Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Tour of the Fall Garden

Last year I planted some fall beans and they were very much appreciated. I just put a small batch of Kentucky Wonder pole beans at the end of the bed. I do hope they have time to produce, but unless it gets cold fast in the fall this year they probably will.

Behind the beans are my Asian greens. I have them broken up into four sections. This first section was planted a while ago and is ready to pick.

This second batch was seeded a couple of weeks ago and is doing well. The third batch was seeded yesterday, and the fourth hasn't been seeded yet.

Farther down in the bed is the fall lettuce. It is growing much slower than the Asian greens but in a week or two will be ready to be picked. I'm hoping it will last all fall as I haven't seeded any successions.

This is the kale bed. It has one row of Winterbor and one of Dwarf Curly Kale. In the middle I sowed some cilantro. Usually I just let the cilantro self seed by the foundation of the house. But it is so dry and hot right now I knew it wouldn't germinate there for a while. But here it is in partial shade already so would have an earlier start. And I've been missing my cilantro. Right now it has a netting row cover, but I'm going to take that off very soon. The kale is outgrowing the short cover. I've found as long as the kale isn't a seedling the cabbage butterflies usually leave it alone. But I've had small seedlings be almost wiped out by them. The kale patch will be left up all winter long. It won't grow then, but these two tend to survive our winters without protection. I'll stake them so the stems don't crack, but besides that I'll ignore them all winter long.

In the sunnier part of the same bed are the cabbages and kohlrabis. I've lost three plants. I think because of lack of water, but it could be something else. But after I watered the rest seemed fine. So hopefully that is what it was.

The broccoli and chard were planted in the spring, but they will produce in the fall for me too.

Like the beans, I like to put in a short section of snap peas. I plant them in front of the carrots. The carrots are doing quite well in their row cover. Maybe next year I'll try to grow the carrots under netting instead. I think they would get more sun that way. Sun is an issue in my fall garden as the sun is low enough to go behind some very large trees and my neighbors' houses. Last year the carrots needed a bit more time to produce a large crop. I still got quite enough, but they weren't full size yet.

I've been experimenting with yellow mustard. Last year I grew it as a spring crop as that is what everyone says to do. But it doesn't fit into my rotation all that well. I'd rather grow it as a fall crop, but the above crop is actually a summer crop. Everything that is written says not to do this as it won't produce. The plants will be small and bolt too quickly. Well I'd say it is producing much better than my spring crop did. The pods seem to be fatter than last year. They are producing a lot more pods. This bed was planted at the end of June.

The fall crop on the other hand might not have a chance to produce. The season might be too short. Sadly the only spot I could try it is along the fence area and that is not a very sunny spot. So it might not work. If it ends up being just a cover crop, that is fine.

A lot of "fall" crops are really summer crops. They grew all summer long. My sweet potatoes are in the foreground and won't be picked until September. Behind them are two beds of butternuts. The earlier planted Waltham seems to finally have set a decent amount. There are eight large ones and another small one forming. The other bed is just starting to form squash. I have Waltham on one end and Early Butternut on the other. These were planted later. And the Early Butternut wasn't planted until late June since the earlier sowings died. I wasn't actually going to plant the early variety so I could have seed this year, but with the first sowing a no show I didn't think Waltham had time.

There are other things that will be harvested, like dried beans. And I'll sow some spinach when the melons get pulled. I was going to follow the squash by the spinach, but I think that won't work as squash are still forming. They will need to be in there a while. I do have more small melons forming, but I know they won't have time to ripen. So I'm going to rip the melons out as soon as the two large ones are done. Which should be in a week.


  1. You have such a healthy looking garden! I like how you use netting to cover things. I bought some supplies to do that but have not gotten around to it, being a first rate procrastinator.

  2. Thanks for the lesson in succesion planting. This year is the first year that I have kind of gotten the hang of it. I find it so hard to take out crops when they slow down in their production, but I am learning.

  3. You have a very nice fall garden so far. I have a few things planted and I plan on adding more. I want to try using floating row cover tunnels this year to extend my crops like you are using. I like the netting you use.

  4. It's nearly time for me to get the cloches out again and clean them up for Winter. It will be September next week!
    My Autumn (Fall) crops always include Parsnips and Cavolo Nero, but this year my Brussels Sprouts look as if they may be the stars of the show.

  5. You have such clean looking beds! I grew bush beans last fall and they did well. I didn't get around to sowing any this year though. It's interesting about your summer mustard. It just shows that 'conventional wisdom' doesn't always apply.

    I'm trying to figure out what is blooming in the 8th photo, in front of the peas. It must be a flower and not a veggie?

    1. Yes that is sweet alyssum. It grows in the crack between the bricks and the boards. It just self seeds every year. I love it since it smells so nice. So I just let them grow in the paths. I step on them whenever. I don't avoid them. If they can live, they live. If they are in a high traffic area they die. Pretty much the edges of all my beds have some growing there.

  6. Your garden is so neat and organize, do you have drips inside the tunnels?

    1. No. I ought to when I use Agribon. It really does shed water too much. Some gets through though. The netting is perfect for water. It doesn't even break up the spray if I water by hand.