Sowing new seeds in fall
I know it's late, but I have decided that the growing season is not quite over yet. It's still reasonably warm here so I decided to sow new seeds in fall too!
I'm taking a chance! Every season comes with a new set of challenges and possibilities, and this fall has so far been far quite warm and sunny. My polytunnel is nice and warm during the days too, with up to 60-70 degrees (around 15-20 degrees Celsius.) It's colder at night of course, but I don't think it's going to be a problem. It just feels like the season isn't over yet, and I want to make the most of the nice weather. That's why I'm planning on sowing new seeds in fall!
All of the beds in my polytunnel are completely full right now, there's simply no room for anything new. But I do have plenty of large pots filled with regular garden soil available. So, I will just add some soil, a bucket of bokashi compost and top it off with a layer of good quality soil. I got this soil from pots where the root systems haven't taken up the entire pot, so the soil is nice and airy. I was planning on using these pots for bell peppers and tomatoes in spring, but I think I can use them for a batch of leafy greens before that!
The vegetables I'm sowing now will be ready in spring. Some of them grow quickly though, I can probably harvest my spinach and pea shoots already in fall. I decided to go for vegetables that can overwinter in my polytunnel and then start to grow again in February: spinach, lamb's lettuce, pea shoots, and tatsoi cabbage. And plenty of little garlic cloves of course! I grow this garlic for the greens.
A few of my followers on Instagram have asked me if it's possible to do this in greenhouses or glassed-in porches too. Absolutely!
- Choose fast-growing vegetables like spinach, pea shoots, and garlic if you want to harvest your greens already in fall.
- Pick cold-resistant seeds if you are planning on overwintering vegetables (that you can harvest in early spring.)
- Try broadcast sowing quite a lot of seeds in your pots/troughs/beds so you get a large harvest even on a smaller growing space.
- Use row cover or plastic to keep the soil warm. This will help you succeed if you want to start harvesting already in fall.
- Make sure that your seeds get enough light!
Don't forget to keep an eye on your seeds! I really enjoy watching them grow, especially this time of year. Right now, I have a lot of lamb's lettuce in my garden. It grows underneath my lovely cabbages and the spinach I sowed last week is just starting to sprout. My yellow peas almost explode when they swell, and then the shoot starts to find it's way to the soil. It's so fun to watch it all. Good luck sowing new seeds in fall!