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Sep 21, 2009 06:31 PM

What's in your Fall Garden?

What is everyone planting this fall? Are there any suggestions on how to extend growing seasons other than a cold frame? I'm in Zone 7 (near the Outer Banks of NC); we don't usually get snow and if we do, it's usually gone the next day.. lowest temp is about 35 but usually stays between 40-50 in Nov-Dec.

So I've planted butternut squash, buttercup squash, collards, broccoli, leeks, poblano chiles, snow peas, carrots, fennel and sage. I will be planting salad greens, lettuce, and spinach before the week is out. I had such a great season with my okra that I've re-planted a few to see if it would grow in the fall (today's temp 80 degrees). Any ideas?

What's in your fall garden?

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  1. Spinach, leaf lettuce, butterhead lettuce, chard, snap and snow peas, carrots, turnips, beets, kohlrabi, radishes, broccoli, collards, garlic are planted and growing. Kentucky Wonder green beans are still producing as are the zucchini and patty pan squashes. First broccoli planting is still putting out side shoots. Eggplants, basil, and poblanos are still producing and will soon be covered with hoops and plastic to extend them. Tomatoes got blighted (damn!) or they'd be going under plastic too. Second succession planting of many of the above are being seeded or transplanted this week and they'll be raised under plastic. High today was 70 degrees at 5:30 pm, zone 6b, Blue Ridge Mts, southwest VA.

    4 Replies
    1. re: morwen

      I pulled up the last of my cukes and a bumper crop of tomatillos today and the last of my cherry tomatoes over the weekend but wish I could have those in my fall garden. I've never used the plastic before; would you mind giving me the run down?

      1. re: Cherylptw

        We have raised beds but you could do this just as easily over rows. We hammer 4' rebar into the ground at intervals along the beds. Then we slip 1/2" flexible electrical conduit over the rebar to make hoops. Over that we drape netting in summer to keep out the critters and plastic in mid-late fall to create a hoop "greenhouse". The edges are held down with our abundance of rocks but sandbags would work too. The plastic gives us about 2 zones further south worth of warmth. Photos of the beds with the netting in place are here: . Eliot Coleman's "Winter Harvest Handbook" gives lots of details, hows and whys, and was what inspired us to start doing this. It was very reasonable to set up and all the parts are available at home improvement stores.

        1. re: morwen

          Thank you so much; I'm going to look into it...

          1. re: Cherylptw

            Yesterday evening for the first time we put the beds "to bed" and covered them with plastic over the netting. It's not getting frosty yet but our night temps are starting to go into the mid-low 40's. When I uncovered them this morning two rows of greens had popped up. Supposed to be in the low 70's today and mid 60's the rest of the week with nighttime temps in the 40's. It was 50 this morning at 8 am. Eggplants are still flowering and producing. We'll see how long that lasts with the plastic.

    2. I'm doing mostly root vegetables -- a couple of heirloom varieties of carrots and beets, parsnips, onions. Also cauliflower and a winter squash (mystery seedling from my sister's compost bin) that's already in place. I have been thinking of putting in some peas. I haven't had much luck with arugula this summer, but I'm hoping it'll do better when the weather turns cooler.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jlafler

        I was going to plant parsnips but couldn't find them...I planted carrots in the spring (well, our spring was hot) and they didn't do anything so I've replanted them and am hoping for the best, much cooler now. Your arugula should do better, it's like lettuce, which didn't do well for me either (also too hot) but I'm about to plant it again....Good luck!

        1. re: Cherylptw

          I live in Toronto, Canada: sorry forgot the zone. I planted various "salad greens" seeds in early August and now have very nice Rocket Raddicio, arugula, chicory and Ragged Jake Kale big enough to pick. My lettuce seeds did not sprout. I also bought kale plants in late August and the kale is big enough to pick. And I bought new parsely plants, and basil plants but I had to bring the basil indoors last night because it is too cold. My zucchini plants are still flowering so I hope to have a few more to pick. My acorn squash has flowers but no produce yet. My nasturiums are doing great so far and I am using the leaves for salads.

          1. re: Smachnoho

            I've been thinking about planting some edible flowers; probably too late for this year but perhaps in the spring...great broccoli only sprouted three plants so far and might have to replant....

            1. re: Cherylptw

              I bought packages of nasturium seeds (edible flowers) and started them indoors in April. I didn't transfer them outside until May 23rd.
              Then I started some more seeds directly in the garden around the end of June. Those didin't start blooming until late July.

      2. Beets and carrots from seed.

        Seedling included bok choy, onions, cauliflower broccoli, chard, and brussel sprouts.

        Haven't killed anything yet.

        1. My okra is still blooming, and I planted more; they are growing for the time being. I dug up my tomato plants in August to plant some peppers. Apparently, I left some tomato seeds in the ground because I have a bunch of tomato plants coming up. Not sure whether to dig them up but would love to see if they do anything; we get night temps about 47 F. in October. Nov & Dec gets to be about 40F. at night so they may not survive, even covered.

          I had to replant some of my broccoli & collards...some came up but not all...My major concern now is that for the last maybe six weeks or so, grasshoppers have been taking over and eating up many plants. Don't really know what to do about them because it's the first year I've noticed them and I don't see anything in the stores that will handle the problem. Anyone out there have advise?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cherylptw

            I woke up this morning and heard it was 9'C outside. My salad greens are still alive & growing. Actually, They taste better now than in the heat of summer. I have 4 zucchini flowers but I think it is just too cold for fruit.

            1. re: Smachnoho

              Most greens like salad, collards, kale, spinach, etc. grow better in cooler weather. My mom used to say that "some frost have to hit them" before they are good enough to eat. Something about making them sweeter. I tried to grow spinach in the spring and didn't have any luck, but we went from winter straight into summer so now that the weather is a bit cooler, I tried it again. Hope they will spring up this time. I planted salad greens a couple of weeks ago and they look so good, I planted another patch today.

              We had 80F. degree temps today, I wanted to plant some zucchini I had left from summer but I'm not sure it will make it once the temps plunge.