Veggies for Fall—The Back Porch Pots

Pink Summercicle radishes. This big after just 6 days!
Pink Summercicle radishes. This big after just 6 days!

The Fall Garden is planted, and even coming up already!

I planted my fall vegetable garden Monday (9/22), one day before the Autumnal Equinox, which is cutting it pretty close. Lots of fall veggies are typically started mid-summer to get a head start before the first frost, but that didn’t happen and I planted direct from seed. Still, they’re all appropriate veggies for the season; they can handle–if not outright prefer–cool weather to do their thing.

Turnip cabbage, I hope to eat you in 45 days or so!
Turnip cabbage, I hope to eat you in 45 days or so!

The majority of these veggies are leafy salad and soup greens, but there are a few root veggies including carrots, three varieties of super-easy, super-fast radishes, some heading cabbages and “turnip cabbage,” as Thomas Jefferson called ‘em, aka Kohlrabi, a crop which I have yet to successfully grow but am very curious about.

Six days later, I’ve already got good germination on several of these. I think I’ve seen an Early Purple Kohlrabi. All the radishes are up and growing—I’m even thinking of planting more of a different variety. I’m pretty sure, based on placement, several of the Express Red Cabbages are up. The Mizuna greens (in Lime and Red) are all over the place in their pots. Still quiet are all the spinach, swiss chards, and carrots of course. If I want some micro-greens from the thinnings, I should have them in just a few weeks. Most everything else will be ready from mid-October on, and I’ll continue to sow more seeds as we approach the first frost.

According to Pat Brodowski (who is awesome, btw) at the Monticello Gardens, Jefferson planted a thimbleful of lettuce seed every week from February to September for a pretty constant harvest. We’re a little milder here by a few weeks, so I want to see how much later into the fall we can go.

Here’s what I planted and their typical days to maturity.

  • Red Express Cabbage—45 days (germinated!)
  • Spinach (unknown variety)—40-50 days?
  • Southern Giant Curled Mustard—45-65 days F/W
  • Japanese Giant Red Mustard—21-55 days (germinated!)
  • Early Purple Vienna Kohlrabi—65-75 days F/W (germinated!)
  • Superschmeltz Kohlrabi—60-70 days
  • Rainbow Carrots Mix—75-80 days F/W
  • Vulcan Swiss Chard—35-60 days F/W
  • Oriole Swiss Chard—35-60 days F/W
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard—60-65 days
  • Winterbi Swiss Chard—60-70 day
  • Tennis Ball Lettuce—60-65 F/W
  • Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce—50-55 days F/W
  • Romaine Lettuce—35-60 days F/W
  • Flame Lettuce—50-65 days F/W
  • Easter Egg Radish—24 days (germinated!)
  • Pink Summercicle Radish—30 days (germinated!)
  • Saxa II Radish—30 days (germinated!)
  • HeShiKo Onions—90-150 days F/W
  • Ornamental Flowering Kale—70-100 days F/W
  • Dwarf Siberian Kale—70-85 days F/W
  • Mizuna Greens—45 days (germinated!)
  • Red Streaks—45 days (germinated!)
More Pink Summercicle radishes! These should be about the size of a good finger in 30 days. Then, #omnomnom.
More Pink Summercicle radishes! These should be about the size of a good finger in 30 days. Then, #omnomnom.

And heres’ where I planted everything. The back porch gets nearly all the morning sun and then indirect light well into the afternoon before it’s all in shadow after about 2PM.

The back porch pot arrangement. Click for larger size.
The back porch pot arrangement. Click for larger size.

Long term, I can’t keep all of these out of doors and have them be happy—but some of them I definitely can like the ornamental Kale, the Japanese Giant Red Mustard, and some of the lettuces, even—so I’ll have to get to work on the greenhouse in October.

More Tomorrow!

—Ben, The Main Street Gardener

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