Monthly Archives: October 2011

Step Lively


This info comes to us from Angie Quayle at  The Backyard Garden and Gifts.

If you haven’t planted seeds yet it isn’t too late, if you move fast.

The planting period for the seeds of lettuce, beets, chard, carrots, peas, radishes, turnips and others begins in late August, but continues almost to Halloween. Although the later the seed is sown, the less likely it is to produce a HUGE amount, but seriously, who wouldn’t want fresh produce from their own garden on the table in the Fall. It helps fill the void left by the closing of  local Farmers’ Markets.

Transplants, seedlings that are already growing, can be planted anytime from mid September through October.

If you choose to plant late, a frost cloth is a great investment. Lay it over your plants to protect them from the cool nights and mornings before the sun comes up, as well as to encourage some growth in December and January. If by chance, you got your broccoli in late, say after October 15, the frost cloth can be used not only to protect it during the winter, but also to speed things up in the spring.

Remember, planting in the Fall isn’t just for the fun of it. Here in St. George (Zone 10) the only time of year cool season vegetables will thrive is in the cooler periods of Fall, Winter and Spring.

And now, information you might be able to use if a conversation bogs down.

Many of the crops mentioned above are referred to as Cole Crops.

From the Free On-Line Dictionary: Cole crops-Member of the species Brassica oleracea, including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Next time?

Desert Roses and other Fall Flowers


Rumor Has It


As a transplant when I hear the term ‘Fall growing season’ I think of that time of year in the Midwest when a gardener rushes to get bulbs in the ground before it freezes harder than rock. So, when I began to hear buzzing about a true growing season in the Fall, my ears perked up.

The Fall growing season here in St. George isn’t a long one. In fact, conventional wisdom has it that it starts around the Autumnal Equinox (this year that was September 23) and ends around Thanksgiving.  During this time of year the days are usually warm, with the daily averages dropping from the mid 80s to the mid 60s. The evenings are cool (a notable difference from our blast furnace-like summer nights) with averages falling from the mid 50s to the mid 30s.  We can begin to expect some freezing nights around Halloween, but the freezes aren’t hard ones. Many plants, including cool season vegetables actually tolerate this climate quite well.

The beauty of the Fall growing season is that some vegetables like lettuce, spinach and broccoli won’t survive in the summer. If you want to eat them fresh from the garden, and who wouldn’t , they must be grown during the Fall, Winter and Spring.

In our next post more about the specifics of planting vegetables, flowers and landscape vegetation.

Keep On Digging.