Planning Your Fall Garden

8/21/2013 10:37:00 AM

Tags: Gardening Tips, Fall Garden, Fall Vegetables, Recipe For Vegetable Soup, Karen Newcomb

Karen NewcombEven though it’s only August you may already be too late to plant a fall garden. But keep in mind that some vegetable varieties can overwinter, while many of the root vegetables do well when covered with a thick layer of mulch or straw and stored in the ground until you need them. Oriental vegetables thrive in fall and winter and are more flavorful.

Fall vegetables that do well are Asian greens, beets, broccoli, broccoli raab, Oriental cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Swiss chard, collard greens, radishes (especially Asian radishes), endive, escarole, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, meslun, mustard greens, peas, radicchio, all salad greens, sorrel, spinach and turnips. In warmer climates all of the above can be grown, but you can also plant all cabbages, cardoon, celeriac, celery, fava beans, lima beans, okra, parsnips, rutabaga, salsify and shelling beans. If you live in really warm areas, like the Imperial Valley of California, Southern Arizona, the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and Southern Florida, you can grow eggplant, peppers, tomatillos and tomatoes.

To determine when you should start a fall garden you must first know your first fall frost date. An easy way to do this is go to the Noaa Satellite and Information Service. Select your state and click. They list the spring date, the fall date and freeze free days. Seed Savers Exchange also had a Fall Planting Guide in their newsletter with vegetable and plant-by dates, with frost dates included. You can also calculate the number of days from planting seeds to harvest (outside):

  • Number of days from planting seed to transplanting (if you grow your own)
  • Add average days to maturity (harvest time)
  • Add fall weather factor (about 2 weeks)
  • Equal the number of days to count backwards from first frost date

I am a vegetable garden book author who believes in year-round gardening. There is nothing quite like going out to the garden in the coolness of fall and pulling up veggies to put in a homemade soup. Make enough fresh soup to freeze, and you’ll be a happy camper during those cold nights.

Karen’s Favorite Vegetable Soup

I like to use my 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven, but any large pot will do. Collect whatever vegetables you like from your garden. I like carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, spinach, Pak Choy, Michilli or Napa cabbage (or any cabbage available), sometimes a turnip or two, or even a little kale, and peas (either snow or regular). I use either chicken broth or beef broth to start (if you are a vegetarian like my son, use only water or vegetable broth). I then dice/chop vegetables and toss in the pot, add 1 can of diced tomatoes, then salt and pepper to taste. Once it starts to simmer, I add 1 or 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and check for flavor now and then. That’s it. If you like minestrone, you can add kidney beans, cannelloni beans, pasta and basil. If you like chicken or beef vegetable soup, just toss that in too. The important thing is the ingredients you harvested from your own garden. That fresh taste makes all the difference in home cooking.

Visit my website to find vegetable varieties suitable for fall planting and which seed catalogs offer them.  You can select from heirloom or hybrid varieties.

© Copyright by Karen Newcomb



Related Content

Time to Put the Peas In

We got our peas in over the weekend. Peas are easy and rewarding to grow - plant yours today!

Expand Your Garden Space With a Community Garden Plot

Our experiment at the local community garden was a great success last year - we just renewed our plo...

Grandma and Grandpa's Farm

The seeds of my journey toward self-sufficiency were planted years ago when I visited Grandma and Gr...

Taking the Plunge into Water Bath Canning

An abnormal fear of accidentally poisoning people from home canning mistakes has kept me from trying...

Content Tools
RSS




Post a comment below.

 

NebraskaDave
8/22/2013 10:38:36 PM
Karen, here you are over here. It will be good to have bloggers on the Capper site now as well as GRIT. My tomatoes are starting to come into full harvest. I want to can tomato soup for winter months enjoyment. Do you have any good recipes? I'm concerned about what spices to use and how to thicken the soup before canning. Have a great soup day.



Subscribe today
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
 

Want to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $19.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $19.95 for a one year subscription!