October 17, 2009

The Fall Garden

After I wrote my onion post, I figured I'd better show you my fall garden, which is coming along nicely. I planted it in the same location as summer garden, and like it, this one was pretty spontaneous. But things are coming up and I'm looking forward to enjoying these cool weather vegetables.

Growing beetsThe beets (Detroit Dark Red - heirloom variety) are doing well but need to be mulched. Not as many came up as I hoped. This is actually the best I've ever had beets do. In the past they just never came up. I read though, that they need to be packed in firmly, which I made a point to do this year.

Little lettucesThis is Romaine lettuce (Paris White Cos - heirloom). It's also getting big enough to start to mulch. Romaine is the only lettuce Dan and I can agree on. I love the leafy green stuff while he prefers the iceberg types. With Romaine, I can have the leafy part and he gets the whiter, crisper stems and we're both happy.

Carrots & garlic doing wellI planted carrots (Danver's Half-Long - heirloom), also in need of mulching with garlic (from the grocery store) as companions. In the comments of my onion post, Danni mentioned the outrageous cost of buying garlic sets, which is exactly the reason I chose to simply use some from the store. They are coming up, so it should just be just fine, and at 69¢ for three bulbs, we can afford to plant as much as we want. And this is a good thing because we love garlic. Not only for it's culinary value, but it's medicinal value as well.

Speaking of that, these are onion plants that I found locally after I bought the mail order onion sets. These came 35 plants to a bundle for three bucks. We love onions too, so I don't know if I can plant enough. I'm not sure of the variety, all I had a choice of was white and yellow and I chose yellow. I think I should go back and get a bundle of white too.

Broccoli, yum!  I can hardly wait.I made several plantings of broccoli (De Cicco - heirloom) over the weeks. All of this is mulched! They are coming along beautifully.

These are recently planted Savoy cabbages, which were the only cabbage plants I could find when the cabbage plant buying impulse hit me. The only other thing they offered were collards. I'm not a cabbage aficionado, so I had to look this variety up when I got home. It is a flavorful, crinkled leaf variety, believed to have originated in Italy in the 1500s, Though not a good keeper, it can evidently survive our mild southern winters.

Dan isn't particularly keen on cabbage, but this variety is supposed to have the best cabbage flavor. Plus, I found a recipe for minestone soup I definitely plan to try. Since he's half Italian, he should like it! Scroll down at this site to see it.

1st radishesAlso, our first planting of radishes (Cherry Belle - heirloom) is ready! I've been planting a short row every couple of weeks, or actually sprinkling the seed in with other things. Hopefully we'll have a steady supply of fresh radishes for as long as weather permits.

The turnips (Purple Top White Globe - heirloom), unlike the beets and carrots, have made an enthusiastic appearance -

Turnips needing to be thinned.They were too thick in some spots, so I decided to try Dick Raymond's rake thinning method.

Dragging a rake through the tiny turnips.I have to admit that I wondered how well they would survive this treatment.

Turnips looking good.This shot was taken a couple of weeks later. I don't think I lost any tiny turnips, and some were actually spaced out better. There are still some clumpy spots however, so I'm planning on old fashioned thinning and eating some turnip greens soon.

Most recently planted were spinach, the onion sets, and more garlic. Also some pansies. I have peas but neglected to get them in the ground. Not sure if it's too late for them or not. I'll plant more radishes in the ground too.

My summer garden is still giving me tomatoes, green peppers, okra, and green beans, all of which will soon come to an end. I have to say that it's been a great gardening summer, and I'm thankful for it.

The Fall Garden photos and text copyright October 2009 


Renee Nefe said...

wow your garden looks so yummy!

I think I have to do "fall" gardening in the spring here as we have those too harsh cold fronts in the fall. although this weekend the temps are back in the 80's go figure!

It seems to me that you're doing a great job at living your dream. :D I'm so happy for you.

Theresa said...

Wow, I'm coming to your house for soup!

Nina said...

That's a pretty impressive array of fall veggies you have. I need to plant a fall garden in mid-August or even earlier as our first frost date can come in mid-September. I chose to get the expensive garlic this year for several reasons. The grocery store varieties are softnecked types which don't do well in colder climates. As well, the hardnecked varieties which I bought give much more flavourful and much larger bulbs. They are better keepers as well in our climate. If it tastes anything close to the homegrown garlic braid my cousin dropped off as a housewarming gift, it will be well worth the price.

Robin said...

Doh, I so wish that I had gotten my winter garden in. Oh well, next year. At least I got my garlic in.

charlotte said...

This looks great! But I guess you're not expecting any frost?

Julie said...

It all looks so good! They look like they do better in the fall maybe because it gets so hot in the summer. I've never done a fall garden but next year would be a good time to start!

Thanks for all of your information!

Leigh said...

Renee, you have a good point about geographical location. This is one of the reasons I'm thankful to be in the south.

Theresa, you are most welcome!

Nina, interesting about your grocery store garlic. I would have bought seed garlic under those circumstances too. So you think you'll be able to use that for planting next year as well?

Gosh Robin, it's not as though you and Lee haven't been busy ;)

Charlotte, we could get frost any time now. The trick is to either plant things that can tolerate frost, or else planting them with enough time to harves before that 1st frost. How successful I've been is yet to be seen. :)

Julie, that's what I'm hoping, anyway. In the past though, I've had problems with a fall garden because it is often too hot for the little seedlings when they first come up. This year it's done well though, for which I am very glad.

Woolly Bits said...

we have problems with the shop grown garlic here. it usually comes from the mediterranean and tends to fail miserably in the irish climate. so for us it's better to buy garlic sets from the area (at least uk) - they just give better harvests. though if I don't forget (which I sometimes do:)) - I try to keep some from last year and put my own in = much cheaper.
I'd put in the peas if I were you - if the weather isn't great you can always nip off the tips and eat them as greens - very tasty (all the fancy restaurants do them now - apparently, I only read about it and never go there:))
btw, thanks for the award - I still have to pick it up and get it into my own blog....

Leigh said...

Bettina, after reading what you and Nina wrote, I'll be curious as to how well my garlic does. Hopefully it will be okay, but if not, I will have to resort to buying sets as well.

I didn't know that about pea sprouts. I'll have to go ahead and plant the peas!

Sharon said...

Did you say that you planted garlic from the grocery store and it will grow into garlic?! I'm putting garlic on my grocery list right now~

Anonymous said...

Oh, Leigh, I do hope we get to meet up some day in person! I've just caught up with something like 20 of your recent posts, here and on your fibre blog, and I find myself nodding and smiling along with so much of them.

Incidentally, in the south of England, my garlic has been in for several weeks (and was bought from a garlic farm in the Isle of Wight, partly so I get to try several varieties - next year, I hope to be saving my own!) and I have beet seedlings which need covering for the winter, along with kohl rabi and some red-top swedes. My summer broccoli was a miserable failure (unless you happen to be a caterpillar), and I never got around to planting any for winter. But I'm very new to all this, so I'm just making it up as I go along. Maybe I should think a bit harder about some covered beds.