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Fall Gardens

TammyTammy Posts: 11 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Vegetables

Hi everyone. Missed out on starting a garden in the spring but getting ready for fall. What is everyone planting for fall gardens this year?


  • Nancy CarterNancy Carter Posts: 196 ✭✭✭

    I would like to do some veges but I'm not sure if I'm too late for the game lol as I live in north east Pennsylvania. I will be moving some perennials around. I have some day lilies that need to be divided . I am going to put them along my back fence! I would like to make a small shade garden under my deck stairway. Definately putting some Astilbe there! I am also aiming at clearing out weeds and placing a bistro style table and chairs in front of my house so I can enjoy the birds. Theres a list to get done but I enjoy it!! What will you be planting this fall?

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    I generally do a Fall garden with all my Spring crops all over again.

    So the radishes and spinach have two plantings in now. Four kinds of lettuce and some Asian greens have been started. I just finished making a 3 foot raised bed yesterday and got it filled and then seeded. I made it because I built a frame over it so next summer I want to try growing lettuce all spring, summer and fall. (It's just too hot and humid here for lettuce in the summers - even the heat tolerant seed varieties don't do well). So it's getting its first test run now with a tiny head variety of lettuce. (Looks like a head lettuce but its the size of a grapefruit - single serve salad!)

    Then my turnips, carrots, potatoes and any kind of root crop I can try are all an inch or two high already. I added some more scallions last week but they have not broke ground yet.

    I placed my snow peas in their bed yesterday. And finally the brassicas, cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower were started a couple of weeks ago.

    I am also doing a test run on some small sweet peppers which I know I will have to assemble them a small greenhouse tent by October if they aren't ready yet. But I just use a round tomato cage and attach a clear garbage bag over it and it always gives me a few extra weeks for growing stuff. Never tried it with peppers before so we shall see if it works.

    So since all my summer crops are still in their places, as soon as they start coming out I will start seeding for my cover crops for this winter.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 381 ✭✭✭

    @Nancy Carter "I would like to do some veges but I'm not sure if I'm too late for the game lol as I live in north east Pennsylvania."

    I just planted my second fall wave of spinach, lettuce, mustard, and tatsoi.

    If it's not to late to plant stuff in Vermont (and I will probably be planting yet another wave a couple weeks after this), it's not too late in PA. :-)

  • kbmbillups1kbmbillups1 Posts: 440 ✭✭✭✭

    I cannot wait to plant my fall garden. I have more success b/c I don't have the pest problems I have in the summer. I'm planting kale, chard, collards, broccoli, cabbage, and probably cauliflower like last year. I'd like to plant some lettuce too.

    @greyfurball I wonder how radishes would do here in the fall. Thanks for the idea! I had lettuce in the spring but it's too hot for it here in the summer too. I tried starting another batch but they didn't do well at all.

  • Nancy CarterNancy Carter Posts: 196 ✭✭✭

    Ok, I've decided to try several different types of lettuce, collards, peas, radish ,arugula, and some spinach!

  • nicksamanda11nicksamanda11 Posts: 149 ✭✭✭

    I planted arugula, red romaine, brussel sprouts. My son threw in a few beans to see if they'll make it before too cool of weather gets here. Lots of my summer stuff will still produce through fall i think.

  • TammyTammy Posts: 11 ✭✭✭

    We are planting garlic, potatoes, broccoli. cauliflower, radishes, onions and I think he has a couple other things also. We will see what survives the stray and feral cats and the couple raccoons that I feed lol.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 381 ✭✭✭

    @Nancy Carter Those are good choices.

    The only one that may be tricky is peas. I've found that I have to plant fall peas by mid-July, or I don't get peas before winter.

    However, you should have a slightly longer growing season than I have in Vermont.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭


    yes, lettuce is difficult in Summer if you get heat and humidity. And this year has been the absolute worst for that.

    But what I have found which works for me is after I get my tomatoes in (usually late May, early June) I let them grow a few weeks until they are about a foot tall and then I start removing the branches at the bottom of the plants. Then that is where I plant my Summer lettuce seed. I always pick a small romaine or a small buttercrunch variety (I prefer crunchy lettuce varieties) and plant all around the base of the tomato plant. When they start to grow I thin them out to about 4-6 plants at the base of the tomato.

    As the tomato grows, keep taking out some more of the lower leaf branches of the tomato (I usually go up to about 12" on determinate varieties and 18" on indeterminate varieties) and this give the lettuce enough sunlight/ shade to let the lettuce survive the heat and humidity of summer.

    Just remember when you harvest the lettuce you must be careful not to uproot your tomato roots. So I usually just cut my lettuce off at soil level and the lettuce roots stay underground. This way I don't hurt my tomatoes.

    Sometimes it works really well, sometimes mother nature does not cooperate and allow the lettuce to do well. But even on the bad years I always get some lettuce even if it's just a few leaves on a small plant. I figure it's better than nothing!


    I have planted......

    • beets
    • beans
    • peas
    • kale
    • spinach
    • carrots

    And I have cabbage, cauliflower, and kale starts that I am waiting to get a little bigger! I'm excited for you Tammy and Welcome!

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 762 ✭✭✭✭

    I have yet to plant much of anything for Fall. It has been so hot (103F with heat index of 110) and humid. By this time of the year both my garden and I are pretty fried. I know it's about time to start planting but with these temps most things will not sprout, not even the heat loving plants like peppers. I think it has overheated my brain 🙄

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 381 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    @seeker.nancy - Central Texas Could you start some of them inside, and transplant them outside once the heat breaks?

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 762 ✭✭✭✭

    @VermontCathy I might have to do that. They keep changing the forecast and now have dropped temps to the high 90's. Next year I think I'll shoot to have nothing to keep up with at this time except my perennials; plant a cover crop or something. Note: I say this every year and yet...here I am. I think there is no hope for this addiction 😋

  • kbmbillups1kbmbillups1 Posts: 440 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks @greyfurball! That is a great idea!

  • annebeloncikannebeloncik Posts: 61 ✭✭✭

    I pulled up a spent tomato plant and planted yellow zucchini in its place; I will do the same to another tomato in the next day or two! A couple of weeks ago I planted some lettuce seeds around my peppers, and then we got several toad-stranglers in a row; haven't seen any babies pop up, I'm afraid they got too soaked. I'll probably pull up my dying green beans and plant some beets and more lettuce.

  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 402 ✭✭✭

    Doesn't look like I'm getting much of a fall garden put in this year. The summer stuff just isn't coming around like it should. I've visited other gardeners in our area and they are experiencing the same thing.

    Other than a cherry hybrid tomato that is so prolific, we've only had 4 slicing tomatoes all summer. Tons of then on the vines but just not ripening. I thought maybe that we got them in late because of all the rain but another got theirs in 3 weeks before we did and we are actually 1 tomato ahead of them. I hate to just pull them to plant something else.

    I will do spinach in the greenhouse again this winter it is so yummy.

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 566 ✭✭✭✭

    Unfortunately, fall gardens are not possible in my area. We are just hoping everything we planted in the spring will get a chance to ripen before it gets too cold.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 381 ✭✭✭

    My fall garden of lettuce and spinach is doing very well in the beds in the front yard that will be converted to cold frames when frost arrives. But the back yard beds of the same crops have barely come up at all. I think that birds found the seed in the back yard and ate most of it before it could sprout!

  • danielle.meitivdanielle.meitiv Posts: 30 ✭✭✭

    I'm in 7A/B (central MD) and just starting my fall garden - and of course it's going to be in the 90s this week! But I'm still going ahead with a basic reprise of my spring garden:

    • corn salad/mache
    • lettuce
    • arugula
    • kale
    • mustard
    • mizuna
    • radishes
    • carrots
    • turnip
    • kohlrabi
    • pak choy

    These are some of my fav veggies so i'm really excited! I'll eventually put them under plastic and harvest throughout the winter.


  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 381 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    @COWLOVINGIRL No problem, I just planted more! Fortunately I still had some seeds available.

    @danielle.meitiv I've found that I have to plant the fall garden while it's still so hot that it always leaving me wondering whether the lettuce will even germinate. But it does.

    If you wait until the weather cools off, you will miss out on the first wave of the fast fall crops, and the slow fall crops may not yield before winter shuts everything down. Even in zone 7, where I first learned to garden before moving north, you have to schedule everything to happen before the winter freezes hit.


    VermontCathy that's good!

  • ltwickeyltwickey Posts: 248 ✭✭✭

    Keeping it simple, as my garden area in my rental is small: Potatoes, garlic and beets.

  • AmrikAmrik Posts: 8 ✭✭✭

    My experience in fall gardening is less of work and abundant results.

    I grow Mustard greens in spring which produce till July. Then let sobme plants go to seeding and let the seed fall on ground. Slightly loosen the ground and get rid of weeds. That mixes the seeds in soil. The start growing into new crop.  Then by first week September they are ready to start cutting the mustard greens, They will continue to produce so long you keep cutting and using the crop till snow season starts.

    Second crop I have been successful is peas. Start growing then mid-August in small pots. When the seedlings start 3 to 4 leaves you can transplant then in your garden with vertical support and enjoy sweet peas till winter starts.

  • AmrikAmrik Posts: 8 ✭✭✭

    Radish is also easy to grow as fall crop by direct seed planting in late August.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 381 ✭✭✭

    @Amrik I am still struggling with fall peas. Most years the plants do fine, but the hard freezes shut down growth before I get peas. This year I am growing Oregon Sugar Pod II, figuring that I can harvest snow pea pods earlier than fully-developed snap peas.

    Right now, the pea plants are doing well, but there are no traces of pods forming yet. First frost here is around 3rd week of September, and the big freeze varies but usually hits some time in October.

    On the bright side, my fall spinach is in full production, fall mustard is small but already being harvested, and lettuce is making progress. These three plants are always the highlight of my fall gardens.

    Beans haven't quite shut down production yet, but I can see that is coming very soon. I harvested the Jacob's Cattle beans yesterday and tossed them in the freezer. The Vermont Cranberry beans aren't ready for harvest yet. Green bean production is still coming but has tapered off. I may leave the remaining green bean pods on the plant to get a few seeds for next year.

    Slugs are less of a problem in the fall than in the spring, partly because it is normally drier, but also because I have been beer-trapping and hand-picking slugs all summer, so they are thinned out now.

  • AmrikAmrik Posts: 8 ✭✭✭

    May be you should start pea seedlings couple of weeks early then transplant them with protection on North side and sunny place on south side of garden. It might give you little extra time for having some results!

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