Friday, July 26, 2013

Fall Crops
Rainbow Carrots

Today, I just started planting my fall crops.
I know... at 10am, you're already dripping with sweat! For many of us, fall is the last thing on our mind. (That is, until you start smelling the wildfire smoke in the air, which always makes me think of the end of summer or fall. Or, if you are just waiting for your prized garden gem-of-a-pumpkin, you are happily anticipating fall like I am!)

 But now is the time to start planning for your fall carrots, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, peas, and kale, among other things. I found some great articles on this I wanted to share with you. I usually post gardening articles on pinterest. However, many of these can't be posted on Pinterest, because they don't have a picture. They are really great resources if you are thinking about second plantings for late fall veggies!

Planning For Your Fall Crops - Start Now! - Planning tips and great info for each fall crop vegetable

Fall & Winter Vegetable Gardens - Gives info on fall crop vegetables for cooler, wetter climates (Western Oregon & W. Washington)

Planting Vegetables in Midsummer for Fall Harvest - Provides a handy table of fall crop vegetables, their days to maturity, and cold hardiness

And my personal favorite, from The Old Farmer's Almanac,
This has a fantastic table that shows when you need to plant by, in order to have a harvest by specific frost dates. Here in Central Oregon, where our growing season is short, this is VERY important.

I hope these pages will be helpful to you in planning your second planting!
 I'm very excited about my current harvest, which motivates me to plant for late fall.
I love the idea that I can start planting in the next couple months, and be able to use some of these veggies for cozy and warming fall dishes once the wind begins to blow! Carrots and winter kale planted later may even hold until thanksgiving, depending on the kind of fall we have. Apparently, kale's flavor gets better after the frost!

Today I cleaned up my potted garden, and planted some shade loving plants behind my pot of sunflowers. (I don't recommend potting sunflowers. It's just the room I had left. You know, you make do with what you have!) Over the weekend, I will be cleaning up the beds and doing those second plantings.

Do you remember me talking about my radishes going to seed? (I went to the beach, and they went started to flower and go seed.) Well, the ones that have good seed pods coming out will be left, and I hope to plant those seeds in August, (fingers crossed.) Radishes grow so fast, so you can plant them late. Several of the current plants are just going to have to come out to make room for another round of radishes, and more carrots. By the way, when radishes flower, they get hard, and don't taste very good.
As for carrots, they grow great into the later fall. They just hang out in the ground a while until you're ready for them, even after a first frost. (Check the articles for fall carrot harvest specifics.)

A little planning ahead, and we'll be harvesting fresh produce right before Halloween!
Let's just hope for a beautiful, gentle fall. 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~
P.S. Real quick, I just had to show you...
That red carrot at the top, when I cut into it, it looked like this...

How great is that!? Red on the outside, and yellow-orange on the inside! So cool!!

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