Fall Garden Update

The fall garden is pretty much all planted now, and I thought today I would give an update on its progress. We have a fairly long growing season here, and I generally plant cool season crops in both spring and fall since they don’t do well with our summer heat. I’ve got kohlrabi growing in both the main garden and in one of the cold frame beds. The cold frame are covered in bird netting at the moment, and I will add Agribon later in the season for frost protection.

kohlrabi in cold frame bed

kohlrabi in cold frame bed

I’ve got another cold frame bed planted in shorter varieties of hybrid kale. It’s Prizm in the below photo, and I also have Darkibor, Starbor and the o/p Meadowlark planted in that bed. The bird netting does not keep out the white cabbage moths and the caterpillars have done a bit of damage on the kale and kohlrabi leaves, but I have been treating with Bt. I also have a lot of taller kale varieties planted in the main garden area.

kale in cold frame bed

kale in cold frame bed

Moving to the main garden now, I have a few warm season veggies that I planted  for fall. I have Astia zucchini growing in a 15 gallon Smart Pot. This variety does quite well in containers, and I am hoping it will give us a few fruits this fall. I also have a plant of the yellow crookneck squash Tempest planted in the ground. Squash bugs are still abundant around here, and in fact you can see one climbing up a leaf stalk in the below photo. That bug mysteriously ‘disappeared’ after the photo was taken. So far I have been able to keep on top of them with only a few plants still going. They have been bad here this year, but with most of the squash vines gone they have less to feed on now.

Astia zucchini growing in Smart Pot

Astia zucchini growing in Smart Pot

Near the squash plants I have a few late planted tomatoes growing. I planted two short vine varieties I had growing this summer, Red Racer and Defiant. If they give us even a few more tomatoes in October it will have been worth the effort. Red Racer is a 2018 AAS Winner that makes clusters of salad sized tomatoes. The fruits remind me a lot of Mountain Magic, but on determinate and well-behaved vines. Defiant is a medium sized red slicing tomato with resistance to a number of diseases, including early and late blight. They are both off to a good start, and I should be seeing blooms on them before long.

Defiant tomato

Defiant tomato

I set out broccoli, cabbage and kohlrabi plants on August 6th, and they are sizing up nicely. I’ve had caterpillar damage on them too, and likely some slug damage. The napa cabbages are starting to head up already, and the stems on the Kossak kohlrabi are swelling too. Both of those will get used for kimchi and kraut when they are ready.

napa cabbages

napa cabbages

I sowed seeds for four varieties of bush beans back in late July, and they are all blooming now. Mascotte is the first one to set pods. It’s my first time growing this 2014 AAS Winner. It’s also my first time growing Jade 2 and Castandel, and they join my long time favorite bush bean Derby. I hope to compare notes on how they all do here this fall. They had some bean beetle damage early on, but they recovered after I sprayed a couple of times with pyrethins to knock back the beetles. You can see in the below photo that Mascotte is loaded with blooms, and the first filet beans are setting on now just 41 days after sowing.

Mascotte bush filet beans

Mascotte bush filet beans

I sowed seeds of radishes and turnips back on August 3rd and 4th, and some of the turnip green are big enough to eat. I’ll likely wait for cooler weather to harvest them, though I have to say a big mess of greens does sound pretty tasty. Topper is one grown only for the greens, and it has been the fastest growing this fall, with Nozawana close behind it. I’m also growing Hakurei, Oasis, Niseko, Mikado and Scarlet Ohno Revival. We love both the humble turnip root and its greens, and hopefully this planting will keep us well supplied on into early winter.

Topper turnip greens

Topper turnip greens

I hope you have enjoyed this update on how the fall garden is doing here. By this time of year I’m always getting a bit weary of all the garden work, especially when it’s miserably hot and humid like it’s been lately, but later on I will be thankful I made the effort to put out the fall veggies!

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8 Responses to Fall Garden Update

  1. Phuong says:

    Your late summer plantings look nice and large already, and it’s fantastic you’re going to get some nice big pickings of green beans soon. I’ve been using Bt as well, but the moths seem to be everywhere. I feel like I spend a lot of time caterpillar squishing.

  2. Margaret says:

    Everything looks wonderful – I’ll be especially envious of the kohlrabi as our spring crop wasn’t only ok due to all the heat. I’ve never been organized enough to plant a full fall garden – my plans are bigger than the time I have it seems! This year, though, I knew that a fall garden was out of the question so I purposefully didn’t even try. But it’s in the plan for next year 🙂

  3. Michelle says:

    What a difference warm weather makes. I sowed Castandel beans back at the end of July and early August and my plants look like runts compared to yours, they are barely just showing the first blossoms. We’ve had more fog than usual this summer and the cooler weather has really slowed the summer veggies.

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      We’ve had lots of hot weather so the warm season veggies really took off. I was surprised how fast the beans started blooming!

  4. I love seeing how the seasons change where you live Dave. Thanks to you, I have a crop of kohl rabi growing now, at golf ball size, so I am hoping they hurry along before the weather gets cold, as I am looking forward to tasting them

  5. Joy Simpson says:

    What do you do with kohl rabi? I have seen it growing, both green and purple, but have never really been sure about how to eat it. I have heard raw and grated. Any other way?

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      We love it roasted. We peel and cut into slices, and roast in cast iron skillet or on sheet pan in oven. I also ferment a lot of it for kraut and kimchi. We do eat it raw too, and use it to make a kohlrabi slaw. It’s crunchy with a mild flavor, and good with a dip along with other raw veggies.

  6. You do keep lots of things going over autumn. For us it is more a case of start§ing too put lots of areas in the allotment to bed in preparation for winter,

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