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Super Green Thumb
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Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

What do you plant in your fall garden?

I seem to get mixed results for late planted vegetables, but the harvest is always varied enough and abundant enough to make the effort worth while.

Late squash and cucumbers most always give a reliable late crop until the first frost kills the vines. Some little boring cucumber worms seem to be active in the fall, but I almost never see them on the summer cukes. Just a small nuisance though.

Kale, collards, and arugula always start out well, but if the winter is too cold like last year, the kale and collards only produce for maybe half the season. Most years though all three produce an abundance of leaves from fall all the way into the late spring.

Of course the garlic goes into the ground in October or November. Will likely plant some in late September this year.

Parsley and coriander produce all through the winter, though the plants slow way down if the temperature gets too cold. We cheat and take the basil into the greenhouse and it usually produces an adequate number of leaves to carry us through the winter.

I would love to plant sweet peas and spinach in the fall garden, but I've never got them to mature. The spinach never wants to germinate. And the sweet peas will sprout and grow a bit, but produce no peas. Maybe I'll start some out in the air conditioned house a couple weeks early and move them into the garden in late September. Maybe they will then produce before it gets too cold.

Any one have any other suggestions for fall planted crops that would mature by late November or would over winter? Also, any one have a trick for getting spinach to germinate, or a way to squeeze a few sugar snaps off of the pea vines?

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You can plant just about any brassica. I plant broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and Brussels Sprouts in the fall. With Brussels Sprouts, I get two harvests, one in December, and another in February before the plants flower.

Onions from seed work well when planted in the fall. I planted some in September last year and they did fine; only one plant bolted this spring.

I've planted almost anything frost tolerant for a fall crop. They usually all work well as long as I get them out early enough; sometimes I get stuff out too late, but they usually mature in February and March.

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Super Green Thumb
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I covered some of this in your Succession Crop thread but mostly I go with Asian greens for the fall garden, Alex. Of course, the fall garden might not even be a week long, if'n we have a frost in September ;). Cooling temperatures during that time of year will slow plants down even if there is no frost on into October.

Since most of my green beans are planted after some of the spring crops are out of the way in July, I'm busy picking beans at that time of year. Snow peas are also planted when the temperatures begin to cool a little in late August.

I know what you mean about peas, by the time they can get started well, it is getting a little too close to frost. Frost may not kill them but it doesn't do them any good and their development slows to a crawl. Learn to like the tendrils -- really, they taste just like peas!

Lettuce from transplants are quick and handle the coolness well. It is nice to have salads. Spinach? I always forget to plant spinach seed to overwinter or for a fall crop.

But Asian greens like bok choy or especially bok choy mostly fills out the garden after some of the summer crops are out of the way. Last fall, I planted Summerfest Komatsuna. Oh boy, was that a tender green! I've got it for spring this year with more seed for later. It really did better than the bok choy for growth and I was continuing to harvest it after frost.

I also grew a Beka Santoh last fall. I really couldn't see much difference between it and one called Fun Jen. Taste is fine, for a mild mustard and both are very pretty. Maruba Santoh is a favorite during the spring but it seems to grow too slowly in the fall. Maruba Santoh is a mild mustard but so mild that it makes a real good salad vegetable. You may have a better chance with it there in South Carolina, Alex. The plants were just a little small after the time available to it had run out.

Kale, really amounts almost to a season-long crop (a very long-season crop). The nights are cool here so that may make a difference but it's real tasty from June on. Of course, I'm busy trying to use up ALL the summer veggies at that time of the year but these others are some that I've planted late, especially for the fall.


BTW - a few of the bok choy plants always survive our snowy and subzero winters. They don't come thru real well but . . . they may do fine for you there and that just might be true with the other Asian greens.

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I plant collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, cabbage and sometimes brocolli in my fall garden. Gotta have them collards.

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I think you already know about Edamame soybeans which needs 60's to set.

Have you considered fall-planted potatoes for early spring harvest?
I think it freezes too hard during the winter around here but you wouldn't have that problem.

You could probably also grow fava beans and broad beans. I'd like to hear if anyone has been successful growing Nintoku Giant from Kitazawa seeds.
Also from the Asian/Japanese selection, what about Daikon? You could try the stockier short variety rather than the extra long ones. Maybe the giant turnips as well?

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What about some beets, providing you and your family enjoy them!! :D

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Only thing I have firm and enthusiastic plans for is carrots. Several kinds and lots or each. I understand they may do better around here as summer-seeded, fall-grown.

Mostly, though, I'll just make it up as I go along after the peas and potatoes, etc. are gone.


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