Gardening – Late Fall Pleasant Surprises

Salad for my lunch today. All ingredients selected from our garden. Lettuce and spinach from our leafy greens bed, Roma tomato from the determinant tomato bed, walking onion from the kidney shaped container, mung bean and pea shoots from our micro-green garden inside. All harvested after November 1.

It’s November 10th in Gardening Zone 5A (South Central Wisconsin) and we are still pulling product out of our garden each workday morning to make salads for lunch. We have 4 garden beds that are still actively growing.

This is our second season of gardening. From novice to either advanced beginner and marginally competent.

We have studied many YouTube gardening “experts”. Gardner Scott, Next Level Gardening with Brian, Epic Gardening with Eric, MIGardener with Luke, James Prigioni, Millennial Gardner, Homesteading Family and several others.

We’ve learned much from all of them; planning, timing, soil, trouble shooting, companion planting, succession planting, and etc. We tend to lean more towards MIGardner for knowing what time of year to start seeds indoors and when to transplant seedlings and when to start seeds outdoors.

Luke is in the same gardening zone as us. It makes the most sense to plant what he plants and the same time he plants. This strategy payed off. Harvest was much better this year and we had plants ready to harvest most of the season.

What changes did we make in 2022?

Some crops were put in earlier. Carrots, radishes, peas, spinach, beets, and turnips were sown from seed in mid march. Onions were started from seed indoors in February and transplanted on March 20. With the exception of beets, all of these crops did great.

Some crops were planted later. Specifically tomatoes and peppers. We started them from seed in mid May and transplanted them outside in mid June. Our pepper and tomato harvests were awesome.

Finally, and the reason for this post, we planted more crops in late summer to harvest in late fall. We are still harvesting many of these crops in mid November.

Bed A – Round 2 of carrots this season, 4 rows. I plucked one, front and just right of center to show the size. Sown on August 8th, the same day we pulled the first round that was sown on March 15. The second round germinated and grew much faster than the first round of carrots.

Bed A contains 4 rows of carrots, the second planting from seed this season. The cover photo illustrates great tops. I pulled one carrot for the shot just to show the growth. These are the Nantes half long variety. 4″ to 8″ is about as long as they will get. They are now 4″-6″ long. We need to decide if we pull them or cover them up and harvest next spring.

Bed B has two rows of bunch onions and two rows of beets. The beets, for a third time have been a major disappointment. We will plant them in a ground bed with looser soil next ear. However, the bunch onions have exceeded our hopes. There are so many, that we will cover them in heavy mulch and let them go over the winter. With luck they will go to seed and we can collect seeds to plant next fall!

Bed B with two rows or bunch onions and scattered beets. Beets are a crop that we have yet to grow successfully yet…

We’ve saved the best surprise for last. We started one bed just for leafy greens. Two rows of lettuce and two rows of spinach. In spring we started spinach from seed in bed A. We got two cuts before it bolted in early June. Spinach that we started from seed in August has been cut and come again 3 times, not one bolt and they grew bigger and sweeter than the spring planting.

The leafy greens bed also has two rows of lettuce. We have cut 1/2 a row each week for over two months and it is still coming back! Our work day salads include these items from our garden. Lettuce, spinach, onion, mung beans, pea shoots and for a little longer Roma tomato! The mung beans and pea shoots are from our micro-green garden inside.

We are very glad that Luke at MIGardner steered us to this late fall planting. He’s great.

Two rows up front of lettuce, and two rows in back of spinach. Cut at least 3 times each and still coming back in mid November!

Published by R Dub's Rub

Conversational BLOG writer and contributing writer for LocaLeben magazine. My BLOG entries represent observations that intrigue, amuse, inspire or stimulate my appetite.

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