Fall Garden, 2013 Edition

Fall has arrived with cooler conditions prevailing lately, and now the calendar has made it official as well! I’ve got a variety of things planted for fall, and so far most of them are looking good. I sowed turnip seeds back in late August, and they have been thinned once and are mostly weed free. The stems are swelling up and the greens are healthy, and it won’t be long before the baby turnips are ready. My wife and I both love the roots and the tops, and I planted a fairly large amount this year, mostly a mix of the white salad types (Hakurei, Oasis, Tokyo Cross) and some purple tops. They went in the unprotected kitchen garden in the spot where half of the 2012 garlic crop grew. Deer don’t usually bother them, so hopefully they will be safe this year.

fall turnips

fall turnips

This bed is about 30 feet long, and I planted about 2/3s of it in buckwheat at the same time I sowed the turnip seed. The buckwheat is blooming like crazy, and normally it would be covered in honeybees. But since ours are gone, the buckwheat is visited by bumblebees and a few other pollinators, but not many honeybees. It will add organic material to the bed when I turn it into the soil in a few weeks, which is the main reason I planted it.

cover crop of buckwheat

cover crop of buckwheat

I planted kohlrabi in one of the cold frame beds back in early August. Some of the Winner variety are almost ready to harvest. The Kossak variety won’t be ready for about another month. The slugs have been bad in that bed, despite my using Sluggo. And the compost I added has made for a lot of weeds. I’ve had a hard time keeping up with both of those problems! Oh well, the plants seem to be doing okay anyhow.

kohlrabi sizing up

kohlrabi sizing up

I also gambled and sowed some spinach seed in another cold frame bed. I say gambled, because usually it is tough to get spinach seed to germinate here in September. Normally it is too hot, and the seed refuses to sprout. This year it came right up in a few days. That should mean we get a taste of spinach before really cold weather gets here. At least I hope so.

fall spinach coming up

fall spinach coming up

In the main garden I planted kale, broccoli and cabbage last month. Some of the broccoli (Packman) is already heading up. Fresh broccoli will be a welcome addition to our meals for sure.

fall broccoli heading up

fall broccoli heading up

We’ve already started eating the kale. I made a couple of batches of kale chips last week with some. In addition to my current favorites Lacinato, Beedy’s Camden and Red Ursa, this year I also planted a dozen of the Wild Garden Kale Mix. More on that project in a later post. All of the kale is ready to start harvesting. It’s a good thing we like kale, because there’s lots of it! The Lacinato was lovely and covered in dew early yesterday morning when I was taking photos.

dew covered Lacinato kale

dew covered Lacinato kale

I’m not sure if the Brussels Sprouts will give us anything or not. I am reminded now about why I stopped growing them a few years back: they take forever! These plants have been in the ground since early July, and they are smaller than the kale, cabbage and broccoli that I planted in August. Hopefully they will give us a few sprouts, someday. We will see!

Brussels Sprouts plants in late September

Brussels Sprouts plants in late September

The cabbage is already starting to head up. It should give us several heads while we wait for the Brussels Sprouts. The Ky Cross in the below photo is a flathead type that did great here this spring.

Ky Cross cabbage plants

Ky Cross cabbage plants

Though it’s not a fall crop, the Kumi Kumi squash vines may well prove to be the last squash standing this year. They are still setting baby squashes, even though the rest of the winter squashes have given it up for the year. Apparently it didn’t get the memo about Fall arriving! This one has been a great producer for us. We had some grilled just yesterday.

young Kumi Kumi squash

young Kumi Kumi squash

I hope you have enjoyed seeing how the fall garden is doing here. I’ll be back soon with more news as it happens!

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7 Responses to Fall Garden, 2013 Edition

  1. Daphne says:

    Your fall garden looks like it is growing well. I keep trying to grow Brussels sprouts but they never make it. This year they were eaten down by insects at an early age. One year I did get pea sized sprouts, but that is the best I’ve done. I ought to give up on them.
    Daphne recently posted…Harvest Monday, September 23, 2013My Profile

  2. Shawn Ann says:

    Your garden is looking great! So much more to look forward to yet. And I am not convinced summer ever really arrived around here 😉 If you blinked you missed it. It has been such a mild summer.
    Shawn Ann recently posted…Harvest Monday 9/23/13My Profile

  3. Jenny says:

    Looks like your garden is doing really well for a fall season.
    Jenny recently posted…September 22 harvestMy Profile

  4. Norma Chang says:

    Glad to know deer will leave turnips alone. My Brussels sprouts did not produce this year, don’t think I am going to plant them again. Beautiful Lacinato kale photo.
    Norma Chang recently posted…Harvest Monday, September 23, 2013 + Saving Amaranth SeedsMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      I don ‘t trust the deer completely with turnips. I think they will eat them if they get hungry enough. But usually here they don’t.

  5. Liz says:

    I will be watching your brussel sprouts with interest. I grew them for the first time this winter but although sprouts formed nicely they were so many aphids on them I never managed to eat any. And, as you say, they too ages.

  6. Mike R says:

    My brussels sprouts have been slow growing this year but had a growth spurt the last few weeks. They must like this cool September weather.
    Mike R recently posted…Monday September 23My Profile

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