Anybody Planting Fall Vegetables?

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

We are trying to put an ambitious Fall garden despite the drought. Any other wishful thinkers? I can only water sparingly because we have a spring cistern. So we cleaned up the bare and pitiful spots and made a few starter beds to direct sow. The rest is under lights in Atlanta and getting ready to be hardened off this week. I'm hopeful about the forecast for rain early next week.

I've got red and green cabbage, rutabagas and collards up and going. Cabbage has its second set of true leaves. I transplanted some of it outside the seed bed. We are already harvesting baby arugula. It is super speedy. Cilantro is sprouting from seed saved in early summer. There are purple hull knuckle peas and rattlesnake beans. I plan to sucker tomatoes every year and never do it. The right time is when we are drowning in June/July tomatoes. The idea of more seems ridiculous. This year I stuck to the plan. It's nice to see young healthy plants beginning to set flowers while the older plants decline though we still are getting lots of tomatoes from older plants. Last week I planted and mulched a row of peas under the shade of the tomato cages' north side; about twenty five feet. The germination has been terrific. Despite the heat there's a solid row. That was inspiration to follow up with another twenty five feet on the north side of the tomatoes in a neighboring row.

A fellow DGer sent Babington leeks which are like walking onions and produce bulbils with a light garlic flavor from their top flowers. I am waiting to plant heirloom garlic that Cindy and I got at the garlic festival. The Farmers Exchange is supposed to call me when onion sets come in. It's really nice to see things greening up again in the garden instead of looking at everything turning brown the way it usually does this time of year. I admit to procrastinating on the Fall garden until it cools off and then it's often too late for a lot of things, especially if you are wanting to grow from seed. Laboring in the garden in August weather is not the same as April. Now if only it would rain.

Anyone else planting or planning? I was wondering what you're putting in and what varieties you recommend (or don't). I was also wondering about when others are planting and how it works out.
Laurel

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Lula, GA

Laurel, thanks for posting this thread.

So far, all my Fall planting is not..................... I have lots of cilantro, arugula and leaf lettuce volunteering, tho! This hot weather has been putting a damper on my outdoor activities, but I need to get out one of these cooler, in the 60's, mornings, and toss some chinese greens I have seed from onto the ground! Can't remember the name of them but they are good!

Broccoli will be going into the ground in the middle of September, if I can find the plants at the local stores. I will look for onion sets- thanks for the heads-up!

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Hi Brenda. Thanks for responding. I got back to Atlanta and checked on the seedlings a short time ago. Broccoli should be ready to plant out next week. The raddichio is not far behind. I have wanted to grow it for years so fingers are crossed. Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are still puny. Kale looks robust but small. I've never grown things under lights until this year. DD gave me a heat mat last winter and SO set up a two shelf system with double banks of lights. The shelves are in a west side basement window wall so plants get natural light too. I can grow hundreds of plants on those two four foot shelves! It's great not to battle bugs, drought and uncertain temperatures. So, it's supposed to rain (please say it's true) Monday and Tuesday, maybe even a little on Wednesday. I've got other spots ready to broadcast mustards, turnips, and more kale. Can't have too much kale. I've got lettuce seed but the bugs always get the seedlings so I'll try to plant some inside.

Has anyone grown Fall spinach? I've never heard of it because spinach likes to grow in wet soil as well as cool weather but see some gardeners do it here on DG. Also, does anyone have a source for fava beans with more than twelve in a package?

Oh yeah, if you look at the pile of rocks to the right of the photo you'll see what I'm up against gardening on a mountain side. I had already hauled away most that came from that bed. We've been gardening on that spot for years and, as you can see, we grow great rocks! They seem to come up in all seasons. Maypop is the home of the Busted Shovel Handle Hall Of Fame.

This photo is two weeks old. You can see one of the seed starting beds. To the right are the bean and pea fences. I planted Rattlesnake beans August 1st (too late for running beans according to our extension service planting dates). They are at the top of the fence and budding.

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Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Not much point here, still bone dry and temps hitting three digits. Plants Broccoli, cauliflower , cabbage, Collard are ready to go. Keep hoping one of the tropical storms will come this way. Turnips, mustard, radishes ready to seed but not enough moisture to germinate. Passing on the rutabaga this year as I need to get started in August for the them to form nice roots. Early fall crops, snapbeans, corn, peas, squash etc have burned to the ground.

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

Laurel, your garden looks fabulous as usual. I have big plans, but I'm in the same situation as FarmerDill - it is tooo hot and dry out in the garden. We're having a cool spell today - it's 12:30 and only 99 in the garden... I have brassicas and leafies started under lights inside. My azaleas in the back yard (close to the lake) are drying up - I may have to figure out how to get water to them this weekend. The only grass that is growing is in an arc next to the garden where the overhead sprayer hits.

I am going to try Fava beans this year - not sure when those go in the ground - not yet tho - only a few seeds like Laurel. I did a late planting of pole beans and they are up and climbing - Rattlesnake, Hilda Romano, and a few others. One batch never germinated so I planted some sugar pea seeds - yes I know it's unlikely. Last year I did get some snow peas to grow that I babied with lots of mulch and water and we had a small harvest of snowpeas going into late November.

I'm babying my winter squash - have butternut and delicatas growing. I'm still battling cucumber beetles and pickleworms. I have some little nylon "peds" that I've put on the squashes to keep the pickleworms out - it seems to work tho it looks funny. I have to run water through the soaker hoses at least once per day to keep these growing.

Our other pole beans are finally producing again - picked 5 pounds of beans on Wed. It was wonderful! Crossing my fingers that the storm in the Gulf brings us some rain this week...

Cindy

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I think we are all in for rain this coming week, even you Farmer Dill. The chances of rain in N. GA keep going up and they are forecasting more wet days. The beds are ready. I'm going to track the weather and dash out with seed packets.

Brenda, I've checked everywhere and no one has onions yet. It's too early to plant anyway. I just don't want to get there when they are all picked over. Will let you know if I see them. They don't usually label varieties at the S&Fs. Packages just say red, yellow or white.

Cindy, I planted favas in early April and only got a few pods before they succumbed. The seed was shriveled and unusable. I would give it a try again in Fall if there was quantity seed at a reasonable price but think I might wait until late February or March. I know they like it cool to cold but don't know how freeze tolerant they are when maturing. We could split a half pound from Johnny's or if we find some place cheaper. They turn into large bushes, around four feet high and two or three feet in diameter. There are limits on how many we could grow in our smallish gardens.

Farmerdill, Cindy and I bought brown crowder peas at the garlic festival. They are a large, tan to pale green knuckle-type and turn brown when dry. There are lots in a pod. I dried mine to plant next year. Is there another name for these?

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

There are many brown crowders, including one called simply Brown Crowder. Best as a fresh shellie. Most seed and feeds will carry at least one variety. Fairly popular in Georgia. Best for me is the Purple Knucklehull.

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

Laurel - let me know when you see the onions too. I'm thinking of ordering from Dixon in TX - any experience with them?

I'll definitely split favas with you - I have a small packet floating around here - got them from someone in SC - will chase it down and let you know. They get that big? Not so sure I can grow very many either. I read that they should be planted in fall/winter - I was going to try putting them under some row cover, but didn't know how late to wait to plant. I actually planted my bush and pole beans in April last year and was harvesting in May - it was amazing (and lucky too).

Cindy

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Cindy, I'm aware of Dixondale Farms but have never done business with them. They are probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest purveyor of mail order onions. Others here do a lot of business with them. Unless I'm missing something, I only see them offering starts and not sets (what they call "buttons" in N. GA). Maybe Farmerdill knows a good source for sets and starts. I'd like to seed grow starts for Spring but with my back and forth schedule to Maypop it would be difficult to keep up with them.

Farmerdill, the Purple Knucklehull I grow is a small seed compared to Brown Crowder. Is yours the same? What "peas" would you recommend as best for drying? We have so much summer produce and I'd like to have foods in storage not taking up freezer space for winter. We are not high on the power company's list for repair being way back in the woods.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Maypop, I don't play with sets They are all long day storage types. White- White Ebenezer, Yellow- Stutgarter or Yellow Rock, Red - Red Weathersfield, Brown - Australian Brown. Not many choices probably why they are usually sold simply as red , yellow or white. In our climate only useful as spring onions. I grow short day onions in the winter, Intermediate/day neutral varieties may be better for North Georgia. They become available after fall harvest, but most are imported from Europe, so they arrive pretty late in the fall. This is about the only U.S. producer that I know but they don't retail. http://www.magicvalleygrowers.com/onionsets/.

Purple Knucklehull is the same size as the generic Brown Crowder. There are larger brown crowders, Collossus is the largest I have grown. Hercules is also reported to be large but I have not grown it. Any of the southern peas do well dried. Small peas like Lady are better dried. Too hard to shell as shellies.

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

This year (last year?) I grew both sets (small onions) and plants (starts?) - green plants that were about 4 inches tall - about 30-40 to a bunch that I picked up from one of the local farm stores. The sets made nice "hot" onions that didn't grow very large - harvested in late June. The plants were put in the ground in November/December and harvested in July - beautiful large sweet onions. The plants were "GA Sweet onions" - Vidalia type (I think they can't call themselves Vidalia unless they are grown in certain counties) but the seed is Yellow Granex. I was going to try seeding these myself this year, but that requires a lot of space I don't have indoors with the heat/drought. And I want some purple ones too. :) Dixondale sounded good because they are in a hot dry area and I get their newsletters - interesting info.

Anyway, not sure what the ultimate solution is, but this seemed like it would work and not be nearly as pricey as "Bonnie" onions.

Cindy

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

Any one know a good source of garlic?I have been looking at burpe, but have issues. Can't seem to find a local source.
You are talking about drying peas, are you referring to let them dry, in the hull, and put in a dry space for keeping, then add water, etc. We did this type harvesting, whem i was younger.
Also, Shallots, does any one grow them?
As far as fall gardening, I have my "dust bowl" ready, but I am so afraid of pulling my well down, and we (ain't) had rain. I heard, an older man talking to a friend, and saying, "God sure is puinhing us for killing all them babbies".Who knows, I'd say we are more guilty than that. Mike

Lula, GA

Thanks for the discussion on onion sets and starts. After reading all of the above, looks like I'm gonna be looking for onion starts. Farmerdill, can you name some of the short-day onion varieties you grow over the winter or any you think would do well in NE Georgia? I appreciate your help!

I know when I had room to grow root vegetables many years ago, I would leave some in the ground over the winter and harvest very sweet crisp carrots, beets and chinese or japanese radishes in the early spring, before they would send up their seed stalks. Fond memories from my hippie days, when by spring we were waaaaaaaaay past cabin fever and dying for something fresh to eat!!! LOL!

Well............ It will be not be the first time a tropical storm or hurricane has bailed our dry gardens out of a drought- I have apologized to folks over the years for wishing a hurricane will head our way, especially if they happen to be in the direct and strong path of it, just cause we need the rain so bad! It is so dry out in my woods during the day, especially toward late afternoon, I feel the trees holding their breath to conserve moisture. Native plants are starting to wilt. In the evenings, after dark, the plants give a sigh of relief to have gotten thru another day of brutal or low humidity heat, and they release a little breath of moisture. I know how they feel!!!!
Everyday I pray for rain in Texas for all my friends suffering their drought; TS Lee's current path is a bitter blow to their hopes of relief.

~Brenda

Lula, GA

Mike, hey there! Nice to see ya! I heard Walter Reeve recently say on his radio program that you can just plant the shallots you get in the produce section at a grocery store.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I need to run out and put down mulch before the skies let loose but we did get some seed planted...daikon, purple top turnips, FL Broadleaf mustard and bok choy. Not bad for running back to N. GA this afternoon. I'm holding off on planting any young plants to see how severe this weather over the coming days. Besides, the only thing I've got that's big enough to go out is broccoli and radicchio. I'm hoping to be able to go out in the rain and transplant more cabbage and collards out of the seed beds and into the garden proper. The rutabagas are, after three reseedings, starting to make a nice stand and the second row of peas blew out of the ground.

Farmerdill, thanks for your input. You are hands down the most experienced gardener here. To have someone weigh in with home state knowledge is invaluable. Grnated we are many zones, microclimates and soil types, it's still more helpful than reading in the veggie forum what folks in Texas of California are doing and growing. As for the onions, I am looking at those day neutral types, in particular, Candy.

Mike, shallots are like onions but a different species. They multiply underground from a single bulb. Let me know if you'd like for me to get you some in Atlanta. The International Farmer's Mkt. carries beautiful shallots. Inexpensive too, but I don't remember the price...under $2 per pound. I have not grown shallots in years but plan on establishing a bed this Fall.

Cindy, I'm going to order the Johnny's favas and hope they get here quickly. Yes, sets are small onions and starts are young plants. If you have the patience and time (and aren't moving around like me), you can grow your own starts. We used to have all this available so cheap at the seed and feeds plus bundles of cabbages and collards. It's discouraging to see Bonnie plants as the only option to growing your own. WE also used to have the option of going down the road to a greenhouse farm. The farmer grew greens for his fields as well as annual bedding plants in the houses and sold to the public.

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

Laurel, let me know when you get the favas in. I'll mail you $. They are forecasting 59 tonight?! What's up with the weather?

Hoping we see a warm September, October, November with RAIN. I put some of my seedlings out today to harden - this is the first all day overcast in months.

Cindy

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

We managed to pick veggies before rain started during the wee hours of Monday. Now I have to do something with them during these rainy days. I got ten broccoli seedlings in and seeded spinach this morning. Never grown fall spinach but I've got those free, out of date seed packets and some are as old as '09. I saw a rabbit in the garden two weeks ago. It is going right through the farm fence. Now I'm seeing the collard seedling patch looking a bit mown and mature chard leaves nibbled down to stems along with the beets. I'm no longer counting on those hundreds of future collard plants.

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Fall cucumbers and beans this week.

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

We are picking several dozen Christmas bean pods a week from this small, six foot row. I pick the dry ones for winter soups.

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Five foot tall zinnias are keeping pace with the okra. Okra needed a picking here because we were gone a few days. This is Horseshoe's Betty's White okra. Funny name.

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Decatur, GA

I just put some spinach and swiss chard seeds in the ground. I hope it isn't too late to get going.
Laurel do you eat all the vegies you grow? It seems like tons and the processing must be a big chore. I guess I am much lazier than you. Your gardens are always wonderful looking.
Helen

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Thanks, Helen. I just put in Swiss chard seedlings this past week. I canned all the hot peppers and SO helped me seed and pith them. I then boiled them up in a pot of water, strained the liquid and sprayed all the greens. If you see a rabbit zipping past Decatur it could be the one from my garden. lol

We have been pick up drivers for a re-purposed food organization for a number of years and pick up from grocers like Fresh Market and Whole Foods as well as, Costco, Oglethorpe University, caterers and bakeries. We deliver to various shelters, halfway houses and food pantries around the city. We bring extra garden produce to add to our deliveries. I try to process as much as possible because I like knowing my food from the time it was a seed. Usually one I saved or a garden friend shared. I also do some catering. My menus include as many ingredients from our garden as the season allows. For example, when I serve goat cheese it will be accompanied either by minted fig jam (we grow the mint and figs) or homegrown roasted peppers, garlic and onions, or a roasted tomato relish with garden herbs. Caponata is made from garden produce and frozen for later use. We dry lots of herbs and both cold and hot pack all kinds of pickled produce. I continue to try and grow more and better food plants because I think everything about food is universal and interesting.

Decatur, GA

Laurel,
Everything you said makes perfect sense. I admire your energy and dedication. ^_^
Helen

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

That's so sweet, Helen. Thanks. Meantime, with the on again/off again chances of rain at the end of this week I'm getting nervous about putting more plants in the ground.

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

I'm hoping to get some seeds planted this week - time for carrots, beets, more salad. My baby plants seem to be doing ok so far. (Chard, arugula, buttercrunch, broc, kohlrabi, etc.) My beans are finally bearing again and the new ones are coming along.

Laurel - you do such good work. I hope someday to be able to do some of the same.

Do you have an electronic recipe for caponata? I'm thinking that sounds like it would be delish!

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Cindy, I have not been able to transfer my recipe file to my new computer. It's a Windows thing. I will send you the recipe. I used to readily post recipes until I started seeing them on another site. Now that I understand electronic cookbooks it's by request only. This is a proprietary recipe.

Waaaay Down South, GA

Farmerdill or anyone ...
What variety of broccoli do you find to do best? I set out plants this year but I'm also tired of purchasing the same ole and want to branch out.

Laural, forgive me ... I'm probably too late but will get you those seeds in the mail. I'm getting a late start. It's just been too hot down here. I've been holding off with a lot of my garden. I purchased my tomatoes and broccoli to get a jump. I can throw all my lettuce, mustard and turnip seed out. They do very well in my EB's.

I tried to do garlic a couple years ago but didn't have any luck. I did it in containers, though. That might have had something to do with it. I've done potatoes in containers ... but I didn't have any luck with the garlic.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I usually grow Gypsy Hybrid though I don't know if it's the best. Seed is readily available in the south because it is said to be heat tolerant. I always have seed left from spring planting to start plants in fall. If you are interested in branching out then maybe look at some of the sprouting broccoli varieties, broccoli raab/rabe, also known as rapini, or broccoletti. These are easy to grow and produce lots of slim stalks with small heads. I usually grow broccoli raab in spring with the regular broccoli. It needs to be harvested continually and has much shorter longevity than other broccoli I've grown. Still, I like the flavor.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Sorry, we cross posted Farmerdill. I've grown Packman and Green Comet too. Packman was compact with smaller heads for me compared to Green Comet or Gypsy.

Waaaay Down South, GA

Thanks I did look at a couple of those but it didn't mention zones on the site where I was looking. The broccoli I did last year took forever and didn't produce many side shoots. The plants were purchased ... that's why I'm so interested in starting my own.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Maybe Farmerdill can comment on this but it has been my experience that a lot of brassicas and greens do not perform well from purchased plants. I don't think it's the variety or the zone as much as these plants are more sensitive than some other vegetables to growing conditions. IME they need to be grown at a fast and steady rate. If they experience extreme temperature swings, get overly dried out or especially if they become root bound in those cell packs at anytime between the grower, nursery or your garden, they don't perform optimally.

This message was edited Sep 15, 2011 8:41 PM

Waaaay Down South, GA

Thanks ... more reason to do my own. ☺ I love learning from everyone.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Today was mostly cloudy and twenty degrees cooler than just days ago when we had record breaking heat. We had that rain a few weeks ago but nothing since. I got back to Maypop garden on Friday and have been working long days to get ground ready and veggies planted. For the first time ever I started kale seed out of the garden and transplanted. These dry, hot days of late summer, coupled with the insects have been discouraging the last few years. I got more cabbage and collards transplanted out of the seed bed. Everything is being squished under the summer veggies. The broccoli is under the eggplants and enjoying the shade. There are cabbages under beans and seem happy for now. I planted out about thirty baby Romaine lettuce plants, fifty kale, twelve more cabbages and the same with collards. Also got in sixteen cauliflower and I can't remember how many Brussels sprouts but have more to plant tomorrow. Everything has been raised from seed. Peas are now a foot to eighteen inches tall.

On the onion front...does anyone have anything to report about sets? I've heard from several local sources up here and apparently whoever their distributors are are saying the sets have been delayed due to wet weather and onions are not adequately cured for shipping. I thought most of our onion sets came from Holland. Then there is Texas that is a huge onion growing state and they've had terrible drought. Could it be the onion sets are coming from up north where it has been so rainy all summer? Anyone seeing onion sets?

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

It's been a perfect few days for transplanting from the starter beds. Cool and overcast. Almost everything is in place for my Fall garden. I'll seed some leaf lettuce next week and still waiting to do onions and garlic. Now all we need is some rain. Took advantage of the slower day to take some photos.

Here are peppers grown from saved Costco seed. I saved the seed about five years ago and keep saving the biggest and best. We had already picked the red ones when we came up on Friday.

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

They can get really long and are oh so sweet. I think they may be Marconi or a relative. I've dubbed them Amazing Maypop Sweets.

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Another pepper I love is this one. I've saved this seed for many years too. It originally came from a Bonnie plant labeled 'Cherry Belle'. When I go on line to look for it I can only find my own postings. It is a medium hot Italian type and great for pickling and tomato sauces. Very prolific until freeze.

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

We picked all our colored peppers so this is the closest to the cherry belle coloring up.

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I forgot about this pic. It has some cherry belles that are red.

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

The new beans are flowering and setting beans. I'm thrilled that I could plant so late and still have young, vigorous plants through Fall.

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