Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Planting a fall and winter garden

Chiogga beets and their edible leavesJust because summer is almost at its end doesn't mean you have to shut down your gardening opportunities. If you live in a very cold northern clime, hoop houses, row covers and cloches can help to extend your season. If you live in a warmer clime, well, this post probably isn't too applicable, but I'm sure these vegetables will grow where you live as well.

There are two things to keep in mind when planting crops for fall and winter harvest: temperature and number of hours of daylight. You can only fool some veggies so much before they just decide to either give up or overwinter.

Yesterday, I prepared one of my beds for my fall and winter crops. I dug out all the radishes (most were too puny and bolting to keep around) and all the red onions for storage. I left the row of tomatoes in the back as they are still going strong. I added in a couple inches of compost and then went to town planting my winter hardy crops.

Since our first frost date around here is at the end of November, I found the vegetables that had a growing period of 60 days or less to make sure they were mostly "finished" before frosty weather arrives. I also ordered a number of winter hardy types last year and got those out.

Purple globe turnipsWhat I ended up planting were some Napa Cabbage that I bought as seedlings over the weekend as well as spinach, kale, purple top white globe turnips, beets, broccoli raab and sugar snap peas.

I'm curious to see how successful they'll be. Since we are still having warmish weather at least for a little while longer I'm hoping they'll get off to a good start. Early next month is when I'll go totally bonkers planting garlic. It was such an easy success last year that I want to plant a whole lot more for next summer's harvest.

I also am freezing the tomatoes (for making sauce later) as well as shredded zucchini (4 cups from the one I picked yesterday) for making bread when it's not so hot out. I just need to remember that I have them in the chest freezer.

By the way, here's an interesting article from the New York Times last week about finding local wheat and growing it yourself: Flour That Has the Flavor of Home. It makes me want to plant a patch of wheat in my front lawn.

Anyway, are you planting anything for fall/winter? If so, what?

23 comments:

Karen said...

Our first frost comes sooner in New England, but mid august I planted arugula, turnips, carrots, leeks, collards and spinach. We are hoping to have makeshift cold frame (from freecycled storm windows) in place by middle of next month. We'll see...

Bobbi said...

I've already planted garlic to be harvested next spring. I want to do some cabbage, beets, carrots and leaf lettuce - but we are starting our 6th week of NO rain and everything is so dry. Just the thought of having to water several times daily to help the seeds germinate is depressing.

Beth said...

My husband and I have been discussing this quite a bit lately. My son (ever the oblivious child) discovered that months ago the spinach was over with....so I'm gonna plant more. Our weather is cooling off quite a bit now and I'm looking toward getting materials to make pseudo greenhouses over our raised beds.

E said...

Whoops (our first frost free date around here is at the end of November) should say our first frost around here is at the end of November and your first frost free date would be early spring in Seattle.

Your blog is a great inspiration!

Green Bean said...

Yup, peas, cover crop, carrots, winter radishes, fava beans, greens and darn it, I keep forgetting to go get some broccoli starts. Thanks for the reminder

Crunchy Chicken said...

e - Thanks. That's what I get for writing a post when I'm half asleep.

Kristi said...

For those in western Washington, the Westside Gardener http://westsidegardener.com/quick/timetable.html has a timetable for what to plant when for an almost year-round garden. Seattle Tilth also puts out a wonderful guide (darned if I can't find it right now) with varieties and planting timing suited to Seattle's climate.

Kristi said...

For those in western Washington, the Westside Gardener http://westsidegardener.com/quick/timetable.html has a timetable for what to plant when for an almost year-round garden. Seattle Tilth also puts out a wonderful guide (darned if I can't find it right now) with varieties and planting timing suited to Seattle's climate.

Young Snowbird said...

I'm in zone 9 and again am trying to grow veggies in containers. Early last week I planted carrots, spinach, arugula, a clove of garlic and a russet potato. There's supposed to be two growing times here, fall-early Sept to late November, and then Mid-January to June 1st. The light is the issue in the fall. So, we'll see what happens!

sunflowerchilde said...

I'm just getting my summer garden dug up and ready for fall planting. I've already planted chard, lettuce, and fennel, and I still need to plant cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, beets, carrots, fava beans, garlic, leeks, onions, and shallots. And probably a few other things, too. I just wish I had space for potatoes!

De in D.C. said...

Still have chard going strong from the spring, so leaving that alone. I've also planted spinach, lettuce and radishes for the fall. I'd intended to start brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli seedlings back in July, but realized at the end of Aug. I'd forgotten to do it. Oops.

Garlic is going in this week, and the broccoli plants I'd left from spring have starting putting out some new side shoots. We'll see if I get anything harvest-able from those. Can carrots be planted in the fall for a spring harvest? I'm zone 7 here in the DC-burbs.

jimbolini23 said...

On Aug 22nd, I planted a bed with carrots, radishes, beets, turnips, and peas. So far, the only thing going well are the radishes. I knew the soil was depleted, but I didn't know it was this depleted! :-( My wormies are hard at work generating my first batch of compost, so next spring's crop should be better...

Robj98168 said...

I am getting into this this year for the first time (fall planting)- I have planted garlic, some radishes, peas, beets and lettuce ND AM STILL waiting for the *&^%$# broccoli to grow.

Oldnovice said...

North central Texas here, so I'll be planting the stuff y'all planted for a summer garden this week and next, planting what y'all might have planted for a spring/fall garden sometime in October.

I've been keeping two tomato plants alive on the back patio waiting for cool enough nights to get something. They survived, so I'm happy about that.

Specifically, I want cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, spinach, lettuces, & these tomatoes. Anything else I plant that grows will be icing on the cake.

Abbie said...

Carrots, more lettuce, spinach, broccoli, turnips. Probably got them in too late, but this year is a learning experience!

Ani said...

We've already had a frost here last week where I live so am a bit limited in terms of fall/winter planting. I have screwed up a bit in terms of not getting the kale/spinach to do anything this year- bad spot perhaps or who knows.... I tend to concentrate too much on what I'm doing for the market at this time of year and some stuff just gets neglected.

In terms of wheat though, thanks for the link to the article Crunchy- I hadn't seen that. I have been playing with small-scale wheat, rye etc- it is fun to do actually and I reccomend it. Just keep it a manageable size plot til you get the hang of it(smaller is better if well tended). In fact a local paper is writing an article about the resurgence of grain growing around here and is sending over a photographer to snap some shots of my mini wheat and rye harvest on a tarp! Must be a slow news day ;-)

Michelle said...

Hey, thanks for the link on local flour - I'm less than 10 miles from one of the folks quoted and will be seeking them out!

I've had an incredibly WET summer here in New England. I did plant a last planting of green beans that will mature a bit after the first frost date, but I can cover the rows with sheets if need be. I've harvested garlic and will be setting some of the cloves back out to grow again next year. Once harvest is over, I'm going to spread some composted horse manure (yea!) then overseed with crimson clover. It will feed the soil as well as provide food for my meat rabbits. I had a broccoli head bolt, so I let it flower (attracted lots of bees!) and I'll be gathering up the seeds once they're dry. I also saved carrot and bean seeds, and I let my lettuce bolt at the end of the season and self-seed for the following spring. That's about it from here....

Erika said...

This winter, my husband has decided he wants garlic, so, we're growing several different kinds of garlic (and shallots), and I'm also hoping to persuade some root crops to stick around for a while. It's so weird realizing it's the middle of September - my tomatoes are just now starting to produce regularly...

knutty knitter said...

summer planting here we come :) I put away the heavy jersey last week and the heavy extra cover on the beds. Now I'm into weeding and mulching etc.

not sure what I'll plant this year but definitely peas and tomatoes.

viv in nz

Sharlene said...

Sigh... I hope by this time next year to be living someplace where I can plant a garden. I miss my garden!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Gosh -- I just love you, will you marry me? :)

Sharon Handy said...

Well, as a Floridian, our gardening season is just starting! We're finishing putting dirt into our brand-new Square Foot Gardening boxes and started planting last week. Nine kinds of tomatoes, cukes, zucchini, squash, six kinds of peppers, herbs and broccoli have gone in so far, and that only filled 2.5 of our 7 boxes. Seeds will be started for cauliflower, lettuces, cabbage, carrots and I don't even know what all yet. It's weird to be on a reverse schedule from the vast majority of gardeners, but it's always interesting.

Molly said...

It's cold enough, especially at night, here on Tiger Mountain, that I have to plant my winter crops in July or they won't mature before the days get too short for them to grow. Beets, more carrots, turnips, kale, salad greens of all kinds, mustard. Cabbage and brussels sprouts all went in in the spring. I'll plant garlic and broad beans next month.

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