It’s September in the Western North Carolina mountains, so it’s time to get moving on your fall garden. There are only a few more weeks before the window closes on establishing those staples of your fall and winter diet. October 1st is the ‘deadline’ here. If you don’t live in this area, check out your local county extension agency for your first frost date.
What To Plant Now
If you haven’t started already, then let’s talk about your options! Lettuce, leeks, kale, chard, cilantro, arugula, cress, garlic (this gets planted in October and November), asian greens/mustards, onions, radish, turnips, carrots, beets and spinach. Whew! That’s some stuff!
If roasted vegetables in the cool evenings of fall strike your fancy, then get started with some beets like Early Wonder which is an early producer. The Lutz Green Leaf Beet has large green leaves for use as greens, and also is a good storage variety once harvested. Radishes are fabulous roasting vegetables for winter. We carry many varieties, including Japanese Minowase Daikon and China Rose Winter. Carrots need to be planted as soon as possible in September. Varieties to check out are Scarlet Nantes, an old variety, and Little Finger, which sizes up early and is sweet.
Early Wonder Beet
If greens are your passion in winter then take a look at Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch Kale, a variety that is very cold hardy with great texture, especially for kale chips. In addition, Lacinato Kale is a cold hardy option. If mustardy Asian greens turn you on, then look no further than Tatsoi: a richly succulent, cold-tolerant green with the texture of spinach but the bite of a mustard. Other leafy greens to check out are mustard greens, cress and arugula.
Vates Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch Kale
Reap What You Sow
I know you might be tired. I know you might be down trodden! Summer was hard, and I didn’t harvest a single tomato from my own garden due to disease and cool rainy weather. But, the act of faith is so sacred to a gardener. You must turn the soil again and planting those seeds. They will grow! Around the next bend is a garden full of fall and winter eating — some of the best eating to be had in the waning of the sun. If you plant now, add plenty of compost to your soil, and nurture your plants, you will ll reap the rewards.
Most states have a planting guide to follow for your area. You can find them through the extension service. We provide our own planting guide. Make the list of what you want to grow (and eat!) this fall, then get your guide and get to it! Garlic planting time is around the corner, so don’t forget to leave some room for that.