Most gardeners are focused on growing food in spring and summer. But autumn can easily be the most productive time in the garden.
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, UNITED STATES, September 19, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — Fall is here, but that doesn't mean gardening season is over. "Fall vegetable gardens can be incredibly productive," said Randall Schultz, Content Editor for www.HomeGardenandHomestead.com. "Now is the perfect time to plant cool-season crops such as carrots, salad greens and cauliflower. Some crops even taste sweeter after a light autumn frost."
Here are the seeds to plant now for fall vegetable gardens.
Turnips are one of the fastest sow-to-harvest veggies. Compact and very cold tolerant, turnips are perfect for filling in empty garden spaces in the fall. White Lady Hybrid Turnip from www.ParkSeed.com is a fast-maturing extra-fancy turnip that produces tender edible greens and tasty white globes. The flesh is crisp and sweet, and the turnips can be harvested when they reach 2.5 inches in diameter for optimum freshness.
Lettuce is a favorite edible to grow in backyard gardens, but sometimes it can get bitter and bolt in the heat of summer. Unfortunately, that means pulling it out of the ground much earlier than most gardeners would like. But a fall crop of lettuce will last a typical family for months— especially with a little extra frost protection.
A dependable lettuce seed blend can be planted in late summer or early fall for a long-lasting autumn harvest. Mini Romaine Blend Lettuce offers a selection of baby Romaine lettuces that mature quickly with all the flavor of full-sized varieties. This lettuce seed blend consists of two of the most popular mini varieties—Truchas and Breen. Truchas is an upright grower that’s fully mature when its crimson leaves reach 6-8 inches tall. It’s also incredibly disease resistant. Breen is a bit slower growing, with medium reddish leaves that’s great for leaf-by-leaf harvesting. These beautiful little plants can be harvested about a month and a half from sowing seeds directly into the garden.
The fastest way to get a harvest of salad greens is to grow Micro Mini Greens. This premium mix of red and green lettuce seed varieties are ready to harvest is just 15 days. They are complete plants in miniature form, and you can eat the entire plant. The combination of smooth leaves and curly leaves is a delight in salads. For an extended harvest, sow lettuce seed every 2 weeks for a continuing harvest. (You can even grow Micro Mini Greens indoors in a container.) Both of these lettuce seed blends are available from Park Seed.
Spinach is a true cool season crop, so spring-planted spinach has an annoying tendency to bolt (a.k.a. flower) as soon as the weather warms up. But sowing spinach for a fall harvest can be much more productive. Like lettuce, spinach is grown for its leaves, so you don’t have to wait for flowering and fruiting. Plus, the leaves can be harvested leaf by leaf so the plants keep producing them.
Some spinach varieties have been delighting gardeners for decades. Bloomsdale Organic Hybrid Spinach is a favorite heirloom variety for its rich flavor and pleasing texture. This wonderful plant reaches 10-12 inches tall and just 8 inches wide, so it fits almost anywhere in a garden. Bloomsdale loves to grow in full sun in the fall. Another great spinach choice is Baby Leaf Riverside. This is such a quick-growing plant that you can harvest the baby leaves in just 27 days! The smooth, dark green, spade-shaped leaves are delicious in salads and stir-fry dishes. Both of these seed varieties are available directly from www.ParkSeed.com.
An increasing number of gardeners love growing and harvesting carrots in the fall. Now is the perfect time to sow them, because the warm soil lets them germinate and grow much faster than in spring. And as the temperatures start to cool down, their tasty roots get sweeter and sweeter. Try letting them experience a light overnight freeze for an extra-sweet harvest the next morning.
Mini Adelaide Hybrid Carrots are ideal for small gardens and containers. This Nantes-type carrot is mature at only 4 inches long, so it’s a perfect choice for fall gardens. These dark-orange, blunt-tipped carrots are packed with flavor, and they are ready to pick in only 50 days from planting. Buy seed packets online at www.ParkSeed.com.
Broccoli is one the few flowering plants that performs well in autumn. Even in USDA Zone 6, broccoli can continue to produce into early December.
One of the most popular varieties of broccoli is called Green Magic Hybrid, which is known for its productive nature and its smooth, buttery flavor. Green Magic sets smooth, nicely domed heads with mid-size beads that are very tightly packed. If you want to try something a little different, Aspabroc is a fun variety. Aspabroc is a cross of two types of broccoli: Italian Sprouting and Chinese Kale (also known as Gai Lan), a leafy, thick-stemmed type with delicious flavor. Aspabroc takes its name from the asparagus-like look and texture of its slender stems, but this is 100% broccoli, with a peppery-sweet flavor you will love. The key to harvesting Aspabroc is to cut the plant’s central crown as soon as it's formed. Doing this will lead to great side-shoot production, which will produce tasty crowns and stems for many weeks. Seeds for Green Magic Hybrid Broccoli and Aspabroc Hybrid Broccoli are available from Park Seed.
Another plant that grows well in the cooler temperatures of autumn is cauliflower. For a completely different look, try growing orange cauliflower. The striking pastel-orange heads of Flame Star Hybrid Cauliflower are packed with great flavor and lots of beta-carotene. Plus, they simply look cool. This veggie is great for eating fresh as well as cooked. Get seeds from www.ParkSeed.com
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Source: EIN Presswire