fall planting

Starting Seeds

Its mid summer and I’m well into the fall planting.

I had a email today from Lesley who just moved from Arizona to MA and is wondering what she can plant in her new zone and new vegetable garden. Here in Belmont, my first fall frost is usually early October (maybe Oct 10), so we have about 60 days of growing left.

Today I planted seeds for:

Carrots (St Valery)
Lettuce (Oak Leaf Mix and Prizehead)

I’m also watering every day to try to encourage seeds I planted last week (beets, lettuce and carrots) to grow. (Its SOOO dry!) I find I can never have too many carrots, as long as they are nice big long ones, so I’m trying for a good fall carrot crop.

What else can be planted now?

I looked up on the Johnny’s Selected Seeds website for vegetables with time to harvest less than 60 days. Bush green beans, radish, all types of lettuce, spinach, arugula, broccoli, beets, collards, baby leeks. Winter hardy vegetables like kale are perfect to plant now. You can even offer cold protection by putting in a cold frame now and get several months (into December) of most of these vegetables here.

It’s a perfect time to start peas if you want to try for a fall crop. Its hit-or-miss and depends on how fast the weather goes from hot to cold this year. It usually goes too fast. I often try, but have never gotten a good fall crop of peas. But I like to try. I will plant some soon. I think tall and short shell peas (xx and Cascadia).

And garlic needs to be planted in the fall – I like to plant garlic in October. A bit of time yet for that. I will likely put this crop in my squash/pumpkin bed after its done for the year.

Some time back, I wrote an on-line calendar to use to calculate fall planting dates. Here’s the link: http://bioarray.us/Skippy%27s%20fall%20planting%20calendar.html You can also get there from my side bar – near the top.

I think fall is also a very good time for planting perennial flowers from seed. If you can get a bit of growth in the cool fall weather, they will come up next year with a head start and do well. I have some poppy and delphinium seeds I’d like to experiment with.

Please leave me a comment and let me know if you’re doing fall planting, where you’re located, and what you’re growing. I’d love to get new ideas. Thanks!

8 Comments. Leave new

  • I'm in NH and I'm trying fall spinach for the first time this year. Also I planted tatsoi again which did well. I was even able to harvest it from under the first snow last year. I started more carrots and peas, and have some bok choy, kale, & kohlrabi seedlings to transplant soon. I started some broccoli seedlings probably too late but I'm going to give them a shot anyways.

    I've also have beets, arugula, , mizuna, mache, and claytonia seeds in the cold frame. I need to keep watering so things can sprout!

  • 1. Your post today is SO USEFUL to me–I printed it out!
    2. I've not yet graduated to fall planting, usually because at this time all my plots are full and super productive. However, got a very late start this year so I have some unoccupied space–now I'm thinking a few sunflowers (just found the packets while cleaning, oops!), and beets and lettuce and carrots. Maybe I'll try bush beans, too–you've inspired me. I'm in the Sierra foothills (CA) and we have a LONG, hot summer but cool nights. 2 years ago I was still harvesting cherry tomatoes in December!

  • In SW Ohio, I planted carrots, chard, mesclun and beets a couple of weeks ago. A week before that we tried a second planting of cukes, which are producing. The beets and mesclun look great, but the carrots didn't germinate and the chard is really spotty. A very good gardener friend with a lot more experience than I has gotten no carrots to speak of either, not in spring and not now. We can't figure out what has happened. It has been a very weird year, here – I got nothing from my chard or beans, but 2 months of sweet peas. And a huge cuke harvest. Unheard of for me. Love your blog!

  • Here in SW Michigan, Zone 5, I planted fall lettuce, beets, bush beans, broccoli, snow peas, and carrots. It's been a great year for our new raised bed garden. A bit dry right now but overall adequate rainfall which is a blessing as we're hauling all our water to the garden site in 30 gallon barrels.

    Love your blog and really appreciate the information you share with us. Thanks!

  • I am in Central Mass (zone 5) and I was told that I could grow cabbage for a fall crop….so I started them and now I wondering if they will actually be ready before a frost hits……hmmm we will have to wait and see.. Also started black seeded loose leaf lettuce (say that 5 times fast),and iceberg and beets!

  • I'm in the W. Mass Berkshires and planted tons of radishes — the Johhnys D'Avignon long french ones were killer in the spring — plus some spicy greens mix, mustard greens and a 6 pack of brocoli I snagged at the garden center. Betsy

  • I am in Southern MA and am having the same difficulties with the dry part. I have lost most of my succesion sowings, hoping the latest round of lettuce, carrots, peas, and spinach will take…..if I can just remember to water it twice a day.

  • Good idea to buy broccoli seedlings. Don't know why I didn't think of this… A good excuse to wander through a Garden Center. I think I started some broccoli from seed a couple weeks ago, before I left on vacation, but they never showed up. Maybe the rabbit … or I didn't water well.


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