September 20, 2015

An Early Fall Vegetable Garden in September

The bed on the left has carrots, radishes, and newly sprouted spinach. On the right is the kohlrabi, turnip and daikon radish bed.
Carrots and radishes intermingling, these were seeded on August 27th.
Where the carrots didn't come up, spinach was seeded amongst the already growing radishes on September 14th.
Kohlrabi planted September 5th are forming their first true leaves.
Shogoin turnips are leafing up well, planted August 27th.
 Ta Mei Hwa daikon radishes growing quickly, seeded September 5th.
This bed was newly seeded September 14th with spinach, chicory, radicchio, sima di rapa, cavolo broccolo, beet, turnip, and carrot.
Beet seedlings with their pretty red stems.
Teton spinach came up great but there is no hide nor hair of Harmony spinach to be seen.

We've been having some beautiful fall weather in western Kentucky. Lots of sunny days in the 70s and 80s (21 to 27 degrees Celsius) and today it rained for the first time in forever, a nice drizzle that went on for a couple hours. Now we are enjoying the humid aftereffects.

The fall garden is doing wonderfully. Although the directly seeded radishes are slow to bulb up, it's probably too warm for them but they'll need to come out in a week or two to make room for the carrots that are sharing the same space. In the beds where the carrots didn't come up due to ancient seeds, I've seeded some spinach which are already starting to emerge. Yay spinach. And yay to no slugs in the new garden.

I still haven't cleared out the tomato and pepper beds. Which will need to happen soon if I want to get some garlic, lettuce, and fava/broad beans planted, and maybe more carrots and turnips. On the Baker Creek seed packet for Kuroda carrots it states they generally plant carrots up to a month before they're first frost date, so I'm going along with that especially since we are close to the same latitude. I have another couple weeks to plant carrots and turnips even if it takes them till December to mature.

I've been purchasing winter hardy varieties of lettuce, spinach, chicory and radicchio. Hopefully I can get these planted in the next couple of weeks giving them about a month to size up before the first frost.

Is it too late to plant beets? Beets seem especially slow to get going compared to turnips, carrots and kohlrabi.

Our first frost is usually the very end of October or first week of November, so I'm wondering when will it be too late to plant beets. Do beets have the same winter hardiness as carrots and don't they take just about as long to mature?

Looking through my blog, in 2011 we didn't have a hard freeze until the week of November 22nd and I was still picking lettuce and radishes at the beginning of December.    


Texan said...

I dont think its to late to plant beets. Especially if you have a cloth cover for them. A Frost blanket.. :O)

I can't plant anything here in August, its so darn hot any seed that did germinate would just burn up once its little leaves broke the ground sighhh...

Your fall garden is looking GREAT!

This gals blog she gardens 365 days a year using the frost blankets, I believe she is in kentucky as well.. you may know of it already...if not she is a wealth of info! She was growing in a very small yard but has recently moved to some land ...

Phuong said...

Hi Texan,
I didn't realize she was in Kentucky. I think I've read a couple of her posts while googling for information. I've used Agribon floating row covers just to keep peppers warm in early spring and flea beetles off eggplants but I've never thought to use them deep into winter. Very exciting.

I can imagine how crazy hot August is for you. What do you grow during the winter months?

Shaheen said...

Phuong, your Fall garden is doing marvellously - I know its early days, but I see all the hard work there, I do hope it rewards.

norma chang said...

Wish I had a fall garden as lush as yours. Our night time temp is now in the 40's so gardening season is winding down. I imagine you can still plant beets, may not form a large heads but the greens are delicious.

Phuong said...

Hi Shaheen,
I'm really excited this year for the fall garden. Hopefully everything will work out and we'll get some harvests.

Phuong said...

Hi Norma,
It sounds like it's already getting chilly in your area already. When I lived out west winter always seemed to come too quickly. Fall only lasted the month of September.

I'm going to go ahead and plant more beets and carrots in the next couple weeks. But my husband just told me that he planned to rototill the whole yard front and back in the spring to even out the ground, that means I can't plant the garlic I just purchased or fava/broad beans. I might try planting them in containers.

Margaret said...

There is do much going on in your fall garden! Our first frost is in the first week of October and nothing grows around here in the winter, so we are basically done & the garden is put completely to bed by the beginning of November.

Having a blog is such a great way to journal what is happening, isn't it? My memory is horribly bad & I did keep a written journal of what was happening in the garden in the past, but a picture truly is worth a thousand words, especially when we are comparing what is happening from year to year.

Phuong said...

Hi Margaret,
We have such a long fall season here, it's worth it just to try the easy stuff like radishes and lettuce. Your peas did so wonderfully in the spring, I've never been able to grow peas here spring or fall. When do you plant your garlic? They say November for our area but I want to get it done in early October.

I do like having a blog to look on past years, weather plays such a large part of things. Although the best year we ever had we had put in a lot of rabbit manure, city compost, and then mulched the whole garden. It was so easy to maintain and the eggplants got over 5 feet tall.

Margaret said...

I usually plant my garlic and shallots in mid-October and it seems to have worked out well so far - no lost bulbs yet! I think the main thing is you want the garlic to settle in a bit but not start to actively grow above ground before winter sets in. I actually didn't think you had winter down there!

Phuong said...

Hi Margaret,
Ok, I'll wait until October to plant my garlic. I noticed Lexa from 4 Hills of Squash plants her garlic under cover, it looks like she uses Agribon or some kind of row cover. I have to plant my garlic in containers this year so it would be easy to cover them with a bit of floating row cover.

I'm really used to hard long winters having grown up around mountains, I remember hands going numb from the cold while playing baseball in the fall. So Kentucky's short winters are pretty nice.