Getting Ready for Fall

With rain yesterday and not a SINGLE triple-digit temperature forecast in sight, it’s time to talk about fall gardening. It probably hasn’t been reflected in most of the pictures on this blog, but if you come to the garden you will see that most of our vine crops are looking old and tired. They will be doing well to make it for another 3-4 weeks in most cases. We are also starting to see what I suspect may be some powdery mildew. Ugh.

Since we have so many vine crops this year, there will be lots of space for fall vegetables. We are almost exclusively starting things indoors this year, rather than trying to direct seed. The reasons for this:

  • It’s still a bit hot to successfully start most of the fall vegetables from seed, especially in combination with…
  • Our very sandy, extremely well-drained soil in the raised beds will make it hard to keep the seeds moist enough to germinate well. Vegetables with tiny seeds like lettuce and carrots are a challenge anyway!
  • Even if we were to plant seeds right along the drip lines, the emitters are still 12″ apart, and I just don’t think we’d get good germination. We may have a challenge getting some of the shallow-rooted fall vegetable transplants established as it is.

So, what are we planting?

We planted 2 varieties of radicchio – a red and a green. We also planted some red bunching onions, one variety of leeks, cilantro, cutting celery, and 5 varieties of lettuce. The lettuce, cilantro, and cutting celery should easily be ready to transplant in about 4 weeks. The onions, leeks, and radicchio…well…we probably should have planted them indoors 2-3 weeks ago. We’re not perfect either! All three vegetables grow very slowly from seed and take several weeks to be large enough to transplant. The radicchio I am expecting to be the fastest of the three…they may be the right size in about 4 weeks. However, radicchio tends to have a very low germination percentage. The packet of brand new seed tested at a 65% germination rate. That’s another great reason to start them inside! We actually double planted the seed, to make sure we got plenty of plants.

I’m looking forward to having some non-heat stressed plants growing for a change!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on August 8, 2012, in Around the Garden, Working in the Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Love finding this great info from other Master Gardeners, we have a blog too for our demo garden in Dallas.

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