Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall Crops Part II

Here goes part II of the fall crops update and there will be two more to come! On this post I decided to focus on fall crops that are in the ground without protection.

I'll start with the fall broccoli. It has done pretty well this year compared to last years crop. I have picked a smallish head from each of the 8 plants and they are continued to produce side shoots as well. These were seeded in cell packs June 1st and planted in the soil after the spring crop was harvested, about July 1st.

Fall Leeks, I seeded these in a pot June 1st and planted them in trenches in the middle of July. They have grown alright but I think they need a full season to develop properly. Leeks are pretty hardy so I am going to cover them with a cheap poly tunnel and hope they overwinter.

Merlot lettuce, seeded Aug 1st and planted out Sept 1st. They are getting to a good size now so I can begin harvesting baby greens, yum!

Easter Egg Radishes, seeded in the soil Aug 1st. I have a few rows a radish growing and they are coming into their prime just as the lettuce is, couldn't be better timing. Y'all be seeing these on Harvest Monday!

Fennel, Seeded Aug 1st. There is three clumps of these in the garden. They are starting to develop small bulbs. I think these will be harvested soon, definitely before we have a hard frost. Never tried fennel before, any cooking ideas?????

Parsnips, I think I direct seeded these some time in July. To late it seems as they are not grow much underground. Not sure if I will harvest these as baby parsnips in Dec or try to overwinter them and harvest in the spring.

Beets I have growing behind the poly tunnel. They are ready for harvest anytime now, I think I will leave them in the ground as long as possible though.

Brussels Sprouts, I seeded these on the same schedule as the fall broccoli, seeded June 1st and planted out July 1st. They have not done nearly as well and it looks like they will be a bust. Next year I will plant them in the spring so they have a full growing season.

Australian Yellowleaf Lettuce, Seeded Aug 1st and planted out Sept 1st. I have a row of them growing and they will be harvested soon.

Batavian Full Heart, Not sure what to expect from them but they are supposed to be very hardy and produce a big frilly headed green. I believe it is a bitter green. They seem to be growing pretty slowly.

'Little Gem' Romaine. These were grown from a free pack of seeds from Baker Creek Seeds. Like all the other greens they were seeded Aug 1st and planted out Sept 1st. I hope they get growing, I love romaine.

Lastly here is a shot of the 'Atomic Red' Carrots that I seeded way back in May. They have grown very poorly but are putting on some roots now. I will harvest them soon.

To end things off here is a photo of the Norway Maples out back. Full fall colour has arrived in my neck of the woods it would appear. I can hardly wait to rake them all up!


  1. I keep kicking myself because I forgot to seed my fall radishes. Ah well. Next year. Yours look very nice. I can't believe your Atomic Red carrots haven't sized up yet. I grew them this year and I'm not doing it again. I like the carrot OK, but if any carrot had trouble with anything (damping off, insect damage etc) they had it 10 times any other carrot.

  2. Daphne - Those atomic red carrots suck! For the amount of time they have been in the ground they should be huge, the biggest is only about an inch across. Wish I grew the Dragon carrots like last year for color, they grew great.

  3. I am always so impressed with all you produce in your garden.... pushing the season as you do proves what can be done..Like the look of the Merlot lettuce .

  4. I planted atomic red carrots here too and they were a bit of a bust. They were pretty much purple and so slow growing! Love the Australian lettuce!

  5. Thanks for mentioning the seeding and planting dates. I started the brocc later thinking it couldn't take the summer heat. Can it ? Or did you have another crop strategically shading it ?
    I couldn't believe how long leeks take to grow. Mine seem to take forever ! Yours are looking good and should overwinter nicely.
    I was really hoping for big bulbs of fennel to enjoy as a proper veggie (sauteed,mmmm), not just for seasoning, but it wasn't meant to be. Here are 12 basic ways to cook fennel.

  6. What lovely glossy looking leaves you have there. I can't believe you don't polish them up for the photos!

  7. The salad greens are really beautiful looking. I particularly like the merlot lettuce - very beautiful.

    I usually transplant my brussel sprout seedlings around Mother's Day and that seems to be the perfect timing to have sprouts by mid fall. They are very slow growing so it does take a full growing season. I usually transplant the leeks at the same time because they also require a full growing season.

    Everything is looking very healthy and beautiful in your fall garden. The trees are beautiful too.

  8. At the Farm, The Brussels sprouts that we grew, were stated before may. Since it is in the Brassicas family it can tolerate a light frost. This way it has the whole year to grow!

    What are you going to do with your leaves, that makes you so excited?

  9. Wow Dan! It looks like you have a great selection of fall crops. I always enjoy fennel sliced ultra thin in a salad with a light vinaigrette! Roasted fennel is delicious too.

  10. Hey there, I'm amazed at how much you have left growing well at this time of year, it deffinatly gets me thinking about what I'll be growing in our 'fall season'. Fennel is one of my fav veggies and at the moment I'm harvesting a bulb a week. I use it in salad, really nice as a fennel and orange salad with orange segments and a herb dressing. I also chop it up with my own celery and/or onions for the freezer, its brilliant in any fish dish, I stuff whole fish with the tops, and soups especially minestrone. To braise it just slice it cover it with vege stock and bake for 30-40 mins, lovely with chicken or chop it up and sautee it with some of that lovely chard of yours. Love the blog. Lauren