The Grow System
Who is planting a fall garden this year?! If you are, could you tell us what you are planting and your experience with fall gardening? Thanks in advance!!!!
We have just moved onto 17 acre property. Soil is a sandy loam. Planning to add a fall garden among an existing neglected fruit orchard, but have to tackle the weeds first. I usually plant the same plants in the fall that I do in the spring in 7a zone.
@probinson50 I usually do the same thing and plant the same plants for spring and winter. I have never tried the brassica family but I have planted onions and carrots along with greens. Right now I am close to harvesting greens and I am getting very excited. I wanted to plant a fall garden with peas but that didn't work out.
I will be doing a Fall garden; however, in So. Calif we are just getting to our summer so right now I am planting my late heat-loving plants. I will probably start the Fall garden October.
@COWLOVINGIRL even though our seasons are reverse, I'd would be thinking about what you want to plant right now. Only plant what you eat. It's a great time for salad greens, lettuce, arugula, leeks, onions, peas, kale, any of the brassicas broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, potato. Herb wise coriander, parsley, chervil and dill do well. Have fun and be healthy.
Thank you jodienancarrow!
@jodienancarrow How long does it take potatoes to mature? Will they keep growing after a first frost?
@Melissa Swartz I live in an area with few frosts, so can almost grow them anytime but ideally you'd want to plant 4-6 weeks before the last frost and be looking for new potatoes in 3 months time(when they start flowering) Depending on growing method makes a difference, if you keep piling up straw and mulch to cover them, this will also help protect them from frost.
@jodienancarrow Thanks! Appreciate the info. I've never grown potatoes. I've heard they are super easy and also heard they are hard to grow. Guess I'll have to try them to find out.
Cabbage, kale, broccoli, lettuce, and test driving leeks. I never have planted leeks. Frost seems later and later every year. I remember, when October meant cold weather. Not so much now.
Melissa Swartz I have grown them twice and their not that hard. Just make sure you buy seed potatoes and don't use store bought potatoes. That was a big mistake on my part!
Good question, thank you. I will be planting a fall garden, I live in zone 8a. Which 95% of the time is warm, 2 weeks + it freezes. Kind of tricky, I can do some citrus, unless the freeze lasts too long, then it kills everything sensitive - like lemon grass.
I will be planting kale (my current kale is still producing from spring), turnips, carrots, cabbage. It's great to have an ongoing variety of produce. Takes time and its all worth it. :)
I loved today's quote!!
I do a fall garden every year. Some things are very easy and do well in the cool Vermont fall weather, others are hard and don't always work out.
Winter Density Lettuce, Giant Winter Spinach, Tatsoi, and Giant Red Mustard all are happy here in open beds in early fall, and in cold frames in late fall to early winter. We eat a lot of sandwiches with greens and occasional salads.
@jodienancarrow has the right idea. Salad greens, lettuce, arugula, leeks, onions, peas, kale, etc.
I'm not sure about potatoes; I wouldn't plant them in fall in Vermont, but they might be OK in places with less chilly weather. I wouldn't expect them to keep growing after a frost until you covered them with a row tunnel or tarp when frost hits.
Fall peas are a challenge. I had one really good year with them, and every since then I've been trying to do it again without much success. This year I swtiched to Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas, figuring that we could eat the pods earlier than snap peas would be ready, and I planted them back in mid-July when it was still hot. The plants are small but healthy, and are setting blossoms. The actual plants can handle the cold, but I'm not sure the blossoms can. If it doesn't work this year, I may give up on fall peas, or at least concluded that they have to be grown under a row tunnel.
I'm experimenting with cabbage. I just planted some Violaceo di Verona in the hope it will start growing this fall, winter over, and resume growing in spring for early summer harvest.
Lettuce, beets, Swiss chard, spinach, cabbage. But not a lot, I start getting lazy lol. I need to pull any remaining veggies, beans left to dry, get a horseradish root, clean up the beds, put down manure, mulch etc. Well now that I’ve listed all that, I don’t feel so lazy!
Me! 🙋♀️ I can't wait to plant mine but it is still very hot here. My fall gardens do much better than my summer ones. Every year I learn a little more with both though. I guess it's just the right temp during the winter here that I can plant lots of different greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, and this year brussels sprouts without having to worry about pests so much. All I have to do is once a week brush the eggs off of the underneath side of my kale. The others don't seem to attract the moths so much. Knock on wood! During the summer it's a constant every day battle!
Definitely plan on it. Yes I should have much of it in by now, but with all the smoke, its hard to get out for any length of time. Rain is coming, so hopefully the air will be clean enough for me to go outside for a while.
I am glad that I am searching the forums. I was just about to create a new thread about winter gardens when I came across this one.
I had been wondering what everyone else was doing for winter. On our side of the fence, we are doing the lettuce, carrot, herb route.
For this year I am also going to be trying something new - growing for the cattle. Last year they got out and ate all the mustard greens, kale and broccoli. I figure this year I am going to grow them some so they won't be bothering me!
Of note, the cattle did not care for the cabbage.
Growing lettuce mix, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower for the chickens and rabbits to enjoy over the winter months.
I planted an early fall garden and a recent second round.
In the garden: Amaranth, cabbage, collards, kale, beets, turnips, kohlrabi. You will also see sun chokes and some carrots on the beds to each side.
Getting ready to plant garlic.
In the new fall plantings, I have spinach, kale, red mustard, Asian greens, lettuce, and chard. We will see how big they get and if they winter over with a cover. Meanwhile--an instapot makes amazing collards in 25 minutes! Sauté some bacon, add onions cook until slightly translucent. Add your spices (I have done southern and Indian and both were delicious), sauté a minute more until it smells delicious. Then add a cup of chicken broth and a heap of greens. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes, then quick release.
Does anyone grow greens for chickens? If so, which ones?
Also, my cabbage doesn't "head up" any thoughts?
so much better than my little 20'x7' plot! Great job!
Yes! I cannot wait! I have most of the veggies I'm going to plant on my front porch waiting for the weather to get a little cooler. That way I have an easier time keep track of all the caterpillars that love to much on my various greens. I found a nice size one today. I buy them pesticide free from a growers outlet near me.
I still have my summer garden growing and will probably leave it for a few more weeks. Mostly I just have sweet potatoes now and a few tomatoes. My sweet potato vines are everywhere so I hope that means some nice potatoes too.
I love a winter garden b/c I don't have the problem with pests that I have in the summer. Pretty much I just plant everything and once a week check for eggs under the leaves. They pretty much grow on their own and we have greens, broccoli, and other things all winter long.
I want to start planting my fall garden but have a big problem with squirrels. I lost almost 100% of my spring garden and now the problem is worst. I've been trying to ethically eliminate them but have had no luck. Does anyone know a method that helps me to exterminate them without feeling guilty?
Gee wiz, I wish my Fall garden looked as good as yours. It is my first Fall garden this year so I am hoping to continue to working on developing good soil. Spring will be here before we know it and I will try, try, try, again.
@Acequiamadre "Also, my cabbage doesn't 'head up' any thoughts?"
What kind of cabbage? The large-headed versions that grow best in cool climates have a reputation for being easier to grow than the smaller, faster cabbages that have to pushed quickly before heat arrives.
My fall garden this year hasn't been great. It's producing a lot of lettuce, spinach, and chard, and the I'itoi onions, Syboe (green) onions, and walking onions are all doing well. The claytonia (miner's lettuce) from last year seems to have successfully reseeded itself, and while it will probably not get big enough to eat before winter, it will "hold" in the cold frame and give us an early spring crop next year. (This worked well last year, and we had loads of claytonia green before anyone else could even put their gardens in.) We have plenty of sandwich and salad fixings, and this will continue up to and probably somewhat beyond the first hard freeze (with the help of cold frames).
The fall garlic and multiplier onions have also been planted, but those won't yield anything until next year.
But the fall snow peas produced nothing. They didn't do much doing the warm weather, and the cool-but-not-frosty weather didn't last long enough to get much growth. It has also been a dry year, and I may not have watered as regularly as I should in the fall. Most of the snow peas have died back, and even the ones in the cold frame seem to have been munched on by some insect or animal. Two pods formed, but they are not edible (insect damage, brown and shriveled, etc.) I think I am going to give up on fall peas in this climate. I've only had one good year for them out of six, and every year the problem was different from the previous year. They are not worth the effort.
The cabbages don't seem to have come up. However, that seed was over a year old and not stored as well as it could have been. I'm putting more care into seed storage this year.
I expect we'll have fall garden stuff through much of October in the outdoor beds and into November in the cold frames. Somewhere around Thanksgiving I'll switch from the fall garden to the winter garden, which is grown on an indoor shelf under lights. I bought real grow lights this year, replacing the cool fluorescents, and I'm looking forward to finding out if that makes a difference.
I always intend to do better at fall gardening, but I also always fall short. I do plant garlic every fall, and at least some carrots and radishes, but a full-on fall garden is something I'd love to do.
To show what is possible for a cool weather fall garden, here are some pictures taken in my garden today. This is after three nights of light frost in a row, followed by a warmer period, followed by another frost. The lowest low so far has been about 28F.
First frost here was September 17 this year. The pictures were taken today, October 14, almost a month after first frost.
The plant above is Winter Density Lettuce. This patch was planted as seeds on August 21 and more was added September 9. It would have been better to thin it more than I did, but germination was patchy and I wanted to preserve as many plants as possible. I am slowly "thinning" it by eating it!
This bed is a mix of Black-seeded Simpson Lettuce, Giant Red Mustard, Tatsoi, Four Seasons Lettuce (Merveille des Quatre Saisons), and New Zealand Spinach. I simply mixed together all these types of seed and scattered them in the bed on August 21.
The larger onions in the upper half of this picture are Syboe onions, a type of scallion (green onion) that doesn't form a bulb. I hope that these will be perennial in my climate. Notice that I have covered the roots with a leaf mulch. This has worked well for other crops in past years.
The slightly smaller, brighter green onions at the bottom are I'itoi onions. These produce small bulbs and should eventually spread out as a ground cover to fill the gaps between plants. I'itoi are desert plants that thrive in Arizona, so growing them in Vermont is an experiment. I will keep some in the garden all winter under mulch, some in the cold frames, some in pots in the house under lights, and some in the house allowed to dry out as seed bulbs for planting next spring.
Both Syboe and I'itoi were planted as live starts on August 15. They quickly established themselves and starting sending up shoots.
So even here in Vermont, I am able to pull fresh green salads from the garden in mid-October, without even using row covers! Once the low temperatures go down around 24F, I will start putting row covers on at night. Eventually we will get a hard freeze and lose everything outside the cold frames, but in the meantime I will have gotten a lot of good fall crops.
Don't let anyone tell you that gardening season ends at first frost!
VermontCathy Those pictures re so beautiful! I love it! This year ws my first year doing a fall garden, but, I got it in a little too late. But that's okay, at least I tried!