Saturday, August 2, 2014

Fall Plantings

Today was a relatively cooler late-summer day in Central Texas.  We hit a high of 89 degrees, when the past few weeks, the days have been pushing 100.  That meant a gardening-filled day for me.  I will be on business travel for the second half of August, so I wanted to get my fall garden growing before I leave.

In veggie bed #1, I didn't make any changes.  I want to see if the tomatoes planted in the spring will continue producing.  I also have pepper and eggplants that are still bearing fruit, so no changes were made.

In veggie bed #2, I ripped out all the squash plants.  The squash vine borer already got to ALL the plants, so I'm cutting my losses and planting other veggies from seed that might actually produce for me this fall.  I planted the following in the bed:

  • Bush Beans - Tendergreen Improved [52 day maturity]
  • Swiss Chard - Fordhook Giant [60 day maturity]
  • Swiss Chard - Ruby Red [55 day maturity]
  • Kale - Lacinato (heirloom) [70 day maturity]
  • Kale - Dwarf Blue Curled Vates [55 day maturity]
  • Collards - Georgia [65 day maturity]
  • Echinacea - Purple Coneflower
Before and after:


I also have a mystery tomato plant growing in the middle of bed #2.  I assume one of the tomatoes from bed #1 landed in the bed and reseeded.  I'm letting it grow and we'll see a couple months from now what it turns out to be.  I love a good garden mystery!

In bed #3, I ripped out the old cucumber and cantaloupe vines.  It looks like the heat became a little too much for the plants and they probably weren't getting enough water the past couple of weeks.  I've replanted the bed with more cukes and melons, specifically:
  • Cucumber - Marketmore 76 [63 day maturity]
  • Watermelon - Sweet Scarlet Hybrid [85 day maturity]
  • Cantaloupe - Hale's Best Jumbo [ 80 day maturity]

I haven't had the best of luck with melons up to this point. We'll see if the fall crop does any better than the summer.

In bed #4, I ripped out the chard that didn't produce over the summer, as well as the spent green beans.  I've now planted:
  • Fennel - Trieste [90 day maturity]
  • Dill - Bouquet
  • Lettuce - Sylvestra [50 day maturity]
  • Spinach - Bloomsdale Long-Standing [48 day maturity]
  • Arugula - Rocket [35 day maturity]

This bed receives ample shade during the fall and winter months.  I'll be interested to see if I have any luck with these crops this fall.

Based on these plantings, I should be getting some decent harvest between mid-September through early October.  Cheers to a productive gardening day!


  1. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog, nice to see your vegetable beds and all the different things you are growing – looks like you have a lot to look forward to! My vegetable plot is 4 large window baskets, currently filled with herbs, tomatoes and chillies, but I also grow other things there through the year, plenty for one person.

    1. Right now, I spend the majority of my gardening time in the veggie beds. I love the satisfaction of being able to harvest my own fresh vegetables. We have just two mouths to feed, and my four 10x4 foot vegetable beds will produce much more than my husband and I consume alone at times. It is fun for me to share my excess vegetables with neighbors and friends, and even more of a treat when they share something back, whether it be from their garden, kitchen, or another art or craft. It is like our own little co-op!

  2. I am gobsmacked by how productive your veggie beds are. Looking forward to seeing how your fall crops do and keeping fingers crossed the weather stays a little on the cooler and wetter side to help us ALL out. Do you have an automated watering system that "tends" to things while you are away?

    1. Thanks, Deb. I haven't had much luck with my fall veggie beds these past two years. I think I might have put the plants in the ground too late. I'm hoping this earlier planting will give me more success, as long as we don't continue to have scorching days for the next couple of months. My veggie beds are the only garden beds that I have an automated watering system in. I use a soaker hose and the gardens get about 20 minutes of watering at 7am every morning. This should hopefully keep the plants alive while I'm away for a few weeks. *Fingers crossed*

  3. I was going to wait a bit, mostly due to laziness, but I guess I'd better add veg planting to my list this week.... I'm impressed with how much you grow. And jealous. Just a little. :)

  4. Ha! Thanks. This has been, by far, my most productive veggie growing year yet. I'd like to think my thumb is getting that much greener, but I'm sure our change of weather has certainly helped a bit. I just hope I can keep it up the next few seasons... then I'll feel like I had something to do with the bountiful harvest. Next gardening challenge on my list - filling out all my new flower beds with mostly natives and getting succession planting down so I constantly have things blooming in the garden.