Tuesday, October 21, 2008

First Fall Frosts; Gardening Continues!

Our first Fall frost hit pretty much on schedule, and now three out of the last four nights we have seen heavy frost.

For my friends and neighbors who have a vegetable garden, this marks the absolute end of the season as they peer out at their now dead tomato plants.

For me however, vegetable gardening continues. Frost simply marks the beginning of an exciting Fall garden. This weekend my family transplanted the last of our broccoli and cauliflower plants, planted garlic and potato onions and harvested lettuce and other greens. My daughter enjoyed planting the garlic.

We have lots of cabbage and broccoli coming on, but full heads won't be ready for another week or so.

Our best Fall garden success so far has been with salad crops. In just a couple 4x4 square foot beds we have been picking all the salad we can eat for the past month, and hope to continue for at least another month.

Lettuce, greens and Brassicas all grow well when it is cool. Many gardeners raise them in the Spring but don't think of growing them in the Fall. Now that it is freezing at night though, the trick is to keep the plants from freezing. This week it is only getting down into the thirties, so covering them with row covers is enough protection.

Soon I will cover the beds with hoops and plastic or cold frames for added protection. The last of the lettuce transplants will be planted inside the insulated greenhouse beds to hopefully extend salad season into December.

Growing vegetables in the Fall and Winter is a little extra work, but I think it is worth it. It was pretty neat being out in the garden in the cool air this weekend as the Canadian Geese sang above me on their journey south.

The geese show that nature is getting ready for Winter, so I must ready my garden for it as well.

How about you? Those of you who are also headed into the cold season, do you continue growing or harvesting in the Fall and Winter? All tips and pointers are welcome.


Ellen Kirby

I enjoyed your blog. I got behind my schedule and didn't get my plants in the ground for fall, but will try some spinach in a sunny area on my deck to see what happens. Thanks for your inspiration. I have my own blog at www.kirbyplant.blogspot.com Please visit!


Our first frost date is officially November 1st, but usually the first frost is after December 1st, so I have just seeded my lettuce. I grow it in containers, and by covering them in freezing weather, we can have lettuce all winter.

Always Growing

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