Anyone planting a fall garden? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Is anyone planning on planting a fall garden? If so, where do you live, what will you be planting and when will you begin planting it? I live in South Florida and I think part of the reason for my "brown thumb" is due to the fact that I plant too late. It is just too hot for most plants to thrive here in the dead of summer. My concern is that I have heard that you can't plant tomatoes where you planted them the year before and also that the earth needs time to rest before planting again. If you plant a fall garden do you have to have an entirely different space in which to plant it in? As most of you know, I have very limited space. I only have one little area in which to plant anything at all. I would be interested in your opinions as to whether or not this would be feasible for me and what do you think about me using the same area I planted my summer garden in? The way I see it is....What have I got to lose? Thank you for your responses.

-- Greenthumbelina (, September 03, 2001


I planted my fall garden about 2 weeks ago. I live in South Central Virgina. I planted it in the same place as my summer garden, I just planted my cole crops where I grew squash, not where I planted spring cole crops. I think you'd be fine planting the same area (the main reason you shouldn't is because of insect pests). The whole fall pest situation is a lot different than the summer one, that's always a blessing. Not so many bugs. As for what I planted: broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, green cabbage, pak choi, & Brussels sprouts plants, and from seed I planted carrots, kale, turnips, rutabagas, Swiss chard, beets, mustard greens, corn salad (that hasn't come up yet), endive, romaine, and various lettuces. Everything is doing fine and coming up except the corn salad. I always have problems getting it to germinate. I don't know why. We do fertilize our garden with goat manure and compost (made from grass clippings, straw from the goat pens, old produce, chicken and duck litter, etc.). So I'd suggest you fertilize your soil in any case. Much success to you on your fall garden. I always enjoy mine so much.

-- Sharon (, September 03, 2001.

I live in southeast TX, approx. 30 miles north of Houston, USDA zone 8b. I planted fall potatoes, reds and russets, two weeks ago. I will be planting bush beans and snap peas and snow peas in the next week. Will be planting transplants of cole crops over the next month- -month and a half, with brussels sprouts and kale being the hardiest and able to stay out all winter here. All of these crops are done well before time to plant potatoes and peas again in early Feb. Have you tried getting detailed gardening information from your county's Agricultural Extension agency? Most counties will either speak to you over the phone to answer detailed garden questions and send you loads of information for free if you request it. While they can be somewhat limited, they SHOULD have info on planting dates and varieties specific for your county.

I have never heard that the ground needs to rest after you plant something. What is there to rest? I routinely plant things immediately after pulling out something else, like literally minutes later. If your soil is very depleted from growing vegetables that need a lot of nutrients, like corn for example, you should incorporate some well rotted compost before you replant, and if you don't have any of that, then work in a good ORGANIC fertilizer before you plop another plant in the ground. I know organic fertilizers are more expensive than the 'chemical' varieties, but believe me, they have an excellent long term benefit to your garden. Don't overdo the fertilizer, though.

It's not a good idea to plant one crop in the same space season after season because it can cause a buildup of diseases and insects that prey on that particular crop. So the next time you plant that crop there, if there has been a buildup of pathogens or insects, they may attack that crop and you'd likely have, if not failure, then reduced production. If you can, try not to plant the same crop or even closely related crops in the same spot time after time. Again, you ag extension agent could probably recommend what kinds of vegetables should follow others in your planting rotation. If you have limited in-ground planting space, have you thought about getting some 5 gal. buckets, punching lots of hole in the bottom, and planting a few tomatoes in buckets? Cherry varieties do well in buckets. Peppers do very well in buckets. Potatoes will grow in buckets too, provided they have EXCELLENT drainage (if I"m not mistaken there have been articles in Countryside and Backwoods Home on how to do this). I don't know if this helped or not, sure hope it did. I just love gardening, and I always like to hear when someone else figures out how to do something and has success. Nothing like food you grew with your own hands!

-- HannahMariaHolly (, September 03, 2001.

I will be planting my winter garden the end of next week. We usualy get hot in sept and part of oct[ calif]so every thing gets a good start before the cold sets in.I pick swiss chard all year here [ plant it in shade in summer].I have a small garden area to and as long as I add compost, I can use the ground year round.Sure wish I could find some fish meal to add though[ none of the stores carry it any more].

-- kathy h (, September 03, 2001.

I live in mid Palm Beach County, east of I 95. My yard is sand. I also planted a summer garden 21 years ago and everything died. What you need to do is plant fall, winter, and spring. You will need LOTS of soil amendments. If you are east of I 95 you may've had salt water intrusion this past summer-with the drought and the aquifer dropping- now that we have had some rain saline levels have dropped in most city wellfields. I planted last week, grean beans and cherry tomatoes, will plant collards soon. You can grow nice collards in a 3 gallon container and they live for many years, as long as you pick leaves from the bottom and leave some foliage at the top. Turnips, carrots, mustars, watermelons, squash grow well also. My sweet potatoes are just beautiful but dh doesn't want to harvest them, they provided the most groundcover that patch of ground (between the sidewalk and the street) had ever seen. Cherry tomatoes withstand heat more than regular tomatos. I have never had good luck with corn. If you like oriental vegetables, the yardlong bean is from the blackeye pea family and grows well in hot climates. I also picked up a boatload of pineapple tops from the Publix deli, stuck them in the front yard in a row across the front of the house, ulched and watered them. 2 of 12 died. The rest are doing fine and I expect fruit next year. Dh also just planted 2 chayote I brought home from the grocery. PS My garden wouldn't grow ANYTHING after about 8 years-we brought home a bag of RAW UNSHELLED peanuts from Winn Dixie and planted them and left them alone fora year- they grew a complete gound cover and when we went back to planting vegies they grew very well!

-- Mitzi Giles (, September 03, 2001.

Sharon: What is the corn salad you mentioned? I just read about something called corn salad and it was a weed. What is it and how do you cook it?

-- Ann Markson (, September 04, 2001.

I will be trying a winter garden of sorts up north here in the mountains of Pa this fall. I have a dozen broccoli plants in the ground and hopefully they will begin to produce just as my summer broccoli is running down. I also keep my brussel sprouts picked until almost Christmas. have always done that and even picked in the snow. Have left carrots in the ground well past freezing too just covering them with leaves or old hay. I have started tomatoes in pots that I will bring into my first year greenhouse and with some heat in there will see if I can keep fresh tomatoes on the table for how long...??? In past winters have wrapped them in paper and let them ripen in the closet...not too bad either. I envy you guys with your warm winters and would love someday to have a homestead where it's a little warmer than where we are.'s fun to experiment !! Good Luck !!!!

-- Helena Di Maio (, September 04, 2001.

Ann--corn salad is a salad green that is usually used in fresh salads although (I understand) it can be cooked like any other green. It is supposed to be very hardy. I've read a lot about it, but can't get it to germinate (this is not my first attempt). I have read it is hard to germinate. I got the seed from the Burpee heirloom catalog. I've read a few articles on it and it sounds like it would be wonderful (if I could get it to come up). I checked the garden this morning--no deal yet, of course only two of the Swiss Chard are up, but at least they are up. Everything else is doing great. If I ever get any to work I'll post it. Have a great day!

-- Sharon (, September 04, 2001.

Well I sure am trying too!! If I could get just a little cooperation I might get it going yet. We have nothing but clay here but there is a big pile of good dirt where my hubby works. They said we could have it and they would deliver it. (its only a few blocks away) But they still haven't brought it!! :(

According to the info I got at the extension office, here in NW Arkansas we can plant basil, lettuce, kale, mustard, parsnips, carrots, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, cukes, collards, snap beans. squash, and peas this time of year.

Thats alot of stuff!! If they would bring the doggone dirt!

By the way, what do you do with parsnips?

-- Kathleen (, September 05, 2001.

Parsnips are GREAT in chicken soup. Take out after making the broth and butter and salt them. Parsnips and rutabaga are really good for tasty chicken stock.

-- Ann Markson (, September 05, 2001.

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