The Shed

The Shed
The Shed

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Root crops in the fall

Not everyone knows the secret of root crops in Autumn. Farmers do of course and veteran home gardeners as well, but the casual home gardener may not . Let's set that to rights right now.

The secret simply is that most root crops, grown as a matter of course in spring grow better, heavier, tastier and more disease and damage free growing from the warm days of late summer into cool and even cold weather.


A -HAH Uncle Mac, you mendacious old rascal some might say, you are holding yonder overblown radishes a foot in front of a very small pepper to inflate their size, not to mention egos.

No, scoffer, I might reply, those radishes are touching what is in reality a reasonably good sized bell pepper. These are common "French Breakfast" variety radishes but they exceed their Spring grown brethren by a considerable margin both in volume and crunchiness.

The same is true of beets, kohlrabi, turnips of all varieties, and rutabagas. (Which is often called a turnip but actually is not.) Carrots grow well although not necessarily bigger and will overwinter in situ if cared for properly. Parsnips fairly cry out to be grown until the first frost at least, it greatly enhances their flavor. They also overwinter well.


One of the nice things about fall root crops is many can be kept not just in the ground but in the home as well to provide a food source all the way into early spring. The rutabaga shown above is an excellent example of a long keeping fall root crop.

It is almost certainly too late in most zones to plant a successful fall crop - with the possible exception of radishes - but you now have all winter to plan your "second season" garden for next year.

As always, thank you for visiting Uncle Mac's.

We hope to see you back soon!

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