Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Fall Gardens

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09-23-2009, 11:44 AM
Hi I live in Central Texas somewhat in the Hill country area and I am planting my Fall Garden . So excited about doing so for didn't have much of a Spring Garden for the dry weather. So far have turnips,green beans, to type of peas marvel and Alaska. Onions that came up from the spring planting, mustard greens and I plan on planting some beets latter on. I have some spinach up and going and so are the green beans. I am going to plant some lettuce but what is the best type that does not have a bitter taste?

Do any of you plant Fall Gardens and if so what do you plant ? Do any of you plant Swiss chard ,carrots or broccoli this time of year?
I know there are less weeds in the Fall Garden and Fire ants so nice, don't miss them at all.;) Do you like Fall Gardens or Spring best?

09-24-2009, 02:03 AM
So far I've planted the following in my fall/winter garden:

snap peas
some type of Asian green, not sure what it is
Chinese broccoli

I also planted hollyhocks (not edible) and some type of exotic Marigold that is supposed to get 6 ft tall or something like that (and is edible). We're still hoping to plant baby turnips, radicchio, and a few other things, but some of the summer stuff hasn't finished yet.

For lettuce, I've had great luck with the Tom Thumb ( variety. You'll probably have to order seeds for it online, but it forms small, loose heads that are very tasty and sweet (for lettuce anyway), not bitter at all, so long as you pick them for they bolt. It is similar to butter lettuce.

I've planted Swiss chard in the past and it has done quite well, but we planted some over the summer and I'm sort of over it at the moment. Regular broccoli :broc: doesn't do well for us; we're experimenting to see if the Chinese broccoli will do any better. I'm lazy, so I prefer my carrots pre-peeled in a bag from the store, so I never plant carrots. :carrot:

09-24-2009, 11:41 AM
Thanks for the tip on the type of lettuce . I plant some each year and so bitter not even an animal would eat it. My husband orders seeds for our store and he can see if they have any Tom Thumb. I love lettuce from the store and spinach. Barbara what is Arugula and kohlrabi? Also how would you prepare them? A Marigold 6 foot tall! Oh WOW! I bet that is beautiful and eat it too! Regular Broccoli does not work for me either, though the last I tried ,did have way decent.
Barbara on the carrots when you pull them out of the ground just wash them off and chow down no peeling! So sweet. I am going to get some sand from the around our barn and put in a old water trough that has a hole in it and put carrots in there, so be easier pulling. Have a great day!

09-25-2009, 01:09 AM
Yeah, you know, our carrots just didn't do very well. I lot of them split or came out woody. And even the ones that came out well didn't taste any better than the bagged baby carrots. But, I'm not really much of a carrot eater, so maybe that's part of the problem. But good luck with your carrots!

Arugula is like a spicy lettuce. I think it smells like peanuts, but it tastes peppery. It might taste bitter to some people. It can be an acquired taste. You might be able to buy some at your local grocery store to try it. Some stores sell it in the fresh herb section. Trader Joe's sells it pre-washed and bagged with the other bagged lettuces. I usually just eat it raw like you would lettuce--on sandwiches and in salads. But you can wilt it with a little bit of hot water or saute it and that will make it milder. Sometimes I toss it in with pasta and then I'll just put it in the collandar and drain the pasta over it to wilt it. It's also good chopped up in quiches or you can butterfly a chicken breast or pork tenderloin, spread some soft cheese (e.g., laughing cow wedges) in it, toss in some arugula and some bottled roasted red pepper, then roll it all up and roast it for an easy meal that looks impressive. You can probably use arugula as a substitute for spinach in just about any recipe. I think you can even make pesto with it. If you want to grow arugula, I really like these seed disks ( They are much easier to plant than loose seeds.

Kohlrabi ( is similar to a turnip. I'm lazy, so I usually just peel it and eat it raw, in salads or just by itself. It can get a little woody, so you want to pick it early, while it's still small, if you're going to eat it raw. When it's eaten raw, I think it tastes very similar to jicama. Most people eat it cooked. Although it actually grows above the ground, it's similar to a root vegetable and you can use it any recipe that calls for other types of root vegetables. Things like soups, stews, gratins. You can also roast it or boil and and then toss it with a little cream or fat free half and half. It's only 8 calories per ounce, the same as turnips (compared to 25 calories per ounce for potatoes, 21 calories per ounce for parsnips, 12 calories per ounce for carrots and celery root, and 10 calories per ounce for rutabaga). So it's great to throw with other root vegetables to lighten up a dish. For example, you couple replace half the potatoes in a stew with kohlrabi or roast a mixture of kohlrabi and potatoes.

Yes, I've very curious to see what these marigolds will do. I think all marigolds are edible, but not very many get this tall.

09-25-2009, 04:56 PM
Barbara, I checked out those disk ,now aren't those the neatest things! I have never seen any before. I also love that you directed me too. I went on their forum and I am learning so much from other gardeners like I am learning from you! :thanks: :flow1:

09-26-2009, 04:04 AM
Yes, the seed disks are awesome! They also have them for cilantro. And is really cool too. If you order seeds from them, they usually throw in an extra random seed packet for free. I love places that do stuff like that. If only the places I buy clothes from online would throw in an extra sweater or a pair of shoes for free!