Fall Planting

It’s not too late to get another crop in.

Today I will be planting kale, radishes and beets in the plot where I removed the sunflowers.  The key is to choose what you plant carefully.

Look at the seed package for the number of days to harvest. According to Cornell University’s website, our first frost will occur between September 30 and October 10th.

That means there are (optimistically) 50 days to frost. The radishes only need 28 days. They are a safe bet.

Another way to play it safe is to grow a crop that likes the frost such as kale.

I selected the Italian Heirloom Kale ‘Lacinato.’ It has blue-green leaves and should look as good in the garden as it tastes in the kitchen. The seed comes from Renee’s Garden seeds and the package reads “Lacinato has a fine, sweet, full flavor, never strong or overbearing.”

The package also states: ” Frost actually enhances kale leaves’ color, flavor and sweetness.”

I typically add kale to soups or serve it sautéed in olive oil with garlic and onions.  Another reason this is a good choice is you can pick kale leaves from the time they are small until they mature.

The variety of radishes I will be planting are named  ‘White Icicle’ though it will be harvested by the time any real icicles arrive.

And I plan to add a row of beets. This crop choice cuts it a little close. It is true that beets like the cool weather but the roots are at their most delicious after growing about 45 days and reaching a diameter of at least an inch and a half to two inches.

The good news is the entire beet plant is edible and beet greens can be harvested when they are about four inches tall. If the weather cooperates, there will be tender beet roots. If it doesn’t, we will have beet greens, which are delicious sautéed in garlic and olive oil.

As you can tell I hope to make use of every last day of our growing season. How about you? How’s your garden growing?

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