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applestar
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Let's Compare Fall Garden Reports?

I know everyone's been posting about their fall gardens individually, but I thought it might be useful to have a thread with a compilation of summarized fall garden descriptions. I think the contrast of location/weather and the kind of crops that is considered "fall garden" in the area, as well as any problems, mistakes you may have faced would be of interest.
Please include
Location:
Brief current weather description: Temp hi/lo, frost? freeze?
What you planned, planted, what's working and what's not.

Does this sound like a good idea? 8)

I guess I'll start --

Here in NJ Zone 6b, we've had a couple of frosts then an overnight freeze (31ºF at 9:30PM -> 26ºF at 10:30AM next morning). Every susceptible summer plants were frozen solid. 50's/30's with some 60's/40's days in the forecast. So the ground isn't frozen yet.

I brought in last of the colored and green toms and peppers just ahead of the freeze, as well as some sweet potatoes, peanuts, and the remaining herbs (basil, pineapple sage, tansy, stevia, lemon balm, lemon grass, rosemary -- though rosemary will be OK for a while yet and I have some more in a protected location). I have wormwood, parsley, celery and leeks and a bolting mustard/radicchio still standing in the garden.

Due to lengthy drought through September, many of the earlier planted fall seeds didn't sprout or sprouted and died. I suspect overzealous chipmunks had a hand in "disappearance" of these plantings as well. These included peas and oats as well as spinach, mustards and brassicas. 2nd sowing, though it was late in the season after the fall rains started have sprouted, and I have microgreens of more cold-hardy kale, mustard, beets, and dikon radishes growing, as well as some kind of covercrop small grains but I have to find my map to figure out which is sprouting as I'm experimenting with several different grain seeds (:roll:). They could be winter rye, spelt, or triticale. (There was no point in sowing peas again since there wouldn't have been time for them to mature) Out of all my fall covercrop seeds, vetch appears to be performing the best. Clover, which was planted late August may or may not be doing OK. I do have a lot of clover sprouting but I can't tell if they're recovering previously established clover or seedlings. I've planted garlic for next year's harvest.

Heh, a little verbose for a "summary" -- sorry. :wink:
Last edited by applestar on Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gumbo2176
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Great idea. I'll second, or third the motion depending on when this post hits the board.

Current weather conditions: Cool nights to the upper 50's with daytime temps in the 70's, mostly sunny.

Garden condition: Planted to the max right now. There's 15 broccoli, 9 brussels sprouts, 18 tomato, 6 bell pepper, 6 banana pepper, 18 collard green, 8 squash(4 zukes, 4 yellow crookneck), about 50 ft. of leafy salad greens including mesculin, arugula, kale, bright lights chard, swiss chard, buttercrunch, red oak leaf and simpson lettuce, purple mizuna, spinach, beets and sugar snaps in the main garden. I also have about 80 garlic and 75 onion bulbs planted in the raised bed. For herbs, I have sweet basil, chives, parsley, rosemary, spearmint and oregano.

The fig tree is now sans leaves and resting for the winter months.

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jal_ut
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Last week I picked kale, dill, arugula, curly mustard and turnips. Put these in the fridge. Yesterday, I picked my dry beans then ran the tiller over the whole plot. DONE!

Monday, I will plant my garlic and some Egyptian onions. I won't be planting anything else until April.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

TZ -OH6
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I have two rows of brussels sprouts that were planted too late to produce this year, and a few rotting tomatoes on dead plants I have been too lazy to pull. The past few days have been filled with putting in a drainage line and prepping my garlic and shallot bed. They will go in the ground today. My sunchokes are ready to be dug up, but since they don't store well I'll leave them in the ground until the last minute and dig out as needed.


I have most of the neighborhood leaves piled up in fence "pens" waiting to be used as deep mulch next year, but I see some more piles up and down the street that I'll collect today.

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applestar
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Jal- You've had an early frost and even an unexpected early snowfall right? In another thread you talk like once it snows, snow on the ground would last through the winter ... Then I thought "this is mountains of Utah" What's the weather like right now? When do you expect the first of the lasting snowfall?

I think that in your case, the storage pit for the fall harvested mainly root crops is an interesting aspect of your "fall garden".

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lorax
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Not quite fall here, but here's the quarterly garden report.

Location: Ambato, Ecuador and Mera, Ecuador

Current weather in Ambato (10,000 feet): Highs around 110, lows around 50, no frost or freeze, but almost no humidity either.
Current weather in Mera (4,000 feet): Highs around 100, lows around 80, no frost or freeze, humidity 80-100%.

In Ambato: The first quarter's bush beans are just about done, and I've harvested two hills of baby potatoes - the tops died off in one of the recent heatwaves, so I figured I'd see what 3 months did for spuds. They were quite small, but perfect for my mixed-tuber salad. The Ullcus and Mashua (Tropaeoleum tuberosum) have produced an excellent crop, and I've divided the tubers for another harvest in about 6 months time. The corn is being eaten either by my cat or by ants - I'm not entirely sure which; in any case, everything but the blue corn for flour is stunted by my altitude. The bell peppers are finally flowering (yay!) and the Aji peppers look like they're another 6 months away (boo-urns). I harvested 4 pounds of carrots yesterday and pickled them. Big failures for this season include Roma tomatoes and Grey Zucchini - the former due to powdery mildew, and the latter due to the fact that a sparrow decided that the stems looked tasty.

On the altitude-push side, all bananas except for my tiny Sweet Plantain (which was iffy in the first place, since I got the pup out of the middle of a road), and the larger Maqueno (which seems to hate how dry it is here) are growing vigorously. The leader of the six cultivars seems to be the Limon (Red Iholene), which has adapted quickly to its new conditions. They're going in-ground at the end of the month, come heck or high water.

I've also finally got hops sprouting, after nearly 3 months of waiting and patient trickling of water into the seed bags. Huzzah! Now I've only got another 5-6 months to go before I can pull my first harvest and work on identifying the type - I know they're Nobles, but which variety I won't be able to say until I can smell them.

The plums are finished blooming and it looks like a bumper year for the blacks and greengages.

Planned for the next cycle: Rainbow Chard, Beets, another big lettuce patch but more red lettuces this time, the Beefsteak tomatoes along with another couple of vines of the Strawberry (awesome producer in my heat).

None of this goes in until I can seal and paint my garden walls, though - they seem to have been the source of the worst of the fungal diseases I saw in the garden this year.

In Mera: The tropical fruits are going gangbusters; I have harvested over 200 lbs of papaya and nearly 300 lbs of palmfruit in the past couple of weeks. The Arazaa is starting to ripen up, and it looks like it will also be a bumper year for Sapotes and Mamey. In the failures sector, I will never attempt to grow curcubits in the jungle again - I'm not sure whether it was the monkeys or the insects, but between them I think I harvested one melon. I'll be replacing them with giant passionfruits in the next cycle.

I'm also planning on putting in some rice terraces for the rainy season, as an experiment. If they work, so much the better, and if not, I'll still be able to harvest Tilapia out of them.

And now that I've written a novel.... :oops:

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digitS'
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Rice and tilapia?! . . . ummm . . .

Well, I finished garden clean-up, yesterday! The 1st frost came about 4 weeks ago and that was late, too.

There are still veggies in the garden. The bok choy that was planted in August has become rather tough. I ate quite a bit of it for dinner last night, however. The many frosts, altho' light, have just been too much for it. There is frost every morning that the sky is clear these days.

The kohlrabi won't make any more growth but I can't believe how sweet it is! There were several from plants set out in August that made it to tennis ball size, or nearly. Most weren't much bigger than a ping pong ball. Still, they are like sugar!

The kale was last harvested over 2 weeks ago and hasn't grown since. There are quite a few plants so it would be easy enuf to collect a basket of tiny leaves but I just can't see that they've grown at all. And this, despite some very nice days with highs nearing 60°F and several good rains.

It has rained again today and as this storm moves on thru, we may be left with snow. For the 1st time, the thermometer may drop into the low 20's and teens.

I might be learning that a twisted-stem Asian mustard is a better choice for greens this late in the year. Those plants look good and are still nice and tender. I doubt if they will take temperatures into the teens very well so will harvest the last of the mustard greens very, very soon.

The leeks were all pulled yesterday. I am sure that they would have appreciated this rain. Once again, I had them a little too close together for the leeks to have made real good growth. I also had a few Walla Walla sweet onions in that bed and just left a couple to go to seed. Now I have a tiny patch of onion seedlings in one corner. I left them to see how they do in 2011.

Uh oh! Here comes that cold November rain again.

Steve
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lorax
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digit, it's common practice here to use Tilapia in rice paddies and rice terraces as a form of pest control.

gumbo2176
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Here in SE La. many of the rice growers also raise crawfish once the harvest has been completed. Crawfish season here is from early spring till mid summer and usually peaks in demand in the weeks leading up to and just after Easter. It is a tradition in my family to have a huge crawfish boil the Saturday before Easter Sunday. This past Easter I boiled almost 300 lbs. of the tasty crustaceans along with lots of corn, artichokes, smoke sausage, garlic, onions, celery along with the required seafood seasoning.

That fed about 35 family members for a few hours of sucking heads and pinching tails and washing it all down with some good cold beer. Man, I'm hungry now.

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jal_ut
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applestar,
Then I thought "this is mountains of Utah" What's the weather like right now? When do you expect the first of the lasting snowfall?
It is hard to tell as each year is different. Some years snow at Thanksgiving time will last all winter. I can remember a couple of winters when there was no snow on the ground at Christmas.

The past week was beautiful weather, though cool. Temps from 32 up to 65. This morning it was 40 degrees. That probably signals a storm coming.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

orgoveg
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We had an unusually hot summer here and it persisted for too long to get anything growing. We just had our first true frost this past week. I planted Kale, turnips, carrots, beets, spinach, and lettuce in mid August for a fall harvest (the carrots and beets were planted sooner). None of it grew more than a few inches in the 80's temperatures that continued until a couple of weeks ago. I think alot of folks around here plant in early August and I always wait 2 more weeks. This year, that was still too early. I think that once the growth gets stunted in the heat, the plants won't recover in milder temperatures.

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gixxerific
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We have had a few frost and a hard freeze. My lettuce survived as did the Chard which hasn't stopped since it started this spring. Garlic is throwing up some tops everything else is gone and 80% of my beds have been prepared for next year. The only spot not ready is the lettuce patch there are onions in there too I think they are onions they are volunteers.

LindsayArthurRTR
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We had our first frost and hard freeze last night. Lost the green beans and lots of tender flowers throughout the garden. Before last night the lantana and basils were really putting on a show. Very beautiful I'll leave them in the ground until they dry up, then mow them down.

The 2 Jalapeno plants somehow survived, which I think is amazing. They are still putting out blossoms and peppers. Very HOT peppers. I have noticed that with the cooler weather, the peppers are showing a lot of corking and blackened skin, which I think makes them very pretty and rustic looking.

I never was able to get the seedlings transplanted in the ground, as the neighbors dog ran off with the seedling tray. She tore it into a million pieces. I found the remains in the back yard upon arriving home from work. It contained onions, red and green cabbages, lettuces, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and bright lights chard. It was extremely dissapointing. I wont have time to replant any of them before spring.

I did manage to direct sow 2 types of radishes (white icicle and cherry bomb) with my carrots (red cored chantenay) and I am steady pulling radishes as they mature to make room for the growing carrots. I have also been pinching off the outer leaves of turnip greens, and mustard greens for a few weeks now. The beets (Bulls blood and detroit dark red) are growing very slowly. These plants are winter heardy here in the South Carolina Upstate.
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rainbowgardener
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We have had several frosts; it is 30 degrees out there as I type at 9AM. We are having a brief warm up the next few days and then back to day highs in the 50's, lows in 30's, some more frost by the end of the week.

It was not a good year for fall garden due to the drought, which continues. We had one good rain in Oct and nothing since, no rain in the 10 day forecast. I planted seeds for lettuce, spinach, broccoli at the very end of July, which was more or less the right timing for days until frost, but was terrible timing for the seeds because it was too hot and dry. Nothing sprouted. So I don't have much fall garden. Swiss chard still going strong, as are some herbs including sage, lavender, and parsley. I planted peas mostly as a nitrogen fixing cover crop, and the vines are thriving but no peas.

Thoughts for next year.... I will start the fall crop seeds in pots, a little bit later and see if I can baby them along a little bit to get started. And I realized that once the hummingbird/butterfly flower bed was all cut down, I still would have had time to use that space for lettuce and spinach, especially if I put hoops and plastic over it. Still learning!
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I had a light freeze on Saturday morning, but it was so dry there was no frost. My warm season plants are still growing and tomatoes are still setting fruit (the plants that didn't die already).

I set out transplants of some Brassicas but most of them were eaten by grasshoppers, except the Brussels Sprouts, which are doing great. I can see the sprouts beginning to grow now. Some of the grasshopper-eaten plants are reviving now. I also started more seeds of Brassicas to see if I can overwinter them and harvest them in March or so.

The garlic is doing great. Almost all of my plants are up and growing. Garlic grows continually through the winter here. I transplanted some of my onions from seed this weekend. They are still very tiny, they look like blades of grass.

orgoveg
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Rainbow-

If you see my post above yours, it looks like we had the same experience. Misery loves company :)

Now here we go again with indian summer.
Last edited by orgoveg on Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jal_ut
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Saturday I got my plot tilled, and I was going to plant garlic this morning (Monday). Guess what? Its snowing.

Maybe we will get a drying trend? I don't expect this snow to stick.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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applestar
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I think you tilled too soon -- I believe you're supposed to till this kind of snow into the soil for the nitrogen trapped in the snowflakes. :wink:

Cerbiesmom
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I'm in houston, zone 9

in my fall garden, I currently have 3 tomato plants, my roma is the only one with any green tomatoes on it right now. I'm letting the last of my yellow wax beans dry on the plant so I can harvest seeds. I harvested some of my lettuce yesterday. It was tasty. I also had bok choi that did well, and grew very fast. My cucumbers didn't make it, even though the vines made it 5' up the trellis. I think the cold and the aphids did it in. Still have basil, fennel, and some other herbs going strong I aslo planted egyptian walking onions and garlic. They look like they're doing great. I've also got 9 broccoli plants that are growing. I don't know when to expect them to flower, still learning.

Failures: I planted spinach seeds; slugs ate them. I planted chard seeds, and they haven't grown past their first set of true leaves. I'm leaving them in now mostly as a curiosity to see what will happen with them. I tried more summer squash in the fall garden, and aphids devastated them.

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rainbowgardener
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I left out the garlic. I planted garlic cloves in Oct and they have put out nice sturdy green tops. So the bed that was tomatoes now has pea vines growing up the tomato cages and garlic along the edges. It has a deep mulch of fall leaves (just brought home 4 more bags tonight!) with the little bits of greenery coming out of it... Nice to still see green.

Still have mums, asters, lavender, marigolds, and a few hardy petunias blooming, a few blossoms left on the kerria and butterfly bush, tons of brilliant purple berries on the beauty berry...
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Avonnow
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Florida Zone 8 or 9 - Near Kennedy Space Center

Well my fall garden is a heck of alot better due to this forum. I did not fair well in the spring and summer. But this past weekend we had a Florida 8) cool spell High 65 low at night about 49. We had one previously in October and since that one everything has been doing much better.

I had tomatoes I started in summer and now I have 8 large plants full of tomatoes, all ready in different stages, I have bell pepper, Small Marconi (red) peppers, Cubanos and Hot peppers all producing. I have purple pod pole beans, rattlesnake beans and Blue Lake all starting to produce, I also still have Burgandy Okra and Ichabon Eggplant growing - if it stays cooler I am not sure how much longer they can make it. I have started Winter squashes but I am really having a hard time getting them to do anything. I also still have cucumbers - not alot but they are producing. I have bunching onions, and have started some sweet onions and garlic - I am truly shocked those are even growing, but they are and look good. I also have a bunch of yellow squash that is just getting flowers, and about 10 Broccoli. I have dill, chives, parsley, oregano and Basil. I also tried peas, but they are not doing much of anything. I tried beets and again not sure what is under the ground. Everything looks great (except peas and winter squash) but how they will turn out in the weeks to come is another thing. Florida had a horrible winter last year - we had alot of freezing weather and lost lots of regular plants, if this year is the same I may not get anything. I can hope though. I TRULY APPRECIATE :wink: ALL THE HELP AND INSIGHT ON THIS SITE, I think I would have given up otherwise. Heres to a great hobby and better eating. :D
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rainbowgardener
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People think winter squash means it grows in winter. This is not true. Winter squash is squash, it likes the same hot sunny growing conditions as zucchini or any other squash. The difference is that it is much slower developing, takes a long season to grow, so they are usually not ripe much before Sept/ October. Then they are hard shelled and keep for a very long time, unlike zucchini, which must be used pretty soon after they are picked. So zucchini are summer squash because they ripen up quickly and are eaten right away, so you are eating them in summer. Butternut etc are winter squash because you can be eating them in winter.

So your Florida "winters" are very different, but still the winter squash may or may not do much. Even if you have warm enough temps that they would ordinarily grow, hours of sunlight make a difference.
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Avonnow
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Butternut, Winter Squash

Yes that is probably it, because I did grow some in the summer and I got Butternut and Acorn, but I kept thinking, well it will be alot better in the winter. I guess not. The plants also do not look as healthy as the ones I planted previously - small spindaly vines vs big robust vines. I won't pull them out - but I will take notes on what they do. Thanks again, I assumed from reading they liked cooler weather and would do better. Our summer are such scorchers that I never thought I would get any in the summer. I guess spring is alright for them? Or should I wait again for summer. Thank you!
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farmerlon
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Zone 6 ... already had several frosts, and even a couple of freezes over the last 2 to 3 weeks.
Harvested all the tomatoes and peppers that were left in the garden, about 10 days ago.

Lately, I've been spending most of my "garden time" cleaning out the garden, digging in some organic matter in spots that are very "clay-ey", and working on compost.
I do some "batch" composting in a large Olive Barrel that I converted into a compost tumbler. Also, I completed a large 3-section compost bin about a month ago... it's 14' wide x 4' deep x 4' high. I've already filled it full of leaves; more than once, as I keep coming back and topping it off as it "settles". I should be able to top off that bin a few more times, as I still have some Bradford Pear trees that have not dropped all of their leaves yet. [I didn't plant the Bradfords, they came with the house. I'm not a big fan of those trees, but I do appreciate the leaves that they give me. :) ] I will be adding more "greens" to all of those leaves as time goes on, to make a more balanced compost.

I'm also continuing my Fall/Winter cold frame experiments, to see how long I can extend my growing season.

tedln
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I still have a lot of onions, lettuce, turnips, tomatoes, and a few other things. We haven't had a frost yet, but it won't be long. I've been slowly taking beds out of service and started rebuilding them for spring. I'm trying a lot of products like dried molasses, alfalfa pellets, and different things to enrich my beds over the winter. I've started a new compost bed with the plants I am pulling from my garden, pine needles, cannas, hay, cow manure, bark, grass clippings, and just about every vegetative organic I can find. I will have a lot of oak leaves to add soon. I expect to pick tomatoes for a few more days and will harvest the turnips and then rework that bed. I will leave the lettuce growing until it is killed by the weather. I will pull my remaining onions and eat some and give some away. My fall garden has been much more productive than my spring garden due to the high summer heat.

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garden5
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Here in zone 5 there was the first frost NOV 3. Most of the peppers were soft, so they were eaten that day. The 3 plants that were under buckets did not make it, either. The peppers did not turn to mush as fast as the unprotected ones, however.

The beans were soft and floppy, but they were eaten and still tasted good. A planting of bush beans in the middle of AUG yielded one flush of fruit before frost came.

The peas that were planted middle of AUG are still growing and producing after several more frosts. The Swiss chard has been going since spring!

I had all of the edible tomatoes off the plants before the frost hit.
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applestar
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G5, that would be about 75 days for the bush beans. I know you're supposed to add 1~2 weeks to the days to maturity for fall planting because of the shorter days, but what variety beans were they and what is the days to maturity listed?

bwhite829
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No clue what zone I'm in but in NW florida. I have an AMAZING stand of turnips, kale, mustards, I will have a GOOD stand of collards, onions, carrots, kohlrabi, cabbage, and kohlrabi. I am HOPING FOR AN OKAY stand of spinach and cauliflower. I did some side dressing on thursday, and in 2 days, some of my crops almost doubled in size, so I'm excited about that! I'm doing good for my 1st garden, thanks to my grandfather :)

bwhite829
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No clue what zone I'm in but in NW florida. I have an AMAZING stand of turnips, kale, mustards, I will have a GOOD stand of collards, onions, carrots, kohlrabi, cabbage, and kohlrabi. I am HOPING FOR AN OKAY stand of spinach and cauliflower. I did some side dressing on thursday, and in 2 days, some of my crops almost doubled in size, so I'm excited about that! I'm doing good for my 1st garden, thanks to my grandfather :)

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