Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Why I Love Fall Gardening

I love fall gardening, especially after the dry, hot months of August and September.  Most of the bugs of summer are long gone, although I'm still spraying BT for imported cabbage worm larva and hand picking Harlequin bugs.  The hard frost we had in mid-October sweetened up the kale and other brassicas, which I've been feeding the family on a regular basis.  Last week I picked a couple of heads cauliflower, some pak choi, broccoli and a bag of arugula.

The cauliflower was so mild, I ate half of one head raw while preparing dinner.  My cauliflower and other brassicas always have a milder in the fall versus the same varieties grown in the spring and maturing during warm weather.  

If you are in the neighborhood of Columbia Md., this Saturday stop in at Howard County Community College, Health Sciences building for a Healthy Eating Fest event sponsored by Transition Howard County. This link will take you to the the flyer for the event, registration and the .pdf files for the speakers.  I'm bringing some fresh vegetables from my garden for a taste competition against those purchased from a local grocery store.  I'm sure mind will win hands down.

While I picking Premium Crop broccoli, Snow Crown cauliflower, Late Dutch flat head cabbage, 

a couple varieties of pak choi, arugula and Dwarf Siberian kale, I have Jade Cross Brussels sprouts, beets, turnips and kohlrabi that haven't quite matured. If there are frost warnings issued, I cover the half hardy fall vegetables with row cover that I have staged beside the row.  

So if you have never tried a fall garden, try one next year.  The Maryland GIEI MGs regularly offer courses on fall vegetable gardening along with many other vegetable gardening classes.  To find classes near you, just go to the GIEI page and click on the take a class link and look through the county listings. While it's too late to start additional vegetable crops, Howard County's Fall Vegetable Gardening PowerPoint can be found here.

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