Fall Garden Update

Today we’re getting the remnants of Hurricane Harvey in our area, and it is bringing us some needed precipitation. Thankfully we have been spared the deluge that folks to the south of us have been getting, and we just got a nice gentle, soaking rain. And we were spared the high winds we got when Hurricane Ike came through in 2008, breaking off lots of tree limbs and toppling a large blueberry bush. I’ve got most everything planted now for the fall garden, so the rain came just in time to make everything grow!

I set out kohlrabi plants about a month ago in one of the cold frame beds, and they are sizing up nicely. The stems are even beginning to swell up on some of them, which is a good sign. I planted Kolibri, Konan and Quickstar this fall, about 30 plants in all. I need to put some straw in there for mulch to keep the weeds down and conserve moisture. These should be ready early enough I can replant that bed with some hardy greens before winter arrives.

kohlrabi plants in cold frame bed

kohlrabi plants in cold frame bed

In another cold frame bed I set out plants of mizuna and pac choi last week, and sowed seeds of a turnip called Topper that is grown primarily for the greens. I got the plants from a local nursery (Robin’s Nest) since I hadn’t gotten around to starting them myself. I will start more greens to plant later for fall and winter harvests from the cold frames and greenhouse.

cold frame bed with mizuna and pac choi

cold frame bed with mizuna and pac choi

Miz America is a mustard/mizuna I grew this spring, and has reddish purple leaves with a mild but somewhat spicy flavor. It’s good at any stage, though I will likely harvest fully grown leaves and use them for stir frying. Robin always has well-grown plants, and these  were an impulse buy since I knew I had a spot to plant them. We’ll be enjoying the greens from these dozen plants while the ones I start myself get going.

Miz America mizuna

Miz America mizuna

I sowed radish seed a couple of weeks ago in a nearby bed, and they are up and growing quickly. I’ve got Alpine, Summer Cross, April Cross, Sweet Baby and Bora King planted this time. Sweet Baby and Alpine did quite well for me in the spring planting, and we enjoyed both of them fresh, cooked and fermented. Bora King is a purple daikon that’s larger than Sweet Baby, and hopefully will give us plenty of roots for eating and fermenting into radish kimchi (kkakdugi). And last week I sowed seeds for turnips next to the radishes. You can see them just emerging in the below photo. I’m growing Hakurei, Scarlet Ohno Revival and Nozawana this year. I’ll have to cover these with netting to make sure the deer and rabbits don’t eat them up.

bed with radishes and turnips

bed with radishes and turnips

In the main garden area, I replanted bush beans and a few zucchini plants back in early August. Beans usually do quite well here in fall, but the squash is a gamble since powdery mildew can be a problem late in the season. I may try spraying with some Serenade biofungicide as a preventative, once the plants get established.  The plant in the below photo is Clarimore, a light green Middle Eastern type zucchini that I’ve been growing a few years now. I’ve also got Astia and Flaminio planted.

young Clarimore squash plant

young Clarimore squash plant

I have also set out plants for cabbage, broccoli, kale and kohlrabi in the main garden. Those plants are still quite small, and I have mulched around them with shredded newspaper and cardboard to keep the weeds from taking off. It’s a few kohlrabi plants in the below photo, Kolibri and Quickstar. I have a dozen or so Kossak plants in another area. We truly love our kohlrabi here and it would be difficult to have too much of it!

fall planting of kohlrabi

fall planting of kohlrabi

Some time ago I set out a few plants for Dazzling Blue and White Russian kale, plus three plants of Biera Tronchuda. In the below photo you can see the Tronchuda plants towering above the newly planted babies.

fall plantings of cole crops

fall plantings of cole crops

And I have a plug flat of lettuce seedlings ready to go in the ground in another cold frame bed once the soil dries a bit from the rains. I’m using a 128 cell plug flat for the lettuce which seems to work well for me. I’ve got some of my old standby varieties started like Simpson Elite, Red Sails, Tango, Salad Bowl and Slobolt plus recent favorites from Wild Garden Seeds like Pele, Jester and Tall Oaks. I’m trying a few new ones from Johnny’s including a couple of Little Gem types called Bambi and Rosaine plus a red Tango type called Spritzer. Many of these plants will also go into salad boxes in the greenhouse.

plug flat of lettuce seedlings

plug flat of lettuce seedlings

I hope you have enjoyed this update on some of the fall veggies I have planted here at Happy Acres. I’ll be back soon with more updates!

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12 Responses to Fall Garden Update

  1. Sue Garrett says:

    I have tried growing two lots of pak choy and both times they were devastated by slugs or snails! It’s so frustrating. We have planted our winter brassicas which I hope will survive.
    Sue Garrett recently posted…August in PicturesMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      I held off on mulching the kohlrabi in the cold frame bed because slugs are such a problem there, and the mulch only seems to make them worse. And curiously, I saw a small snail crawling up the side of our house yesterday. That was a first!

  2. Oh hey! I’m growing Biera Tronchuda this year for the first time. Or will be, once it’s not 109 degrees out -_- I’m honestly not big into kale, but I decided to grow a few varieties and a cabbage this fall to see if I can change my own mind. As far as Tronchuda goes, I think on Michelle’s blog she mentions it’s more cabbage like than kale like in taste. Which I’m totally ok with. Is that your experience as well?
    Day – Homestead Pirate recently posted…Man eaters, no spots, and MyselfMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      I think it tastes more like cabbage or collards than kale for sure. And the stalks are tasty raw, unlike kale which usually has tough stalks.

      • Awesome; that’s the biggest complaint I have about kale, the stems. I never know what to do with them. And they make up such a big part of the leaf I feel bad wasting them. At one time I entertained the idea of getting a rabbit exclusively to convert kale stems to fertilizer poop xD I decided that simply eliminating the kale from the equation was a better use of my current resources. But I’m excited to try again with Tronchuda. I also got Ragged Jack to try, having been told it’s slightly less ‘kale-y’ than most kales.
        Day – Homestead Pirate recently posted…Children of FireMy Profile

  3. Phuong says:

    I’m impressed with all you’ve got going on in your garden. You’ve got a great head start on the brassicas and greens. Those little seedlings will shoot up in no time. I have to admit I haven’t started anything yet, hopefully there’s still time to get some things in the ground.

  4. Mary says:

    Dave,
    Have you tried milk to control powdery mildew? I used to use a baking soda & Sunspray horticultural oil mix which worked somewhat – getting the plants to early October. Untreated they die by early Sept. Three years ago I switched to milk – 20% solution in water and it worked as well as the baking soda. This year I used whole milk – and sprayed early, before there were any signs of mildew and I was surprised how well it worked despite our generally rainy weather. Years ago I read the original study did at UCONN Storrs (I once lived 10 miles from Storrs) but can’t find the study now. I did find this which says whole milk is better than reduced fat:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261219406001700

    I’ve used Serenade on tomatoes for septoria & early blight – it works but requires spraying early & often and once on Chard for cercospora – though I dislike directly spraying anything I’m going to eat.

  5. Also, switching gears, I have two Stripey Marzano sprouts putting on their first set of true leaves. The others from the first wet paper towel batch didn’t fair well in pots, but I got 90% germination on this last set of 10 in wet p/t. I put four more in pots today, and maybe a few tomorrow once I mix up some more seed starter. I’ll keep you posted on their progress!
    Day – Homestead Pirate recently posted…Children of FireMy Profile

  6. Michelle says:

    You’ve got a nice start on your fall garden. It’s been hit and miss for me, I’ve been distracted by other projects and dismayed by the abundance of furry garden pests this year. I’ve been running hot and cold on gardening because of the challenges. There are days when I wonder why I bother because sometime it seems like all I do is grow rodent chow. But I can’t stop, I’m addicted to gardening and fresh veggies. So my collection of rodent traps grows and the square footage of hardware cloth expands and I manage to bring in some crops. But I can’t stop pondering the $64 tomato…
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – September 4, 2017My Profile

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