Fall Gardening 101

By John Voket, RISMedia Consumer Confidant

Can you really start a garden in fall? It’s not too late to begin planting certain lettuces, cabbages and cauliflower if you choose the right variety.

A column on late summer gardening at extremehowto.com also advises that you can also plant fast-growing varieties of carrots, peas and beets. And many leaf vegetables and salad crops are hardy enough to last well into autumn, including kale, Swill chard, lettuce and arugula.

Another source for you folks in the south eastern part of the country is Louisiana State University AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske, who assures that many varieties can be planted at this time of year.

It is also good times to plant seeds for broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, collards, mustard, turnips, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, lima beans and southern peas, bulbs for green shallots and Irish potatoes. Also, in late August and early September, transplant broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

Insects are a worse problem, Dr. Koske says. This late in the season, gardeners often find several generations of insect pests, each one larger than the previous.

Fall gardeners must be more observant and prepared to battle insect pests. The good news is that fall is generally dry, and diseases could be less of a problem unless they are insect spread.

Other fall crops will need to be planted during the second part of the fall gardening season, which begins in September-early October. Seeding for these include carrots, endive, lettuce, onion, parsley, English peas, bulbing shallots and radish.

And you can plant garlic as late as October in the southern regions that hold on to warmer weather, or generally stave off frost well into December.