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Planning for a Fall Garden

 
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Since I have planted about everything that I can plant for the summer garden, I am thinking about putting the rest of my seeds in the freezer so they will still be good next summer.

I have never really had a fall garden. What seeds would be good to put aside for a fall garden?

 
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Anne,

I like the fall garden idea!  I have frequently thought about doing it but never actually done it.

My basic understanding is that a fall garden should look like a spring garden, but the produce will likely grow faster.  The ground will be nice and warm, giving you fast germination, and as the days cool off, they become conducive to growing cool season crops.

I would think beans would be good to start earlier in the hotter days of fall, with peas, leafy greens, broccoli doing well after the heat of summer really fades.  Although I have never planted such a garden, I would imagine I could get harvests into October.

Essentially I would consider quick maturing cool season crops.  I would love to know how this works out.

Good Luck!

Eric
 
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I have been planning my fall/winter garden.  It includes potatoes, carrots cabbage, parsnips, and peas ....so far.
 
John F Dean
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Oh yes, I forgot the salad greens!
 
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I would say that really depends on your climate. I've never found them useful because where I live and have lived, September and October are the hottest months. And after that the days are just too short for much of anything to grow.
 
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I'm in Central Texas and our Fall is always one of two things: it either stays blisteringly hot until almost November, or we get a sudden cold snap towards the end of September and have freezes and rain all through the winter.

I have no idea how to plant a fall garden for that! Some of my gardening buddies have said that with the often extended heat, squash/pumpkin/melons can grow straight through the fall. Another friend is prepping for potatos in the next month. Everyone says salad greens are a safe bet.

I haven't personally been able to plant a succesfull Fall garden yet, so I'm looking forward to whatever advice people give you here! This will be the first year where I actually have time to do the prerequisite work and planning to get one started.
 
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Anne Miller wrote:Since I have planted about everything that I can plant for the summer garden, I am thinking about putting the rest of my seeds in the freezer so they will still be good next summer.

I have never really had a fall garden. What seeds would be good to put aside for a fall garden?



Anne, here in 7A I plant all of my brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, red cabbage, green cabbage, brussels sprouts) indoors around the middle of July.  A few weeks later I pot them up into 3" containers and let them grow a couple more weeks so they are big strong plants when I put them in the garden at the end of August.  This is so they can survive the summer heat.  Timing is everything with fall brassicas because they need time to grow and create "heads" by the time the days start getting shorter and cooler.  

Also plenty of fall greens.  I have a hard time growing lettuce and other tender greens during the summer months, but like the brassicas, you need to get them out early enough so they have time to grow big and strong by the time it starts getting cold and dark.  The hard part is that these seeds can be hard to germinate when it's too hot.  Planting in shady areas or using row cover helps counter this.  Plant your lettuce and spinach in a cold frame, and you will have plenty of greens all winter long!  Chard is another great fall crop.

Planting carrots starting late summer is also tricky because the young seedlings can get scorched on hot days and die.  This can be mitigated with wet burlap to germinate, and then plenty of mulch and row cover.  Same with beets, turnips, and rutabagas.  All of these root veggies are great as fall produce because if you keep them mulched they can stay in the ground nearly all winter.  You get to go out and pick the roots as you need them!

Get your butternut squash planted early enough and you will have bushels of squash that you can pick after the first frost.  Waiting to pick until a frost or two sweetens the flavor!  You can then store your butternuts in a cool, dry place all winter long.  I have eaten my last butternut from the previous fall's harvest in May!

It takes some experimenting getting the timing right, and some practice getting some of these seeds to germinate, but with perseverence one can grow a plethora of vegetables into the fall and even all winter long in your growing zone!
 
John F Dean
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Hi Stacy,

I have the benefit of a high tunnel.  With the wood stove I have in place, I should be able to take it to Christmas without burning excessive fuel.  This will be my first full year with the sheepherder stove.  If it is a relatively mild winter, I may try to take it all the way through Jan and Feb. But my current plans are to get through the hard frosts in Nov and early December.
 
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This will be my first year attempting a fall garden. I'm planning on seeding cabbage around the first of July and will probably try some lettuce and spinach later on.
 
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Fall garden rookie here.

Joshua, when you say get your butternut squash out early enough, what time frame do you mean? (We live in similar enough zones...) I actually haven't grown butternut before, summer or fall, so I could use a little help. I do love to eat it with some beets and garlic though!

Thanks!

PS: This is a GREAT topic
 
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Dan Fish wrote:Fall garden rookie here.

Joshua, when you say get your butternut squash out early enough, what time frame do you mean? (We live in similar enough zones...) I actually haven't grown butternut before, summer or fall, so I could use a little help. I do love to eat it with some beets and garlic though!

Thanks!

PS: This is a GREAT topic



Hey Dan, butternut squash needs 120 days to maturity so I am starting mine this upcoming weekend.  This is a great topic!
 
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I usually try to do a small fall garden. Mostly I focus on greens, peas, and other cool weather crops that will last through the winter. Since it got so hot so early this summer I didn't get to fill all of my garden plots, so I will probably plant some bush beans and more squash/zucchini in a few weeks to get a fall harvest. Also thinking about trying another potato crop since some of the spring crop was already sprouting when I harvested them. I haven't planted pumpkins or winter squash yet, but will be planting them soon, as well as some more sweet potato slips I have growing in little pots that should already be in the ground. Usually my tomatoes, peppers, eggplants & okra keep going through the summer so I don't have to do new plants. Last year I tried to get a fall corn crop, but the plants stayed small and didn't really produce.
Maybe I'll try some carrots and other root crops for fall, if I can keep them moist enough to germinate.
 
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would it be unreasonable to add onions to the mix? last year I planted leeks in the fall (from seed) which were harvested in spring, and I'm considering doing some bulbing onions to overwinter as well, except I'm starting the onions from seed and I'm not sure this is the way to do it. (last year, I planted onion sets in the fall)
 
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I've read that beets prefer warm temperatures to germinate, but cooler temperatures to grow, so they are ideal as a fall crop. Chard is the same species, so I think it might have a similar habit. I read that you can plant beets till July 15 for a fall crop, though of course that depends on your fall weather. I planted 6 each of 4 varieties on June 15 and July 1 this year, and meant to plant 6 more of each on 15 July but am running late. I am doing this as a test to see how well it works, and which date works best, and to see if there are any differences between the varieties.

Where I live in Ladakh, turnips are sweet and delicious, and aside from the spring garden crop, they are a traditional field crop for fodder in the autumn after harvesting the barley crop in late July or beginning of August.
 
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