Planning for Fall

We’re a good five days into some muggy, hot weather here in Wisconsin. I can tolerate heat better than most people, but it has felt like our house is slowly heating up a little more every day, and we don’t have central air conditioning. Needless to say, by last night just sitting on the couch was making me sweat! Good thing we have a couple of window units so we can sleep at night.

Anyway, it’s hard to think ahead to cooler temperatures and planning a fall garden. I’m normally not one to enjoy getting e-mail ads, but lots of my favorite seed companies have been sending me reminders about fall gardening. Some, like Baker Creek, are even having a 25% off sale on their seeds.

So, today, I placed an order for the following:

Early Scarlet Globe Radishes

Pink Beauty Radishes

Little Finger Carrots

Amsterdam Prickly Seeded Spinach

Monstrueux De Viroflay Spinach

Dragon Tongue Beans

Calima Beans


I meant to also order some kale, but I forgot about it. Eh. I’m not wild about eating kale so it’s not a big deal this year. Maybe next year I’ll grow some and get creative about different ways to prepare it.

All of the root crops – radishes, carrots, and whatever beet seeds I have left over – will go into what was the cabbage frame once I till it up. I do have Mexican Gherkins growing up (and over and around) one side of the frame, so I’ll have to provide something else for them to climb on one side as they’re starting to vine along the ground.

The spinach and arugula will go into the current potato bed once I harvest enough of them to free up some space. I may just harvest one row, or half of each of the long rows, because I’d like to leave the potatoes in the ground as long as possible to size up. I can’t plant any greens until it cools down anyway – maybe sometime in late August I’ll seed them.

Finally, the beans will go in the nightmare-of-a-garden-bed with all of the nitrogen issues. I currently have cucumbers, a zucchini plant, some melons, a few pitiful carrot tops with no roots, half-grown eggplants, and a stunted three-sisters bed. The rest of it is seeded with Idagold mustard to help with soil compaction. Bottom line is – nothing is growing really well there. Beans tend to correct nitrogen issues, and I happen to love beans, so I’ll plant a few rows and plan on having lots of dilly beans for winter snacks!

What about you? Do you grow a fall garden? Any tips for a first-timer?


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