Planting Your Fall Garden – continued
As discussed in the July column, our relatively mild winters allow us to extend our veggie growing season. Plant the veggies listed below beginning now to get them established before our reduced sunlight and cold snaps slow their growth. For more information click here.
- Bok Choy (Chinese mustard) – seed
- Lettuce (Leaf) – seed
- Turnips – seed; for greens only seed through September
- Spinach – seed for fall crop; seed in September for early spring crop
- Corn salad (mache) – seed early September for fall use; seed late October to winter over for early spring use
- Mustard Greens – seed through September for fall greens
- Radishes (early varieties) – seed throughout growing season until mid-September
Late October, Early November
- Beans (Fava or Broad) – seed for June harvest
- Garlic – plant cloves for early summer harvest
- Onion – plant sets anytime during fall and winter if soil is well drained and workable
- Peas – direct seed for an early June crop
- Obtain cover crop seed for your fallow beds now and others this fall. For more information about cover crops, click here.
- Evaluate your ornamental and veggie gardens to inform your plans for next year.
- Wait until fall to transplant ornamentals and shrubs when the weather has cooled and plants are less stressed.
Fall Gardening Begins Now
Relatively mild winters in Western Washington allow gardeners to extend their veggie growing season. However, as plants don’t grow much between November and February, due to reduced sunlight and cold snaps, winter vegetables need to get established in late summer and early fall. You also need to ensure that your garden beds are well drained to deal with our typical heavy rains. The vegetables below should be planted in July. Next month we will cover later plantings.
Early to mid July
- Brussels sprouts, Ballhead Cabbage, Cauliflower (seed by July 1; transplants by August 1 for a fall crop)
- Carrots – seed for fall and winter harvest
- Kohlrabi – seed for fall harvest
- Onions (green or table) – seed for fall use
- Parsley – seed in early July for fall and spring use
- Peas (green or edible pods) – seed for fall harvest
- Rutabaga – seed for fall and winter harvest
- Swiss Chard –seed for fall crop; seed in late August to winter over.
Until late July
- Bush beans – seed
- Beets – seed (for greens only, seed until September 1)
- Broccoli, Savoy Cabbage – seed (transplants until mid-August for late Nov harvest)
- Kale – seed (transplants until mid-August)
- Lettuce (Head & Romaine) – seed, Radishes (oriental types, Black Spanish) – seed for harvest all winter.
- Check leafy vegetables for caterpillars. Remove as they appear. Use Bt-k, if necessary.
- In late July, begin to monitor tomatoes for early and late blight. Prune for good air circulation, pick off affected leaves, and/or treat with approved fungicide.
- During hot, dry weather, spider mites may appear on ornamental plants, vegetables and fruit plants. Watch for dusty-looking foliage, loss of color and tiny mites. Wash infested areas with water or spray with appropriate pesticides.
Click here to read an informative publication about winter vegetable gardening from Oregon State University.
When visiting a farmers’ market or perusing vegetable seed packs, you’re likely to run across the term ‘Heirloom’. Offering a taste of the past, heirlooms are considered by many to have superior attributes such as flavor and tenderness that have been selected for over time by generations of gardeners.
If you save the seed of the best-tasting, best-performing plants in your own garden each year, for a number of years, you can gradually create your own heirlooms. However, this is only possible with open-pollinated seed. Open-pollinated plant varieties that cross-pollinate with other plants of the same variety, will reproduce almost identically to their parent plants, or ‘true to type’. Seeds from hybrids will not produce plants identical to their parents due to the special way they are created.
Saving heirloom seed lessens the need to purchase new seed each year. It also helps maintain the genetic traits of old varieties of food crops for future use. When old varieties are not maintained, the gene pool grows smaller and smaller, which can lead to increased disease and pest problems.
- To prepare for efficient watering during our dry season, determine what type of soil you have. Heavy clay soils take in water slowly; sandy soils let water pass through quickly and loamy soils absorb and retain water.
- To deter flies and butterflies from laying their eggs on your garden crops – particularly Brassicas – cover your plants with fine row cover which will serve as a barrier.
- If you’ve started your flower or veggie garden in a space that used to be grass, the roots or tubers of plants like potatoes or dahlias might show holes caused by wireworms. Using chemicals in a veggie garden isn’t the best option. Instead, these larvae of click beetles can be diverted from these crops by putting fresh potato peels in a 4″ deep hole nearby and disposing of them weekly.