruits, nuts and veggies that I can harvest. The rest of the time I will focus on nourishing the soil, doing additional pruning and feeding the soil.

    This also provides a break from the bug cycle.

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Posts: 643 admin

    I am going for Asian greens, corn salad, spinach some beets and probably some carrots. And leeks and kale of course. Trying one salad for over wintering and harvesting in early spring next year.

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    @chimboodle04 great you’re planning for fall. I’ve thought about the planning, ran some ideas through my head, went through seeds to decide what to plant as well as where to plant them. Peas, broccoli, cabbage, winter squash, Brusselsprouts were what I’m thinking. Just hoping to get the back garden spot ready. Right now things are planted all over in pots and food grade buckets, and we also have a garden at my boyfriends house. So we’re swinging between our two houses/gardens maximizing the space we have available.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,358 admin

    @chimboodle04 I definitely recommend growing Morris Heading collards - they are an heirloom variety developed in the area where I grew up. They are much sweeter than other varieties. We just rinse the leaves, cut out the tough stems and chop into fairly large ribbons. Render some fatback or add some bacon fat to a pot, and toss the collards in while still wet. Leave the lid off. Salt. Stir every now and then to move the bottom leaves tot he top. Serve when tender, with hot pepper vinegar. That is the way I like them best; very simple... fried cornbread on the side. The Georgia type collards may need additional seasoning and cooking time - people add sugar, chicken broth, smoked meat, Creole seasoning, etc. It is all good and varies by region and family tastes, but I like to be able to taste the subtle bitterness of the greens.

    Mustard is usually just prepared as I recommended for collards. But, be sure to save the small, tender leaves for a spicy addition to a salad - they are hot like hot raddish.

    Turnips are my favorite. They re an excellent addition to soups and the roots make great roasted vegetables. But, most often, I prepare the leaves just as I recommended for collards, with the addition of the trimmed and roughly chopped roots. The bitter leaves with the sweet roots, savory/salty pork fat and sour/hot vinegar really hits all the notes for a truly good meal!

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    @Alison That's awesome about the carrots keeping the cabbage moths away - we have huge problems with the moths where I live and the only thing that will work is to cover the plants right from the start, like you also suggested. I will need to try this :)

    @maimover do you live somewhere warm? I don't think my brussels sprouts or winter squash would ever have time to produce... I would love to be able to plant them as a fall crop and free up more bed space earlier in the season :) Good luck with your season!

    @judsoncarroll4 Thank you so much for the suggestions! I had collards one and they were very bitter, so I just never really tried them again. I will see if I can find seeds for the variety you suggested :) That does sound delicious!

  • smik123
    smik123 Posts: 60 ✭✭✭

    Greens as I am trying to eat a pound or more a day. And peas because I love them and the soil does too. This is to start. As I see more posts like this I get more and more notions in my head which I hope is ok because I am a beginner hoping to not bite off more than I can chew.

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