Friday, September 28, 2012

Goodness Grows in the Fall Garden.

I don't know why, but I'm always pleasantly surprised—amazed, even—when I plant seeds directly in the garden...

...and they actually grow.

Does this make me sound cynical? Perhaps a little. Instead, I like to think that I'm cautiously optimistic. With all of the wildlife surrounding our gardens, often I plant seeds knowing that I'm simply feeding some non-human creatures. So, I usually plant a little extra.

Two for the birds, one for the humans. Two for the mice, one for the humans.


Today, as I escaped the sickbay of our house and walked down to the large kitchen garden, the progress of the seedlings made my achy head feel a little better. Kristen, who has been home from school since Tuesday at noon with a tummy virus, kindly shared her germs with me.

Walking to the garden used all of my energy for the day. Plus some.

Three beds in the back garden contain fall crops, which are making decent progress. The other three beds are still producing cucumbers, peppers, and herbs, so those haven't been cleared yet. As soon as the garlic and onion sets arrive, though, the rest of the produce will be harvested, plants pulled and composted, soiled amended, and bulbs planted.

I also haven't touched the potager. It's still producing summer crops, but that, too, needs to be tackled.

But not today. I turned on the water, said hello to the chickens, and headed back inside to blearily tend my little couch potato.

Instead, I thought I'd share with you the fall varieties I'm growing in the first three beds. I've also set up a Pinterest Board if you'd like to see photos of each variety. All of the varieties are heirloom.

Bed 1
Brussels Sprouts ~ 'Long Island'
Cauliflower ~ 'Early Snowball'
Pac Choy ~ 'Prize Choy'
Leek ~ 'Prizetaker,' 'Blue Solaise'

Bed 2
Swiss Chard ~ 'Silver Beet'
Cabbage ~ 'Mammoth Red,' 'Cour di Bue,' 'Early Jersey Wakefield'
Radish ~ 'Early Scarlet Globe,' 'Plum Purple,' 'French Breakfast'
Lettuce ~ 'Forellenschluss,' 'Flame,' 'Lolla Rossa,' 'Grandpa Admire's,' 'Red Romaine,'  'Rouge d'Hiver,' 'Tennis Ball,' 'Amish Deer Tongue'

Bed 3
Peas ~ 'Amish Snap,' 'Tom Thumb,' 'Golden Sweet'
Kale ~ 'Red Russian'
Carrots ~ 'Parisienne,' 'Dragon,' 'Scarlet Nantes'
Spinach ~ 'America,' 'Bloomsdale'
Lettuce ~ 'Forellenschluss (Yep, I planted this in both beds. It's my favorite.)
'Merveille des Quartre Saisons,' 'Yugoslavian Red Butter,' 'Crisp Mint'

Still to plant:
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Romanesco Broccoli

Garlic ~ 'Purple Glazer,' 'Music,' 'Inchelium Red,' 'Lorz Italian'
French Shallots
Saffron Crocus

I also need to add the companion herbs around the perimeters of the beds to help repel cabbage worm, but that's a task for when my head recovers.

IF it recovers.

Hmmm...what am I missing? What is your favorite fall crop—and variety—to grow?
Are there any of your favorites that I should add to our gardens?

Whew. It's time to head back to the couch. Honestly, the viral visitors are welcome to leave anytime.

I think we need an exorcism. Or an extra large bottle of Lysol.

Hope you have a happy, healthy weekend!



  1. Well sorry you are feeling under the weather be well soon, but what a great selection of fall crops you are growing. Like yourself I'm always amazed and surprised when seeds germinate. It's like this little miracle that all that potential is in a tiny seed. Love it

  2. Baby Bok Choy is our fav spring veggie. I'm trying this year in Fall. You can use it raw in salad, add to stir fry or soup, or just by itself as a sautéed vegetable. Easy and delicious! What companion herbs do you use to repel the cabbage worm?

  3. Great fall crops Julie. Sure hope your and your brood get feeling better, new school year, new pool of germs.

  4. My daughter was home sick this week, too, though fortunately she doesn't seem to have passed it around. I hope you're all well again soon. Your fall garden sounds so exciting! I would love to have all those vegetables to look forward to. A new Whole Foods Market just opened near us and I'm having to get my organic veggie fix there...we've been nearly every day since it opened! I ate dandelion greens for the first time yesterday (from Asheville!). So good!

  5. Maybe the kale would help boost your immune system? Red Russian is a big favorite around here. So yummy. Fall crops are a relaxation crop around here -- once the heat stops!