Planting Edibles for Fall-Your Second Harvest

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Be Inspired” Seasonally with Rita Calvert

With Gene Sumi, Education Coordinator, Homestead Gardens, Inc.

Your second harvest: Start now, and you can double your yield this year and enjoy homegrown flavor into fall and winter.

When I tracked down Gene Sumi to ask him about THE SECOND PLANTING, he broke out in a huge smile and said, “This is the best time to plant”! Why? First, the sun and soil have worked diligently through the summer to prepare for you. The soil is warm enough to burst those seeds to germination. Seeds can be sown into the warm soil or you can simply plop in bedding plants. If you had a spring/summer edible garden, you most probably have already done the major soil amendments and of course, plotted out the garden. Now it’s just the gravy! You can see from Gene’s long list of veggies, this can be enough food to see you through most of the winter (given a bit of preserving the harvest).

  • Bunching Onions
  • Cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips
  • Broccoli
  • Mustard
  • Corn salad (Mache)
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Asian greens
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Lettuce
  • Mesclun
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Collards
  • Beets

By the Way…Homestead Gardens has many fall seeds as well as bedding plants.  After you read through Gene’s sage advice, I’ve given some recipes to get you inspired for the growing and harvest!

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Time to Start some Cool-Season Vegetable Seeds for Fall Planting

Fall is the best time to grow cool cool-season vegetables – even better than spring because in spring, the seeds need to be started indoors under artificial lights.  In August the temperatures are warm enough to start the seeds outdoors, many sown directly in the soil.  Follow the instructions on the packages.  Gene encouraged us to at least grow some lettuce (everybody loves lettuce) but you really will appreciate all of those other greens such as kale, swiss chard and the Asian greens! You can easily grow them in containers.

How to Amend Soil

One topic confusing growers is how to amend soil. Yes, your fall soil can use a boost with  an organic product. Make sure though that when using an amendment like LeafGro that the proportions are 2 parts soil to one part LeafGro. Gene says to think of it this way: You wouldn’t want a cake with 80% icing and 20% cake. It’s the same with soil-compost only makes the soil better, but it doesn’t replace soil.

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Ways To Cook Through Your Greens

Since greens are so prolific, popular nutritious we can have an excess-even in the fall. Here are some stellar recipes for making every dish interesting.

 Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip recipe from How Sweet It Is

 Spelt Focaccia with Kale, Squash and Pecorino recipe

 Swiss Chard and Zucchini Enchiladas recipe from Karen Bianchi via Food52

Seedy, Nutty Kale And Apple Salad With Miso Tahini Dressing Recipe from Seven Spoons

 Chipotle Spiced Lamb & Kale Tostadas recipe from Sweet Sugar Bean

 Swiss Chard + Walnut Stuffed Tomatoes recipe

 Pine Nut Chicken in Lettuce Cups recipe

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