Greens Powder

The Simple Pleasures of Fall Gardening

Fall settles in. The days grow shorter. Cooler temperatures greet you as you step out in the morning. And believe it or not, this is the perfect time for planting a variety of organic vegetables that will be ripe for the picking in the spring. You can plant into November, or up until the ground freezes.

Depending on where you live, fall may be a much better planting season than spring. The earth is still warm, soft and easy to work. Roots will settle into the ground a lot faster and begin feasting on the nutrients that are still plentiful.

As your friends snuggle up by the fire side, you’ll gingerly work up a light sweat, clad in your hoodie, jeans and work gloves. Is there any more blissful way to get your daily exercise?

Your choice of crops will of course depend on where you live so check with your local nursery for the crops best suited to your area. Before you plant anything, find out the number of days or weeks until maturity then count back from the average first frost. In milder climates, this could be well into December, or early January.

Here are 6 delicious and nutritious vegetables well suited to fall planting. These are plants that will tolerate a light frost and thrive in short daylight hours and mild temperatures.

Broccoli



Broccoli, a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, is often called a superfood. It is an excellent source of vitamin D, A, C and K and many other essential vitamins and minerals.

Recently broccoli has been found to be a particularly rich source of kaempferol, a flavonoid which has been shown to play an important role in counteracting the impact of a variety of allergens on the body.

Many health specialists advocate eating broccoli every day for optimum health.

My five year old loves to eat her “little trees”. They are mild in flavor and can be eaten raw or lightly steamed to retain the most nutrients.

Broccoli matures in 70 days so you’ll want to plant them 10 weeks before the first real frost.

Brussels Sprouts



Another nutrient rich member of the cruciferous family, Brussels Sprouts are an ideal vegetable for fall planting as their flavor is enhanced when the plant matures in cooler temperatures.

This is an important vegetable in the fight against cancer due to its high content of Glucosinolates. These are important phytonutrients that have shown great ability to stabilize and protect our DNA.

Brussels Sprouts are delicious steamed or roasted in the oven drizzled with olive oil and generous amounts of garlic.

This plant takes about 90 days to maturity so plant about three months before the first frost.

Spinach

Spinach is perfectly suited for fall planting. Once established it will last well into winter and can survive temperatures in the low 20’s. You’ll be able to enjoy multiple harvests of this superfood all winter long.

Spinach is widely recognized as one of the world’s healthiest vegetables, It is dense with vitamins and minerals , as well as phytonutrients known to promote good health and ward illness. It is extremely rich in vitamin K and A, as well as manganese, folate and magnesium.

Toss into a salad or sauté lightly with plenty of garlic for a delicious side dish.

Spinach matures in 45 days and prefers very fertile soil to encourage rapid growth and tender leaves.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower can be a bit tricky to grow as it requires frequent watering and a rich soil, but it is a wonderful food to have in abundance for those on a gluten free diet.

Cauliflower is another member of the cruciferous family of vegetables that is loaded with nutrients. It has a delicate, somewhat nutty flavor that makes it a versatile food.

Cauliflower works wonderfully as a substitute for pizza crust. And if you’re craving pasta with Alfredo sauce but don’t want the heavy calories, spaghetti squash with a cauliflower sauce will fool the pickiest of eaters. With about a tenth of the calories and a generous amount of protein you can gobble it up completely guilt free!

Cauliflowers takes about 4 months to maturity.

Cabbage

Cabbage comes in many varieties, each with its special benefits, and the best way to reap the rewards of this delicious vegetables is to eat a little bit of each. White cabbage has a mild and subtle flavor and is most commonly used in coleslaw or the cabbage soup diet.
It is best to eat raw, steamed or sauté to preserve the nutrients.
Cabbage matures in 70 days. It requires lots of moisture and fertile soil.

Winter Lettuce

There are many varieties of lettuce to enjoy, each with it’s unique flavor but all abundant in vitamins and minerals.

My girls love to run out to my father’s garden and pluck the delicate winter salads from the ground. It somehow always feels like a special treat to enjoy these tasty crunchy bundles of goodness!

Seedlings require constant moisture and do best shielded from the sun. Plants mature in 45 to 60 days, depending on the variety planted.

There are many more delicious vegetables that you can plant in the fall. You can grow all sorts of dark leafy greens like mustards and collars, as well as turnips, radishes or rutabaga. And onions and garlic are great for keeping unwanted pest away from your tender greens. Planting winter squash seeds in late October has yielded successful harvests for many gardeners. Winter squash seeds can be sown again in spring to prolong your crop well into the following fall.

Fall is the perfect season to plant a vegetable you’ve never tried before and discover delicious recipes.

The bales of hay you used for your Halloween decor will provide a wonderful mulch for your seedlings. Spread the straw over your garden soil and when it starts to break down, work it into the soil to add organic matter.

Fall planting is truly rewarding and the best way to enjoy fresh organic vegetables throughout winter and in early spring. So go ahead, roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Get the kids involved for some wonderful learning opportunities and good old fashion fun.

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Organic Gardening Magic

Whether you have a large open space or just a few planters in an apartment organic gardening will work for you. You can soon enjoy fresh organic produce and feel the pride knowing that you grew it yourself.

 

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