Fresh Vegetables from the Fall Garden

    • Chrysanthemums come in bright fall colors to give you instant color in flower beds and containers.
    • Divide Astilbe and Oriental poppies now. Replant healthy roots and add some bonemeal in the bottom of the hole when you replant.
    • Pansies and snapdragons can be planted now to replace summer annuals. They will give you color this fall, winter and next spring.
    • When lily flowers fade, remove the flowers but don’t cut back the stems until leaves have yellowed in the fall.
    • If your bearded iris blooms were sparse this year or the plants are more than four years old, now is the time to divide and replant them. Mix some bone meal into the soil, and plant the rhizomes just beneath the soil surface.

Fresh Vegetables from the Fall Garden

September is a great month to spend some time in the garden. Mornings and evenings are cooler and a delightful time to harvest the summer crops and set out some new plants for fall vegetables.

Broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, kales and collards can be planted now. And so can spinach, Swiss chard and Asian greens.

Try growing some Chinese cabbages now. Although related to cabbage, they don’t taste much like cabbage. They are more sweetly flavored, with large, crisp, lettuce-like leaves. They are used in salads, sautéed, or pickled in Kimchi.

Pak choy is a popular Asian vegetable which belongs to the loose-leaf cabbage family and resembles Swiss chard. It develops large, glossy dark green leaves with wide white celery-like midribs. It is tender and delicious either cooked or quick fried in oil. It is used extensively in Chinese restaurants in Chow Mein, Chop Suey and soups.

Baby Bok Choy has become the most used vegetables in various Asian dishes due to its excellent flavor, texture and size. This fast-growing vegetable can be ready for harvest in 3-4 weeks. Young leaves and petioles are very tender and crisp, and they are good for stir-fry cooking.

There are many other interesting Asian greens. Nappa cabbage, or Wong Bok, makes large, cylindrical tight heads with broad round smooth leaves. It is very tender with a mild flavor. Tatsoi is a loose-headed variety similar to Pak choy with a large, bulbous celery-like base. It produces well into winter. Mizuna is a Japanese non-heading leaf type with narrow, dark-green, feathery leaves. It is very decorative in salads and popular in stir-fry.

You can also plant turnips now. Plant seeds up to 50 days before your first fall frost. Purple Top White Globe is an old-fashioned variety that will also give you tasty greens through the winter months.

Many types of lettuce will grow well now. They prefer the cooler weather of fall to the heat of summer, so they will make nice heads for you in the weeks to come.

Leave room for garlic! Sets will be available later in September. By planting them in the fall, you will be harvesting fresh garlic next June.

Onions can also be planted now. Green onions can be harvested in 3-4 weeks by pulling up the entire plant or just by cutting the green leaves off with a pair of scissors, leaving an inch or two of growth so the onion can continue growing. Larger varieties will grow through the winter and produce big bulbs next spring.

This is also a good time to set out artichoke and rhubarb plants. They will grow vigorously in the cooler weather and be ready to produce next spring.

Make the most of cooler days in your garden. By setting out new plants now, you will extend your harvest season into November.

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