The Fall Garden

If you live in a temperate zone, you can put in a fall garden when August rolls around and enjoy fresh produce (albeit a somewhat limited variety) well into winter.

| August/September 1994

  • 145 fall garden - kohlrabi
    Kohlrabi is a member of the mustard family and a classic "second-harvest" veggie well suited to planting in a fall garden.
    PHOTO: MICHAEL THOMPSON/COMSTOCK
  • 145 fall garden - jeff and joy
    Jeff and Joy take in a quiet moment before the year's second harvest.
    ROBERT HUNT
  • 145 fall garden - cabbage, full color
    Cabbage will need plenty of fertilizer late in the season.
    WALTER CHANDOHA
  • 145 fall garden - taylor family
    The Taylors proudly show off their summer leeks
    ROBERT HUNT
  • 145 fall garden - chinese cabbage2
    Chinese cabbage is frost-hardy, and can still be picked and eaten after it freezes.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 145 fall garden - leeks
    In most climate zones, the best time to harvest leeks is in early fall.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 145 fall garden - beets - image
    Beets like warm soil and moderate temperatures.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 145 fall garden - kohlrabi
  • 145 fall garden - jeff and joy
  • 145 fall garden - cabbage, full color
  • 145 fall garden - taylor family
  • 145 fall garden - chinese cabbage2
  • 145 fall garden - leeks
  • 145 fall garden - beets - image

By late summer, all our work has finally paid off. The baby pumpkins twine around the corn, and soon another season of the garden will come to a close, as we harvest our major bounty of corn, tomatoes, and strawberries, and then kick back all winter. When the first frost hits, we'll have less to do than kids in a small town. Our garden will be bare but well mulched or cover cropped against the return of spring in 1995. Until then, we may put the arduous task of gardening completely out of our minds.

"Oh, we're not done yet," Joy says, ruthlessly thinning some vegetable.

What?

"No, not by a long shot. What about the fall garden?"



Again, what? I have a question: "Won't we be a tad busy at harvest time to put in any more corn and tomatoes?" Joy gives her head a fast shake, as if to dislodge something in her ear. "Wow. Climb out of that hammock and turn off your notebook, honey. We've got to talk. You're in the wrong hardiness zone to be thinking that way. Let's do a little late-season dance around here." Dumbly and mutely, I follow her into the house, to review a diagram that she's been working on. I thought it was the plan for next year. It wasn't that at all.

"See, here's where we'll put the kale, the radishes go here, the beets down here, eventually garlic here, the Chinese cabbages over in this corner..."Her finger points, and her eyes gleam insanely.






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