Fall Garden Seed Starting

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Toomanymatoes
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Fall Garden Seed Starting

#1

Post: # 72125Unread post Toomanymatoes
Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:40 am

I am hoping to attempt my first fall garden this year. However, I have not found consistent information on when to start certain varieties indoors for a fall garden. I was hoping you more experienced gardeners may be able to help me out.

I am in Zone 6b. My average first frost date is ~October 11th. Most things will probably be dead by early November here.

I mainly grow tomatoes and peppers. My last tomato harvest varies, but I think mid-September is probably a good time to stop. I can get some tomatoes worth picking and ripening inside in October, but I have more than I need this year so I can stop sooner. Most likely will top the single-stemmed tomatoes after the 3rd flower cluster as well.

So, my plan is to clear out my in-ground garden early to mid-September. Maybe sooner for parts of it depending on what I learn and for direct sowing. This is my first year with this in-ground community plot, which is about 10'X22' and made into a keyhole design.

I probably have way more types of vegetables than I have room for, but I am considering planting:

Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts (just to see if I can get some)
Cauliflower
Kale
Kohlrabi
Lettuce
Spinach
Swiss Chard

I may also consider:
Arugula
Beets
Carrots
Mustard Greens
Pak Choi
Parsnip
Radishes
Tatsoi

Obviously room is limited, so I would only do one or two of the larger plants and few of the smaller ones.

For those varieties to start indoors, one approach I read was to take the first frost date subtract the number of days until maturity and subtract 3 weeks from that. I am not sure if that is reasonable or not. Another approach was similar, but more variable with the number of days to grow indoors prior to transplant - from 3 to 6 weeks depending on variety.

Direct sowing for Arugula, Carrots, Parsnips and Radishes. However I think you can start Radishes indoors too?

Also, looking at my plan I indicate planting outdoors in August. So, it looks like I would have to remove much of my garden earlier than I thought. It is hot in August, so I am a bit unsure of this.

So, I was hoping to learn what experienced fall gardeners do.

Thanks!
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ponyexpress
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Re: Fall Garden Seed Starting

#2

Post: # 72134Unread post ponyexpress
Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:33 am

I suggest direct seeding your brassicas. Now is the time to do it for fall harvest with cauliflower. You can do broccoli now but still have another month of planting time. Brussels sprouts might be too late as they need a really long season
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GoDawgs
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Re: Fall Garden Seed Starting

#3

Post: # 72137Unread post GoDawgs
Tue Jun 21, 2022 10:37 am

For brassicas I like to start them indoors 3-4 weeks before the transplant date because down here it's too hot to direct sow them.

When you're calculating back from your first frost date don't forget to add harvest days. Is your first frost date the end of the line for your plants or do you get another week or two of ripening if you successfully protect them from that first frost?

Root veggies need to be direct sown.

I do arugula on the front porch in a window box or pot, cut and come again. That can be sown directly or you can grow sets for planting in the containers. Lettuce and tatsoi the same but better direct sown. By doing thse in containers you save bed space.

Hope that helps. When in doubt, ask the locals who have been there and done that. :)
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bjbebs
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Re: Fall Garden Seed Starting

#4

Post: # 72147Unread post bjbebs
Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:46 pm

20220621_115954.jpg
20220621_115954.jpg (4.62 MiB) Viewed 212 times
Just starting broccoli.with more to go. Staggered transplants go in starting 3rd week of July. A few dozen lettuce starts will go in beginning late August. This harvest will go into mid Nov. I'll direct sow spinach early Sept. into mid month. Some of the spinach will be left to winter over, depending on good snows. We've had a steady diet of 90's for the last week and not into the summer yet here in 5b.
Until you get the hang of growing cool weather crops in the heat you might have better luck direct seeding. 6b should allow plenty Oct. - Nov. pickings. Kale, lettuce, spinach, chard and other greens are a sure bet. If you can find areas that don't get heat of the day sun they will do better.
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Bower
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Re: Fall Garden Seed Starting

#5

Post: # 72149Unread post Bower
Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:24 pm

This is a really interesting subject I don't know about but would love to learn.
I've done a couple of experiments with fall planted grain, and the first one, planting mid august, was shockingly mowed to the ground by ??? some anonymous pest. So the first lesson for me was, predator pressure is different in late summer and fall. Second experiment, I used row cover and now have a crop of winter spelt coming on that didn't get instantly eaten..
We did a late planting of carrots one year, direct sown in mid July and harvested into October. That was to avoid carrot rust fly, and they were perfect.
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Toomanymatoes
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Re: Fall Garden Seed Starting

#6

Post: # 72216Unread post Toomanymatoes
Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:53 am

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions!
ponyexpress wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:33 am I suggest direct seeding your brassicas. Now is the time to do it for fall harvest with cauliflower. You can do broccoli now but still have another month of planting time. Brussels sprouts might be too late as they need a really long season
That is certainly the ideal scenario. Unfortunately, my garden space is full of plants and will be until at least September. So, I have to start what I can indoors - such as Brocolli and Cauliflower. You are probably right about the Brussel Sprouts, but thought I might give it a shot. I only have 1 variety that matures in 100 days. I may not bother though, due to space limitations and the likelihood of nothing maturing in time.

GoDawgs wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 10:37 am For brassicas I like to start them indoors 3-4 weeks before the transplant date because down here it's too hot to direct sow them.

When you're calculating back from your first frost date don't forget to add harvest days. Is your first frost date the end of the line for your plants or do you get another week or two of ripening if you successfully protect them from that first frost?

Root veggies need to be direct sown.

I do arugula on the front porch in a window box or pot, cut and come again. That can be sown directly or you can grow sets for planting in the containers. Lettuce and tatsoi the same but better direct sown. By doing thse in containers you save bed space.

Hope that helps. When in doubt, ask the locals who have been there and done that. :)
Yes, thank you! I think I am going to try to get the Brassicas started indoors this week. I am not sure if my first frost is a hard frost or not. I am willing to find out though! I will direct sow any root veggies, if I decide to do them. So far most people I have spoken to directly do not do a fall garden, but I will keep asking.

bjbebs wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:46 pm Just starting broccoli.with more to go. Staggered transplants go in starting 3rd week of July. A few dozen lettuce starts will go in beginning late August. This harvest will go into mid Nov. I'll direct sow spinach early Sept. into mid month. Some of the spinach will be left to winter over, depending on good snows. We've had a steady diet of 90's for the last week and not into the summer yet here in 5b.
Until you get the hang of growing cool weather crops in the heat you might have better luck direct seeding. 6b should allow plenty Oct. - Nov. pickings. Kale, lettuce, spinach, chard and other greens are a sure bet. If you can find areas that don't get heat of the day sun they will do better.
I am hoping to direct sow what I can. Just difficult with no dedicated space for a fall crop. It sounds like we are having very similar weather. I am hoping my basement is cool enough to start seeds indoors. It never gets above 71F.
Bower wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:24 pm This is a really interesting subject I don't know about but would love to learn.
I've done a couple of experiments with fall planted grain, and the first one, planting mid august, was shockingly mowed to the ground by ??? some anonymous pest. So the first lesson for me was, predator pressure is different in late summer and fall. Second experiment, I used row cover and now have a crop of winter spelt coming on that didn't get instantly eaten..
We did a late planting of carrots one year, direct sown in mid July and harvested into October. That was to avoid carrot rust fly, and they were perfect.
I can't even imagine growing grain. I make bread and have made beer, but have never ventured into growing/processing my own grain. Perhaps one day. I am really hoping to get some carrot seeds into the ground quite soon. Just need to figure out where! I might have to intersperse them amongst my tomatoes or maybe the perimeter of my beds. Not sure.
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greenthumbomaha
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Re: Fall Garden Seed Starting

#7

Post: # 72300Unread post greenthumbomaha
Fri Jun 24, 2022 12:29 am

Oddy enough I have peas still producing and flowering in a large container.When they give up . I'll try for a second harvest. i HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO PROUDUCE A PEA IN FALL . I love peas :(

- Lisa
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Re: Fall Garden Seed Starting

#8

Post: # 72303Unread post GoDawgs
Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:18 am

greenthumbomaha wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 12:29 am Oddy enough I have peas still producing and flowering in a large container.When they give up . I'll try for a second harvest. i HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO PROUDUCE A PEA IN FALL . I love peas :(

- Lisa
I haven't either! I wonder if it's the shorter days that cause that.
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