Fall Gardening 101

Enough spinach to choke Popeye!

Enough spinach to choke Popeye!

I know that summer just started and many of us are still waiting for that first ripe tomato, but it is time to start planning for FALL gardening.  Fall gardening is something many people don’t even think about or if they do, it’s way too late in the year to do anything about it.  In some ways, fall gardening is much easier than spring gardening…the only really difficult part of it is the timing of the plantings and babying some plants through August heat waves.  The rest is pretty easy.

fall harvest2012 008

I’ve been gardening in the fall for several years now and have had amazing harvests of lettuces, radishes, beets, beans, kohlrabi, turnips, and carrots.  This year I plan on growing fall broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts as well.  Fall is also time to plant spinach and garlic for a harvest of spinach in April and May and a harvest of Garlic in June.

fall harvest2012 004

Fall planting is usually done in 3 stages.

  • Stage 1:  Early August — Planting transplants of beets, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and kohlrabi.  Planting seeds of turnips, carrots, and beans.
  • Stage 2: Early September — Planting transplants of lettuce and seeds of radishes.
  • Stage 3: Early October — planting transplants and seeds of spinach, and cloves of garlic.

If you have space in your garden that will be empty during these stages after you have harvested your summer crops, it is a great idea to use the spaces to grow fall vegetables.

This year I will offer a limited quantity of transplants and seed packets to help you plant your fall garden.  There will not be an open sales time, all plants will be pre-order only.  Plants will come in densely planted cups with 5-25 plants per container.  The lower count containers will be plants such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli.  The higher count varieties will be types such as lettuces, beets, and spinach.  Seed packets will have enough seeds to plant a 12 foot row, depending on variety.

Prices for plants and seeds are as follows:  Stage 1–$20; Stage 2–$10; Stage 3–$10.  All three stages $35.

I will also be offering a la carte hoop loops and Agribond floating row covers which are great for covering your lettuce to extend your harvest into early Winter.  Hoop loops will be 3 for $12 and Agribond fabric will be $1 per running foot (83 inches wide).

Seed garlic is very expensive and needs to be ordered very soon.  I will not be offering seed garlic, but you should order yours online ASAP for delivery to your home this fall.  I recommend these vendors for purchasing seed garlic:

http://www.territorialseed.com/

http://www.seedsavers.org/onlinestore/Garlic/

http://www.thegarlicstore.com/

Order a half pound (8 oz) of a variety that looks interesting to you.  I recommend getting a “stiffneck or hardneck” variety as these have amazing flavor.  I personally grow Russian Red and Elephant Garlic (actually a leek).

I am a school teacher and fall is a VERY busy time of the year for me.  This is why I will not be offering open sales dates and will only be taking pre-orders for plants and seeds.  Pickup of plants will be at your convenience at my driveway gate during specific time frames.  Stage 1 will be  August 2, 3, and 4.  Stage 2 will be September 6, 7, and 8.  Stage 3 will be September 27, 28, and 29.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the stages and/or hoop loops/Agribond fabric, please send me an e-mail at kctomatotimes@gmail.com.  I will send you a PayPal invoice or you can send me a check to reserve your desired stages and materials.  I need to have all pre-orders in by July 15th so that I can begin starting seeds and ordering other materials.

If you have any questions….feel free to ask and I’ll help you on your way to a great fall garden!

garlic2013 004Russian Red and Elephant Garlic harvested this morning

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