Fall is coming and it’s time to plant cool weather vegetable plants. I had bought a few vegetable seeds, planted them, but they didn’t survive the butterflies and moths that laid their eggs. All the little hatchlings ate all the seedlings. So now I have to buy vegetable seedlings. Here in Atlanta, we have 2 growing seasons…spring and fall. Kale is one of those green leafy vegetables that survive mild winters and get even tastier in the cold. There’s nothing like fresh vegetables in winter!!
If you live in apartments, cluster homes, townhouses or rowhouses, you can use large containers to grow your own fresh vegetables. I have several containers on my deck with rosemary and a small bay leaf shrub.
I always considered gardening a distant hobby, but these days post stem cell transplant/bone marrow transplant, it has become almost a necessity. With the growing incidence of cancers due to the overuse of chemicals and fertilizers on vegetable, poultry and livestock farms, growing your own food is more important than ever. Yes, you can buy organic if you want to spend your entire paycheck at Whole Foods. You’ve heard the moniker for Whole Foods = Whole Paycheck, right? Plus, growing your own food is fun! And you’re the one in control of growing, processing and preparing your food.
Here’s a list of vegetables I’m growing for the fall and winter.
The store-bought vegetables in my raised garden beds are two types of kale, swiss chard, arugula and romaine lettuce (red and green).
A few interesting notes on the greens:
- lacinato kale is also called dinosaur kale, dino kale, Tuscan kale, and black kale because its bumpy leaves resemble what dinosaur skin looks like. Because of its taste, “slightly bitter and earthy”, it has been called “the darling of the culinary world”.
- swiss chard also has the ruby red variety which looks like rhubarb.
From seed, I planted scallions, leeks, shelling peas, and asparagus for the first time…will see how well they grow. As seedlings, chives, scallions, and leeks look very similar but as they mature, they take on their characteristic shapes and taste.
A note about asparagus…if you start asparagus from seed, it takes about 3 years for plants to mature into fat juicy spears. If you love asparagus like I do, plant many!
This shallot started sprouting green leaves so I decided to experiment and plant it in one of the cedar raised beds. I planted the whole bulb so only the green leaves showed above the ground…only time will tell if I planted it the right way.