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admin | Low Carb Meal Ideas | 25.02.2014
For gardeners wanting to get the most from the time they have, here’s expert advice on planting and growing fall garden vegetables.
Filling garden space vacated by spring crops with summer-sown vegetables will keep your garden productive well into fall, and even winter. Right now, before you forget, put a rubber band around your wrist to remind you of one gardening task that cannot be postponed: Planting seeds for fall garden vegetables. Sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkins, and other colorful squash are available in abundance during the fall season.
When fall arrives, local bakeries and grocery stores are filled with pumpkin-flavored treats.
In addition to squash and potatoes, other vegetables, such as corn, spinach, and green beans also are included on the Thanksgiving or winter meal.
Overall, fall is a great time of the year to enjoy colorful vegetables in different varieties. The most important thing to remember when growing vegetables is to respect your growing zone.
Since harvest time for fall vegetables runs from October through November in South Carolina, be prepared for cold snaps by using raised beds.
Determine the first frost date for your area, then subtract the number of weeks each plant requires to reach maturity in order to figure out when to plant. As summer draws to a close, gardens everywhere can morph into a tapestry of delicious greens, from tender lettuce to frost-proof spinach, with a sprinkling of red mustard added for spice. Upcoming holidays like Thanksgiving also bring these vegetables to the forefront, showing up in numerous recipes. With an understanding of the growing zone and the right types of plants, you can enjoy many of your favorite vegetables right through to Thanksgiving. Attempting to grow vegetables not suitable to your area will only lead to frustration when there is nothing to show for your hard work. Based on the planting date, you may have to make room in your garden for mid-summer plantings.

Orange-colored vegetables are packed with antioxidants, specifically vitamin C and carotenoids that help promote a healthy immune system. To benefit from these nutrients, bake sweet potatoes and eat the skin for a filling, low-fat, high-fiber treat. In colder climates it’s prime time to sow carrots, rutabagas, and turnips to harvest in the fall. This beautifully colored fruit is probably most commonly used for Halloween and pumpkin carving, but the actual fruit can be used for baking or added to your favorite dish. Most of the time these are not needed for growing fall vegetables in South Carolina since typically the first frost is not until mid to late October. Filling space vacated by spring crops with summer-sown vegetables will keep your garden productive well into fall, and even winter.Granted, the height of summer is not the best time to start tender seedlings of anything.
While most people think of pumpkin pie, the fruit can complement your favorite vegetable dish or main meal. When purchasing seeds, check the back of the seed packet for acceptable growing zones and choose ones meant for your area.
Hot days, sparse rain, and heavy pest pressure must be factored into a sound planting plan, and then there’s the challenge of keeping fall plantings on schedule. Sweet potato fries are also a good substitute for French fries, and you can easily cut them into strips and bake for a low-fat side dish. But you can meet all of the basic requirements for a successful, surprisingly low-maintenance fall garden by following the steps outlined below.
If you crave pumpkin pie, try a healthier version by using 100% canned pure pumpkin (or fresh pumpkin), less sugar or sugar free alternatives, substitute egg whites for whole eggs (typically 2 egg whites = 1 egg), and use low-fat or fat-free milk.
As the plants grow, you will need to feed them liquid fertilizer specifically designed for vegetables.
Some garden centers carry a few cabbage family seedlings for fall planting, but don’t expect a good selection. The end of July marks the close of planting season for cabbage family crops in northern areas (USDA Zones 6 and lower); August is perfect in warmer climates.

Be forewarned: If cabbage family crops are set out after temperatures have cooled, they grow so slowly that they may not make a crop.
Think Soil First In addition to putting plenty of supernutritious food on your table, your fall garden provides an opportunity to manage soil fertility, and even control weeds. Rustic greens including arugula, mustard, and turnips make great triple-use fall garden crops. They taste great, their broad leaves shade out weeds, and nutrients they take up in fall are cycled back into the soil as the winter-killed residue rots.
Try New Crops Several of the best crops for your fall garden may not only be new to your garden, but new to your kitchen, too. The unopened flower buds of collards and kale pass for the gourmet vegetable called broccolini, and the young green seed pods of immature turnips and all types of mustard are great in stir-fries and salads. Collect some of the seeds for replanting, and scatter others where you want future greens to grow. In my garden, arugula, mizuna and turnips naturalize themselves with very little help from me, as long as I leave a few plants to flower and set seed each year.With broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and their close cousins, hybrid varieties generally excel in terms of fast, uniform growth, so this is one veggie group for which the hybrid edge is a huge asset. Go Mad for Mulch Whether you use fresh green grass clippings, last year’s almost-rotted leaves, spoiled hay, or another great mulch you have on hand, place it over sheets of newspaper between plants.
Cover the soaker hose with mulch, too.Mulching can have one drawback in that organic mulches are ideal nighttime hide-outs for slugs and snails, which come out at night and chew holes in the leaves of dozens of plants, and may ruin mature green tomatoes, too. Always allow at least a week of adjustment time for seedlings started indoors, gradually exposing them to more direct sunlight.
Or, you can simply pop flower pots over the seedlings for a couple of days after transplanting. In most areas, insect pressures ease as nights become chilly in mid-fall, but you might want to keep your row covers on a little longer if your garden is visited by deer, which tend to become more troublesome as summer turns to fall.

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