The season of fall is here. North Texas temperatures have significantly dropped within the past couple of weeks. Temperature lows are now reaching between 50 to 60 degrees, which is a great time for cool weather vegetables to be planted.
There are several vegetables that can be planted through October, past their recommended planting dates of late summer. This is due to the fact that many vegetables do not have to be fully mature to be harvested, and some plants have more than one edible part.
The last recommended planting date for carrots is September 5th. However, carrots can be grown for their foliage, or harvested young at any time. Carrot tops can be used just like parsley.
The last recommended planting date for beets, leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, and Cos is September 15th. However, beets can be grown for their greens. Leafs of lettuces can be harvested at any time.
October 1stis the last recommended planting date for kale, and other leafy greens such as arugula, Italian brocolli, and chard. However, like lettuces, leafy greens can be harvested at any time. The leaves are the most tender and least bitter when they are young.
The last recommended planting date for turnips is October 15th. However, turnips can be grown for their greens.
Radish can be planted up until November 1st. The greens of radishes are edible. Radishes take only a little under a month to mature. This makes them a great candidate for filling in empty space around the garden.
October is a great time to plant garlic, and onion starts.
Some other cool weather edibles that can be planted in October include peas, broccoli, parsley, cilantro, and chervil.
Fall vegetables seeds can be directly sown into the garden. Seeds can also be started in small pots in an area that gets bright light or a couple of hours of direct sun. Once the plants have reached a small size, such as 3 inches tall, they can be planted. New tender plantings in full sun need regular water and do best covered from the sun for a few days. A small 4” pot or a woven basket work great to shield the seedling during the first few days.
Local resources for organic soil amendments, organic vegetable seeds, and vegetable starts:
Happy Gardens- also offers edible garden design and installation