Fall has arrived with cooler conditions prevailing lately, and now the calendar has made it official as well! I’ve got a variety of things planted for fall, and so far most of them are looking good. I sowed turnip seeds back in late August, and they have been thinned once and are mostly weed free. The stems are swelling up and the greens are healthy, and it won’t be long before the baby turnips are ready. My wife and I both love the roots and the tops, and I planted a fairly large amount this year, mostly a mix of the white salad types (Hakurei, Oasis, Tokyo Cross) and some purple tops. They went in the unprotected kitchen garden in the spot where half of the 2012 garlic crop grew. Deer don’t usually bother them, so hopefully they will be safe this year.
This bed is about 30 feet long, and I planted about 2/3s of it in buckwheat at the same time I sowed the turnip seed. The buckwheat is blooming like crazy, and normally it would be covered in honeybees. But since ours are gone, the buckwheat is visited by bumblebees and a few other pollinators, but not many honeybees. It will add organic material to the bed when I turn it into the soil in a few weeks, which is the main reason I planted it.
I planted kohlrabi in one of the cold frame beds back in early August. Some of the Winner variety are almost ready to harvest. The Kossak variety won’t be ready for about another month. The slugs have been bad in that bed, despite my using Sluggo. And the compost I added has made for a lot of weeds. I’ve had a hard time keeping up with both of those problems! Oh well, the plants seem to be doing okay anyhow.
I also gambled and sowed some spinach seed in another cold frame bed. I say gambled, because usually it is tough to get spinach seed to germinate here in September. Normally it is too hot, and the seed refuses to sprout. This year it came right up in a few days. That should mean we get a taste of spinach before really cold weather gets here. At least I hope so.
In the main garden I planted kale, broccoli and cabbage last month. Some of the broccoli (Packman) is already heading up. Fresh broccoli will be a welcome addition to our meals for sure.
We’ve already started eating the kale. I made a couple of batches of kale chips last week with some. In addition to my current favorites Lacinato, Beedy’s Camden and Red Ursa, this year I also planted a dozen of the Wild Garden Kale Mix. More on that project in a later post. All of the kale is ready to start harvesting. It’s a good thing we like kale, because there’s lots of it! The Lacinato was lovely and covered in dew early yesterday morning when I was taking photos.
I’m not sure if the Brussels Sprouts will give us anything or not. I am reminded now about why I stopped growing them a few years back: they take forever! These plants have been in the ground since early July, and they are smaller than the kale, cabbage and broccoli that I planted in August. Hopefully they will give us a few sprouts, someday. We will see!
The cabbage is already starting to head up. It should give us several heads while we wait for the Brussels Sprouts. The Ky Cross in the below photo is a flathead type that did great here this spring.
Though it’s not a fall crop, the Kumi Kumi squash vines may well prove to be the last squash standing this year. They are still setting baby squashes, even though the rest of the winter squashes have given it up for the year. Apparently it didn’t get the memo about Fall arriving! This one has been a great producer for us. We had some grilled just yesterday.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing how the fall garden is doing here. I’ll be back soon with more news as it happens!