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My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view.

~ H. Fred Ale ~

Growing Fall Vegetables

I thought of naming this newsletter 'x-rated gardening'. I am not talking about a statue of David, rather I am referring to the obscene prices I noticed in the grocery store produce section. Nor am I confident about the quality of commercially grown products. Unfortunately, our town does not have much in the way of a farmer's market, maybe you are luckier where you live?

One way to gain some control over the quality and price is to grow your own. Spend the next few days and take a look around in your garden. One does not need to have a special vegetable patch: lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and other fall crops will be perfectly happy tucked in between your ornamentals. Toss out the finished petunias and replace with lettuce and other fall veggies. Surely you can find a little spot somewhere to give it a try?

Also consider replacing one of your ornamentals with a fruit tree. We have just finished harvesting our apples, they are smaller and not as perfect as the store bought - but oh-so-tasty!

Vegetables for Fall Growing

One of the benefits of a fall vegetable garden is the ease with which it grows. Most plants take care of themselves, no weeds to pull or watering needed. Some (such as brussel sprouts) will provide you with a harvest while their base is covered with a foot of snow

  • Lettuce - try some fancy varieties such as Arugula or Endive
  • Spinach
  • Mustard, Collards and other Greens
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage - try red cabbage for color
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Beets
  • Salsify

When you are attracted to the displays of mums and pansies, look a little further this fall and bring home some veggies!

Planting and Harvesting

Some seeds (i.e. lettuce) will not germinate when the soil is too warm. Either be patient or place a light layer of compost or vermiculite over the top to help cool off the ground. Young transplants may need a little extra water their first week or two. Don't panic if there is a frost, harvest the tender vegetables (i.e. lettuce), then either cover or just let them be done. Many hardy crops will taste better after a light frost!

Leafy greens can be harvested a leaf or two at a time, leaving the center portion of the plant to continue growing. Same with Brussel Sprouts, pick the small heads off near the bottom and the plant will produce more along the top. Harvest other crops as they are ready. You, too, can be eating fresh vegetables from your garden with your Thanksgiving turkey!

Do remember that the plants growth will slow down as the temperatures drop. Leave your plants in the ground and many will reward you with another harvest first thing next spring.


German Red Cabbage

  • 1 - 2 heads of red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 - 2 large onions - quartered
  • 1 - 2 apples - peeled, seeded and quartered
  • half a dozen bay leaves
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • secret ingredient: 1 small jar seedless RED currant jelly
Alternate layers of cabbage, apples, onions and bay leaves in a large pot. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and water mix and pour over the top. Cook covered at low heat , stirring occasionally, for several hours until soft and reduced in volume. Add currant jelly and stir well, serve.




October in the Garden:

Holiday Gift Ideas

Watering Balls

Copper Fruit Feeders