For many growers, October means the beginning of harvest season and time to get the garden ready for the cold weather. But, for the warmer climate zones, October means it’s time to get planting – for grows both large-scale and small. In these warmer regions, Southern California especially, growers can point to years of warm Halloween celebrations and toasty Santa Ana winds throughout the month, though the mornings can start off chilly.
While the fall season in these regions is temperate, its far cooler than in the summer months, and far less stressful for new plants. The rainfall will have begun, but it generally arrives in light showers at this time as opposed to the deluge of a winter storm. These gentle rains will keep the new growth watered, and as the sun is lower in the sky, it will evaporate more slowly, lessening the need for constant irrigation.
Not only can the fall be easier on new plants, but late fall and winter is also the only time some annuals will grow! That means that now is the time to get those seeds started. Here are the top 6 vegetables to plant this fall:
Broccoli: Best planted in fall, this cool-season crop is a good source of Vitamin A, potassium, folic acid, iron, and fiber. Fertilize broccoli three weeks after transplanting seedlings into the garden, and try not to disturb the plants when they start to grow as their roots run shallow.
Carrot: These root vegetables are fast-growing and can be planted twice a year! Plan for at least 12 inches to allow the seeds to grow and dig out any rocks or other obstructions in the soil – this can cause twisted or misshapen roots; they’ll still taste good, but won’t be so pretty!
Cabbage: This is a prime cool-season crop, growing best when daytime temperatures are around 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Water regularly, keeping the soil moist as they grow. Cabbage can take anywhere from 70 – 120 days to mature; they are ready to harvest when the head is firm and the leaves aren’t loose. If freezing temperatures happen early in the season, it’s best to harvest it early as they don’t do well in extreme cold.
Lettuce: Another cool-weather crop that does best in fall, lettuce seedlings can even withstand a light frost! Make sure the soil is loose and drains well, and should be amended with compost or other nutrients before planting. Lettuce seeds germinate best at 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, emerging around 7 to 10 days after planting. Harvest lettuce when it reaches full size, but just before maturity as the leaves will taste best when they’re still tender.
Radish: An easy to grow root, radishes can be planted multiple times during a season, and do best in loose, well-fertilized soil. Radishes are ready to harvest fairly quickly after planting, as soon as three weeks after sowing depending on the variety. They should be harvested when they’re about 1” in diameter at the surface of the soil – be careful not to wait too long after maturity, as their condition will deteriorate quickly if left in the ground.
Snow peas: The cooler fall temperatures encourage pea plants to grow faster than seeds planted in the spring, and they’ll do best if the soil is loosened and treated with compost or fertilizer. Snow peas need the soil to stay moist, so keep track of how often they’re being watered. Harvest snow peas when the pods are a few inches long with peas that aren't fully developed.
A recurring theme for these cool-weather greens is fertilize, fertilize, fertilize. Though it’s not a spring planting, these veggies will flourish with the 19 organic inputs and beneficial microbes found in Geoflora VEG and BLOOM. Geoflora Nutrients is an easy to use organic fertilizer system that can be deployed on a large scale, or in a personal grow. The added biological charge in Geoflora Nutrients aids in taking each input to its full potential, creating a web of living soil biology designed to aid in the transport and availability of key macro and secondary nutrients. It may be getting cooler outside, but with Geoflora Nutrients giving your vegetables a boost, you’re good to grow!
Have a hydroponic or garden supply store? Left Coast Wholesale has you covered with wholesale pricing available on Geoflora Nutrients. If you’re looking for Geoflora Nutrients near you, call 800.681.1757 today to find a local Geoflora Nutrients retailer!
Dialing in the flow rate correctly can be trial and error for a lot of growers, and is usually something they want to be able to do quickly once they’ve isolated the source of their plants ill health. Octo-Flow has the answer to this – and other – irrigation problems. Octo-Flow is an innovative 8 port stationary water irrigation manifold that allows the grower to control the flow rate or turn the flow off/on with a turn of the included hex key. If needed, it can be converted into a full-open version – all with a simple adjustment.
Carbohydrates play a huge role in how a plant develops - provide building blocks for plant structural components, such as cellulose – which helps grow the cell walls – and they help deliver energy for growth. Besides helping to mimic a plant’s natural carbohydrate profile, Karbo Boost brings an ample food source to plant’s cellular building processes. Though cool-season plants tend to have a shorter growing season than those that have had all summer to bloom they still need to be tended and fertilized - Karbo Boost is making sure your plants are getting the food they need – and then some!
It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that a gardener forgo soil completely for their grow, but here are some of the problems a professional horticulturalist may have with soil…
For professional growers, their agriculture is what they depend on, so taking a chance on soil that could end up ruining even a portion of their grow. This is where soilless growing mediums come into play for agriculturalists that want to start with a blank slate where they control how much water, and what nutrients, the plants get from germination until harvest. A soilless medium is a mix of mediums like peat, coco coir, and basalt that can be used in a hydroponic system or in pots and is free of contaminants, has great aeration and drainage abilities, and can allow the grower to apply whatever mix of nutrients they feel is right for their crop.