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magz88

How are you guys doing for your fall plantings?

magz88
11 years ago

Just wondering how everyone's fall stuff is going. I am pleased that I managed to get pretty good germination on my first beds of carrots and hoping it will be the same for the beds I put in a few days ago.

Lettuce and mustard greens/kale/collards are jumping out of the ground. I am hoping that the really hot weather will move on out over the next few weeks. I also got lots of zinnia going that should be ready for sale at the end of September along with celosia and some ursinia.

As long as the baby is patient I just have another round of lettuce and greens to put in for August 10 and then nothing again until the start of September.

I hope the weather is getting better for you guys who live in the central/southern states.

Comments (33)

  • jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)
    11 years ago

    Hot, Hot, Hot! I am passing up my early fall plantings and going for later fall and winter. With our high tunnels, I can do that. Usually I start putting out transplants now, but I am going to be starting them this weekend. Probably ready to go out in 3 weeks. Lettuce, Kale, Napa Cabbage, Bok Choy, Swiss Chard, Mustards, Leeks, Green Onions, and Happy Rich Broccoli.

    We finally got some rain last night. I worked up a lot of ground to get ready for fall plantings, but I wasn't going to plant until it rained. I will try to get some carrots planted asap. I am also going to plant more green beans, cucumbers, and zucchini. I will also try some radishes and Haikuri Turnips.

    We are still very dry and I will have to water everything. I am hoping that most home gardeners are giving up and I hope sales will go up for this fall.

    I am not planting broccoli, cauliflower, beets or cabbage. It just doesn't sell as well.

    Jay

  • randy41_1
    11 years ago

    just did the last planting of beans, summer squash and cukes outside. we have some open beds that will get filled up pretty quick with broccoli, broccoli raab, santee broccoli, spinach, asian greens and more head lettuce.
    inside we will plant more short maturity tomatoes for fall sales.
    cabbage doesn't sell well at our market either but slaw and kraut are great to have around.
    we planted head lettuce, salad mix lettuce, a mustard green, arugula, and turnips (haikuris) in a bed we made that gets shade in the late afternoon and frequent irrigation. we are now harvesting lettuce and salad mix when not many vendors have any.

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  • myfamilysfarm
    11 years ago

    Too dry here to try to start anything, still waiting for some rain. Only 1.67" since May 8th. Until we get rain, it isn't worth planting anything. I think this year is basically a write off, I hope to have made enough to cover expenses by the end of tomato season.

    Marla

  • boulderbelt
    11 years ago

    We are just starting to till up beds for a few things and should be getting well into fall plantings in about two weeks and we will not stop until the garlic is in the ground in October.

  • Slimy_Okra
    11 years ago

    Pretty good here in Saskatoon. We planted beets and kale a week ago, and tatsoi & tokyo bekana a few days ago. I will be seeding spinach in another two weeks.

    The fall planting window for greens is very narrow here. Too early and they bolt (because we still have long days up to the end of August). Too late and they never make it. Last year, my newly germinated seedlings got hailed on. I replanted and did OK but only because we had a mild fall.

    With row covers, I can extend the harvest window up to Halloween. I have an unheated hoophouse that gets me an additional 10 days on top of that, where I grow hardy vegetables like mache, claytonia and spinach. These ones take freeze-thaw damage the best.

  • randy41_1
    11 years ago

    try row covers in your hoophouse slimy o. they may get you another couple of weeks.

  • rustico_2009
    11 years ago

    As is well known, the seasons don't change too much here in Southern California. Fall, just means adding a few of the most heat sensitive crops back into the rotation and taking a few of the most cold intolerant ones out. Onions and Garlic have somewhat tight time frames, as in other places.

    All the farmers markets are 52 weeks a year...for better or for worse.

  • magz88
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Slimy,

    I love Tokyo bekana - I am planting tons of it for autumn. I planted some this spring but bugs got it so I think it is more of a fall thing. Last year they were fantastic.

    Do you get your seeds from Full Circle? I find they have some unique varieties of things that I can't find elsewhere.

  • jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)
    11 years ago

    Tokyo Bekana sounds interesting. Does it taste like a spinach, Tatsoi or a leaf lettuce. It almost looks like a loose leaf Napa Cabbage. I need to order some more carrot seeds and I saw that Johnny's has it, I may have to try it. I am always looking for more interesting things to grow to put in salad mixes.

    Jay

  • magz88
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Jay,

    It has a very, very, very mild mustard flavour but I would describe it as more lettuce tasting. It is quite thick and crunchy at full size and really nice as well cut baby size. Stands up well to harvesting and processing as well. Good raw and cooked and the colour is stunning.

  • little_minnie
    11 years ago

    Fall crops have been a stress for me due to heat, but as of today it is cooling down. Been 85-95 every day since late June. Today was under 80 and the AC is finally off!

    My peas are up well, carrots, ruties and kohlrabi too and brassica plants are almost ready to go in. I still have to seed greens and turnips and then tons of alfalfa. Garlic will go in last. I have my fall plan and next year's lay out done. I like to see how things will work next year so i know where to put garlic.

  • Slimy_Okra
    11 years ago

    magzz88,

    I usually order most of my seeds and supplies from Johnnys. Never heard of Full Circle - thanks for the tip! I had a quick look at their website and they have some very interesting stuff.

    I love Tokyo Bekana because it stands up well to mass-planting, grows quickly and adds lots of loft to a bag due to its ruffled nature. Cold tolerance is similar to bok choy, hardier than lettuce but not as hardy as spinach.

    The only downside is that slugs love it.

  • 2ajsmama
    11 years ago

    Too hot here for direct-seeding fall crops - I asked yesterday about starts but nursery doesn't have that many seeds and has been concentrating on mums and such, not veggies. Guess I could start my own (I have a little starter mix left).

    Also a flash flood warning again today - had heavy downpours last Sat, more expected tonight. hate it when we get 1 month's worth of rain in 1 week (or weekend!) and then nothing else the other 3 weeks.

    Off to check tomatoes before the rain...

  • randy41_1
    11 years ago

    slugs enjoyed my tokyo bekana also but it produced well in the high tunnel during the winter (Jan-Mar)before the slugs discovered it.
    we used the smaller leaves in salad mix and the bigger ones in braising mix. its mild tasting.
    it ran to seed pretty quick in march.

  • myfamilysfarm
    11 years ago

    Ajsmama, our local nursery (established in 1940s) had never started spring crops in the fall until about 3 years ago. It's just not normal around here.

    Start your own, always keep some starting mix just for that.

    We finally got rain last night, 2.6". The ground sucked it up and we could probably till tomorrow, that's how dry we were. Several trees came down in the storm due to the drought not holding them up-right.

    Marla

  • Votum
    11 years ago

    Greetings,
    Direct seeded parsnips, and carrots for a trial on field storage last weekend. Going to seed some more carrots and some long day turnips, & beets for the same trial. Working the ground for broccoli & cauliflower transplants later next week. I am debating whether or not to even attempt Cheddar cauliflower as hot as this year has been. Trying for a late harvest of snap beans, from what I hear around me there is going to be a large demand for the crop, as everybody (myself included) has had really poor stands on beans. Kale and radishes will be going in around Labor day as will the garlic. Lettuce will keep right on planting every week.

  • 2ajsmama
    11 years ago

    Glad I didn't direct-seed anything today - EXTREMELY heavy rain the past hour, water coming in the basement again, heard a loud POP and thought it came from corner of basement where well pump is but DH found a popped ARCI breaker (for living room) in the main panel across the basement so maybe that was it. Keep your fingers crossed.

  • myfamilysfarm
    11 years ago

    Green beans around here are going wholesale for $47.00 for 1/2 bushel (10 lbs).

  • 2ajsmama
    11 years ago

    $4.70/lb??? The grocery stores around here had them $1.49/lb so I priced mine $1.50.

    Then again, we've had a lot more rain than you - are green beans usually that expensive where you are?

    (Well's OK - just sneaking in a couple loads of laundry and running DW before the next storm cell comes - lost some edamame plants, snapped from weight of pods in heavy rain, so going to steam some up and freeze. DH had just fixed the roadway yesterday so I can drive down to tomatoes, says it's still passable - we'll see in the AM.)

  • Slimy_Okra
    11 years ago

    I don't know what it's like in the more favorable climates south of the border, but here in central Canada, farmers' market prices are at least double, if not more, grocery store price (the only exceptions are storage potatoes, summer squash and winter squash). There is a strong locavore movement here that keeps it economically sustainable. In some cases, prices are 4-5x grocery store prices (leafy greens, strawberries, eggplant).

  • 2ajsmama
    11 years ago

    Not at the market I go to - people are always comparing produce to grocery store. I did sell new potatoes for a couple of weeks at $3-4/lb when the market master was selling hers for $1.50. I didn't get a chance to see what she was selling her green beans for. I only took a couple ls (sure seemed like more when we were picking) to try - if I have more this week I will see what the 2 other produce vendors at this market are selling for.

    I think I'm going to move to a different market next year, also thinking something like CSA, the people who want fresh chemical-free produce are willing to pay extra for it, the locals who come to this small market are used to this one farm (in same town) who dominates the market, and grocery stores. ost of the business done at market seems to be this one farm (which has a commercial kitchen as well), esp. their corn and tomatoes, the other vendor seems to do mostly jams and jellies (though she recently got a commercial kitchen too so is doing some baked goods), the 2 bakeries ($5 for a loaf of bread!), and specialty food like the occasional jam/jelly/pickle guy (new this year), and the olive oil/flavored vinegar company. Fresh salsa vendor dropped out to go to new market this year. Italian Ice vendor came in last week when it was 90 degrees - did a real good business at $3/small cup.

    Seems like people like to "splurge" on treats and olive oil, but haggle over fresh produce. I hope I don't have a problem with my heirloom tomatoes - didn't get anything but Glaciers last year, those didn't sell so well. Hoping Brandywine and Black Krim will be unique niche items that will compete well with Trust and Celebrity the other vendors have.

  • jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)
    11 years ago

    I got my first planting of carrots in on Friday. We finally got a "Cold Front" come through and it has been in the 80's. We missed out on the rain again, but I am happy with the cooler weather.

    Unfortunately, It was a late night getting them in. With a Saturday market, I had to get all that stuff prepped and ready to go, then get the kids asleep (my wife works nights as a RN) then go out and finish prepping, putting out drip tape, plant and finally cover with row cover and water in. I finished up around 12:30 am. I had to do it then because we were at market on Saturday morning, out of town to a county fair for the next 1.5 days and a chance of rain mixed in. Sure glad it was a full moon! The 5 am alarm sure came fast that morning.

    Jay

  • jcatblum
    11 years ago

    On heirloom tomatoes location is key. We started at a small local market & had to offer them to my regular customers then they would come back & purchase them, but only at $1.50 a lb (yes that is market price for tomatoes @ the small market). I could never sell more than 50lbs a day. The tomato market was flooded here this yr. my garden was quickly producing more than I could sell locally. Went to a larger market out the tomatoes @ $2.25 a lb & sell 100 lbs within an hour. I grew rutgers (won't repeat, low producer) beefsteaks, amish paste for red, also Arkansas Traveler, Carbon & can't remember what yellow variety right now. I put the different color tomatoes in their own large wicker baskets often customers take the whole basket. Next yr I will grow more heirlooms & price them $3 lb. this yr I went lower not knowing what this market would do & since there were more tomatoes than most people could sell. It has been an awesome tomato yr. I will grow some hybrids next yr & put those cheaper.
    I remember reading Jay gave up on most heirlooms. his customers didn't seem to have a preference for them, but he also says he doesn't have a market for herbs. Any herbs you can cut & take to my market sell out. Markets vary greatly! My current market is outside of a military post so the diversity helps. Small market I was at a lady sold eggplant .50c each & would struggle with customers haggling. Larger market $2.50 with no problem selling them all.

    My fall plantings have been corn, several hundred feet of green beans & purple hull peas & more tomatoes. I lost about 75% of the tomatoes. The ground hogs are eating through my drip tape & at 115 degrees new tomatoes can't make it a day without water. One of the greenbean rows had 4 breaks in it yesterday. If we ever get some rain they may stop eating my drip tape.
    My other tomatoes all still have some fruit on them, so I haven't cut them back or removed any. Picked 54lbs yesterday, but after 3 wks at over 100 I am pretty sure I am about to hit a few wks of no tomatoes.
    I will be planting more squash, cucumbers beets & maybe radishes this week. And I am playing around with microgreens. Going to do a test batch, then try a couple wks of testing them at the market. I am worried about not having anything for market while my tomatoes take a break. Market is getting smaller & smaller each wk. The small local market only had 2 vendors Friday & one sold out within minutes. Feel bad not going, I enjoyed the market, but the larger market is better for my family.

  • jcatblum
    11 years ago

    Just wanted to add I also grew brandywine this yr. out of 8 plants I have gotten less than 2 dz tomatoes. Not a strong producer for me.

  • myfamilysfarm
    11 years ago

    I have never had good luck with Brandywine, much prefer other old varieties. Also don't grow Celebrity. I usually grow Big Beef, Beefsteak, Lemon boy and Golden Jubilee for yellows. Big producers of great looking tomatoes, Big Beef beats everything I've tried.

    I always priced about grocery prices by at least 25 cents or more. Never seemed to have a problem. Now I'm not at any markets this year, but still have some customers from that market 'find' me and order their tomatoes. Don't sell near as many, but only planted 200-300 this year due to that.

    The plastic landscape fabric is working well for us. We didn't stake, never have, and even with several 100+ days, the plants are doing great. Still blooming, even without rain or watering for weeks. Very happy with it. One added plus of the fabric is that the ground is so soft, but with the fabric I can still walk without sinking the entire length of fabric. Normally, the ground wouldn't be soft (more like concrete) and if it was I'd sink into the dust.

    Marla

  • rustico_2009
    11 years ago

    Interesting comments, I consider myself very fortunate to be a fly on this wall.

    I really haven't figured out prices yet.It does seem like one could take home half as much or twice as much by pricing right. Not hurting reputation one way or the other with prices is a balancing act.

    I look at grocery prices and sometimes charge that. Sometimes I look at what certified organic people are charging and charge a little below that. Or I look at a popular coop price list and go for that. I never charge what I feel is a ripoff price. With cukes, the hippest organic people(best marketing) charge $3.75 a pound two stands over from me and I won't even contemplate that. I am selling 3 for $2.00, really tasty marketmores and lemons. Well, I do have a ton of them anyway.

    In any case, I never go for what seems like a ridiculous price ...and still probably give some stuff away too cheaply. When someone else is selling too low, I ignore it. One guy was selling 3 pound Kabocha squash for 50 cents, no way.Kabocha squash grown well around here are as good as any.

    It never pays to compare prices to the people who are selling what is basically auction stuff. They sell a ton cheaply, but I just figure they are doing a good job serving people who don't want fresh, local and non-certified, but credibly organic stuff...or in other words, what I have.

    I completely agree with whoever said all markets are different... more or less different kinds of patrons. I did a market where posting my farm location did me huge favors, where at another a few miles away people could care less about that. As kind of a loner, I am somewhat perplexed by the local support. It's nice right?

    I wasn't selling as many tomatoes in the first few markets since they came in, put a sign up that said "garden fresh tomatoes" ran with that ,emphasizing that my wife had just picked them, which was true, and sold three times the mixed hybrids I had been selling at $2.50 and all the ugly but delicious heirlooms at $4.00.

  • myfamilysfarm
    11 years ago

    Rustico, you never know what price will be right. The perfect price for the amount that you have. I read somewhere years and years ago, that you should take home 10% of what you brought. That will mean that you brought just enough, not too much and your price was right on target. Now doing it, is really hard.

    I always tried to stay at a reasonable price, otherwise just a little more than what I would pay if I had to buy. I also ONLY sell what I would eat, anything more than just a few days old is cow food or what I should have canned. I've seen people try to sell tomatoes that are cracked and seeping, then wonder why they don't have customers. Duh? If they can't figure it out, they should give this up.

    Freshness is key, Quality is another. Quantity is nice for those people that want 5 bushel, as long as they know how to work around imperfections. Customers always wondered why I priced my stuff at a certain price. Well, if I had 30 bushel of tomatoes, then I sorted out the best and sold them at a lower price for LARGE purchasers. Same tomatoes, just 1 amount of time selling. I reject more than I bring to market, always have and always will. To me Quantily and Freshness are the way to go.

    Marla

  • gama_garden_tx
    11 years ago

    I tried growing radishes several weeks ago, and tasted them today...well, they will be saved for winter planting only..soo spicy that they put the peppers to shame! As far as fall planting goes, our fall is basically a second wind of our summer crops, so the cucumbers have finally decided to produce again now that the temps have cooled into the mid-90's. Hopefully the melons will start producing! Mustard and kale have sprouted, but I think it is still too hot for the other cool crops to sprout. Any have luck with shade cloths? I need to look into that, if I'm going to produce anything next July-August. I'm really looking forward to a profitable, winter, because that is when the bugs don't eat everything and people actually attend the market!

  • rustico_2009
    11 years ago

    Hey Gama, Following you around. I posted on the thread you started. Seems like we are pretty much in the same boat. A little too hot for fall crops. I tried kale transplants with heavy straw mulch and it is surviving in full sun. Without the mulch it died quickly. My summer garden is still producing and will until Nov at least, if I keep it soaked through few hottest weeks. I am planting bush beans and zucchini this week.

    I have dabbled in using shade cloth in the garden and am trying to figure out if I can recoup my investment if we go bigger with it..or if it is better to do the best with what we have for climate...or move 15 miles closer to the nice cool Pacific Ocean!

    My fall seed starting is under 40% shade and it's a struggle. The flats dry out in 1/2 day. I did get broccoli, chard,and more kale ready to go, but I am afraid to put it out with near 100 temps and humidity in the teens. Hopefully we get a break soon. Then the cooler but gale force winds will be here.

  • little_minnie
    11 years ago

    We have had some more hot weather here; 88 today but it will break Wednesday for a while. I have all fall crops in but one more bed of spinach and the lettuce seedlings because it was too hot. I took the shade cloth off the peas and am putting it on the lettuce/Napa transplants tomorrow after adding the lettuce. Despite the heat and zero rain the fall crops are doing awesome. Especially the carrots and peas I seeded over a month ago and the ruties and kohlrabi next to them. The kohlrabi will be ready soon.

  • jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)
    11 years ago

    Fall crops, those are dirty words at my house this year. The past weeks highs have been in the upper 90's flirting with 100 several times. We had a cool spell in early August and I got radishes, haikuri turnips and carrots planted. We have been harvesting for two weeks now on the radishes. They do have a strong radish flavor but not bad. I have also seeded two more plantings after that and some daikon radishes. I want to get another planting in, maybe two, before I start planting them in the hoop buildings.

    I got a second planting of carrots in and the kids and I spent about 2 hours weeding them by hand. I know I flame weeded about 12 hours too soon, but 13 hours after I flame weeded, we got two inches of rain. That really brought up the second round of weeds.

    Fall tomatoes are looking ok. We have started picking a few. I wish they were further along because the markets are really low on tomatoes and customers are wanting them bad. Most amature home gardners tomatoes are done for the season. My June planting got stunted by the heat and are just now coming out of it. They would have been perfect to pick now. cherry tomatoes have more blooms than leaves! They are crazy! I hope those sales stay up this fall. I will have tons!

    I have 1200 plus seedling (various lettuces, napa cabbage, mustards bok choy, Tokyo bekana, cilantro, Swiss chard, 3 types of kale, and other stuff. My new problem is aphids. Not on my seedlings, but on my cucumbers between the two high tunnels I was planning on planting my fall stuff. I mowed off the cucs ( very sad day) sprayed everything excessively and I hope to knock them out. Now I need to tear out all the tomatoes and clean everything out. I want to wait a week after I tear out the tomatoes until I transplant in again.. Till up the ground and get things planted again and hope and pray I don't get another aphid infestation.

    I need to start another 800 seedlings, but I am behind! It is just so hot that I don't want to work in the high tunnels in the afternoons, after school. I also still am going to two markets a week. I may have to skip one to get caught up.

    Enough about my worries.

    Jay

  • rustico_2009
    11 years ago

    Well, I blew most my first fall plantings, seed starting in flats. Nothing new direct seed for too long.Procrastinating too much out of fear/fatigue.

    lesson learned, move fall seed starting to afternoon shade/wind blocked area, shade cloth with full exposure otherwise is not good enough.

    The good thing is that we have, long springs, long summers and long falls and mild winters.Near record, 108F yesterday & today. Averages for Oct. are 78H/55L Nov. 70H/49L. Dec/Jan/Feb 64/44 then spring warming starts.

  • little_minnie
    11 years ago

    seriously, order lady bugs for aphids. It has worked great for me and keeps on working.
    {{gwi:1045551}}
    They just go after whatever has become unhappy and got aphids and they make babies like crazy and the problem is solved in 2-3 days! I had it 3 times this year- once when I uncovered the eggplant and peppers, once when I uncovered the fall ruties in early August and once on the last bed of sweet corn.
    {{gwi:18097}}
    {{gwi:18096}}

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