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A few fall planting questions-- garlic, strawberries, lettuce

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A few fall planting questions-- garlic, strawberries, lettuce

Post  tkdtara84 on 8/16/2011, 11:28 pm

I have a few empty squares, and I'm trying to figure out how to fill them. I know that garlic is planted in the fall-- a source online said to do it in November, but I'm thinking that's a bit off. I'm in north-central IN, and our frost date is Oct. 9th. What are your thoughts on planting time?



Also, I planted strawberries in the spring but plan on moving some into a pyramid and was hoping to be able to do it this fall so I might get more berries in the spring instead of waiting until then to plant them. If I can plant them in the fall, do I still plant the dormant root types (I also want to add more plants since some of mine didn't make it), or do I plant something else?



Finally, lettuce-- I know that now is the time to plant, but am I able to direct-seed, or will the heat prevent germination? We have had a good cool week here, but I highly doubt the heat is over for the summer. I would start it indoors, but I don't have a good setup, and I'd rather try to come up with a good system over the winter than to throw something together now.



Also, is there anything else that's good to plant in the fall (for harvest next year)?



This was my first year with SFG, and I'm in love. I have so many plans for next year. It's so little work-- it seems like all I have to do is go harvest stuff. Smile
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Re: A few fall planting questions-- garlic, strawberries, lettuce

Post  littlesapphire on 8/17/2011, 8:24 am

So glad to hear you're enjoying your SFG! It's a lot of fun, isn't it? It gets rid of the annoying parts of gardening so you have room to actually enjoy what you're doing.

What I've read about garlic is that you should plant it shortly after your first frost. I plan on planting mine late October or early November, since our first frost date is October 20 or so.

I'm really not sure about strawberries. I can tell you that they overwinter just fine here, though, despite being frozen solid and having six feet of snow dumped on them. So I bet if you put some strawberries in the ground and they started growing before really cold weather set in, they would probably be just fine. The thing is, I don't think you would be able to find strawberries this time of year, and if you ordered them out of a catalog or online, they would probably ship them to you in the spring rather than right now.

Other things to plant now that will come up next year would be shallots, green onions and overwintering onions (such as potato onions or Egyptian onions). Some people on the forum are trying potatoes right now to see what would happen! I've heard of people who accidentally left some potatoes in the ground when they harvested, and they got some good looking potato plants the next year. So that might be worth a shot too, if you can find seed potatoes this time of year.

I also have heard that certain kinds of cabbage are happy to grow in the winter! I personally am going to set up a cold frame so I can plant lettuce, radishes, cabbage, as well as experiment with other things (like carrots).
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Re: A few fall planting questions-- garlic, strawberries, lettuce

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/17/2011, 9:05 am

@tkdtara84 wrote:I have a few empty squares, and I'm trying to figure out how to fill them. I know that garlic is planted in the fall-- a source online said to do it in November, but I'm thinking that's a bit off. I'm in north-central IN, and our frost date is Oct. 9th. What are your thoughts on planting time?

Regarding garlic:

The timing of your fall planting is critical. Your objective is to time the fall garlic plantings so that the cloves have a few weeks to establish good root development before freezing weather conditions set in. Yet you don’t want to plant the garlic seed so early that the seed cloves have time to send up above ground leaf shoots before cold temperatures halt the plant’s growth.

If you get a little leaf growth before winter strikes don’t worry, your garlic plants will be just fine. The formation of an established root system during the fall will prepare the garlic plants for an early emergence and promote rapid growth at the first signs of the arrival of spring.

Garlic seems to crave the harshness of a nasty winter to really get it going next spring.
@tkdtara84 wrote:Also, I planted strawberries in the spring but plan on moving some into a pyramid and was hoping to be able to do it this fall so I might get more berries in the spring instead of waiting until then to plant them. If I can plant them in the fall, do I still plant the dormant root types (I also want to add more plants since some of mine didn't make it), or do I plant something else?
This was some advice given to a question from Illinois on July 26: To get the best yields next year, the best time to transplant strawberries is in the fall (late August and on). Transplanting in the spring is your second best option. You can transplant your strawberries now, providing you keep them well watered, but it will be much harder on the plants than if you wait until the fall.
@tkdtara84 wrote:Finally, lettuce-- I know that now is the time to plant, but am I able to direct-seed, or will the heat prevent germination? We have had a good cool week here, but I highly doubt the heat is over for the summer. I would start it indoors, but I don't have a good setup, and I'd rather try to come up with a good system over the winter than to throw something together now.
I would either start them in MM, vermiculite, or directly in the garden right now. If starting outside the garden, I would be planning to get them in the ground asap. All you want is germination. Once germinated, lettuces will grow in slightly warmer temps. If you can mist them during the day. The risk of wet leaves is worth taking to keep the plants growing imo. Remember, in warmer days, the leaves will dry quickly anyway. But, providing light shade AND a smaller layer of straw/mulch will do best.

I have done both types of starting already. My transplants are fine, but going slow because they got off to a leggy start. My direct seeds are doing well, too.
@tkdtara84 wrote:Also, is there anything else that's good to plant in the fall (for harvest next year)?
Anything you planted in spring will do, too. Spinaches, broccolis, cauliflowers, peas, carrots, radishes, etc. All do well in cooler weather no matter the season. It may be a bit late for broccoli, cauliflower, or even celery, but there's no harm in gambling on a late frost with a square or two.

You can also keep sowing bush beans up to several weeks before frost. Swiss chard is good anytime because it just seems impervious to any temperature...lol.
So glad you love the SFG concept and gardening as a hobby. Who knew so many of us had "green thumbs?" I can tell you I didn't think I had one before reading Mel's book.



edit: You asked about harvesting NEXT year. Sorry, I didn't read that too well. I don't know much about overwintering, but carrots and potatoes come immediately to mind. I don't think onions overwinter well unless you planted them way late in the season. Anything is worth a try, though. What do we have to lose during the winter?
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