Garden Friday – Transitioning into Fall

Hello!  If anyone is still reading, I thought I’d check in about how gardening is going.

I’m a big believer in year-round gardening as much as your climate allows; I live in the PNW in that magical place between the Cascades and the Coast, so we can do lots of it!

Before I check in about that, I thought I would reflect on how summer worked out.  Lessons from this summer included:

  1. 3 Sisters does not work if you have one of the coldest early summers on record.  Seriously, we didn’t hit more than a couple of 80s until well into July and only saw 2 or 3 high 80-90 degree weeks in early September.  Not going to happen.
  2. Beans on their own don’t care for above weather either.
  3. Mixed greens and other leafy greens, however, love it.  My family likes that option just as much.
  4. The good news is that you only need a couple of weeks of ‘summer’ weather to ripen your tomatoes
  5. To that end, I planted way too many grape varieties… especially since my roma varieties are only slightly larger than the grapes.
  6. Finally, DO NOT allow your chickens to free range through your garden when you leave town for 3 weeks.  The house-sitter will not protect it when they get overly rambunctious like you do.

In all seriousness, the hot weather and chickens killed off my ‘summer’ (really the spring stuff that lasted until late August) in a big way.  So, I came home and went straight to work putting my fall garden in.  (You might be too late for this… but you never know until you try given how wonky/late the seasons seem to be.)  What went in over the past 10 days?

  1. From seed, lots of greens… kale, spinach, chard, mixed greens
  2. Leek seedinglings… seriously, one ‘6-pack’ had nearly 60 in it when you separated them out.
  3. Overwintering Broccoli from seedinglings

What needs to go in?  Garlic if I can find time away from canning (more on that mid-week.)

What have you been planting in your fall garden?



9 responses to “Garden Friday – Transitioning into Fall

  1. Jeremy Johnsen September 23, 2011 at 9:51 am

    My garden did worse this year than any year I can remember. I think it’s mostly the wacky weather in early summer. Low yields and stuff just coming in a lot smaller than I remember.

  2. Alliegator September 23, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I don’t do a fall garden, but I am thinking about planting a cherry tomato plant and some lettuce indoors to eat over the winter. Maybe I’ll try a few other things…

  3. thelibraryinequalitiy September 23, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I’ve been told we can plant fall carrots in this part of the country, so I’m going to try winter gardening for the first time ever. I’m pretty excited about it. I’m also putting in some onion bulbs, and I’ll see what happens. I hope it works; I would love to be able to grow food all year long

  4. Nicole I September 23, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Carrots should work if you get them in now. Pick a spot that will be sunny into November and water aggressively until the first hard frost to get as much growth before winter sets in.

  5. reader Rachel September 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I want to go get leek seedlings tomorrow. I love leeks, but they’re always so expensive at grocery stores.
    We have replanted our greens, but we’re still harvesting tomatoes, squash, and green beans, so there won’t be anything new in those beds. We’ll just cover them with straw when frost forces us to pull out the plants for the winter.

  6. mfranti September 23, 2011 at 9:17 pm


    I’m suffering from garden fatigue. I went out for the first time today to harvest tomatoes for my own personal use. They’re rotting on the vine!

    The Chinese eggplants have fallen over because they are too heavy with fruit, and I’ve never seen a kale plant so big.

    I had great year despite the cold start. Melons, squash, corn, beans, it all came in and came in well. My romas are huge this year-4-5 inches long and 3 inches wide. The only disappointments are the peppers. They are smaller than usual and they haven’t turned red yet. I’ve only had one of the habaneros turn partially orange.

    I have peaches coming out of my ears and the blackberry bushes are still making fruit.

    It really sucks not having much of an appetite when there’s this much good food sitting in my backyard.

  7. ldahospud September 24, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I wearied of the garden in about August, and it has suffered in neglect. If I can make myself do it, I want to plant some kale.

    Somehow I can always get excited about my flower gardens and getting bulbs planted in the fall, but I’m always happy to just get the veg garden put to bed.

  8. Alyssa September 25, 2011 at 9:33 am

    We live on an organic farm in Toledo, just south of Chehalis on the west side of the cascades. For our fall harvest, we just planted kale, collards, and brussels sprouts, the carrots have been in for a few weeks, but it is worth a shot.

    I found some other good suggestions for fall plantings here (

    Good luck!

  9. margie September 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Such a bittersweet time of year for the garden. I, too, am weary of it, but also sad that the fresh vegies will be gone soon.

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