Less Noise, More Green: Edible Landscaping - transitioning into fall

Monday, September 22, 2014

Edible Landscaping - transitioning into fall

Edible landscaping, fall plantings, urban farming, gardening

My front yard edible landscape is going through some changes. Maybe I should say it is 'maturing'. It is time for some plants to bow out and time for others to make an appearance, but it is all as it should be. I will be sad to see some of my favorites go but I'm enjoying the challenge of keeping this garden attractive and productive season to season.

edible landscaping, fall plantings, urban farming, gardening
Red Cabbage and Prairie Asters : landscaping with both edibles and ornamentals

Prairie Aster
As the weather cools, many of the heat loving plants are starting to fade. The rudbeckia and batchelor's buttons have lost their luster and I am no longer dead heading the blooms. The calendula is almost spent and the nasturtiums are yellowing and producing seeds. The prairie asters, morning glories and marigolds are still going strong, however.

swamp milkweed seed pods
In fact, many of the plants are producing seeds. The milkweed seed pods have burst, sending their contents out into the world. I have harvested both the poppy seed heads and the cilantro plants which are heavy with dried seed (more on those in a later post).

Jalapeno pepper turning black.

The pepper plants are winding down production but the eggplants show no signs of stopping. Everyone I meet now gets offered an eggplant! The swiss chard is chugging along and if I take care of it, I hope will keep producing for several more months. I have started to pull up the zucchini plants, which are mercifully now only producing a few small fruits. After removing the New Zealand Spinach to make room for new plantings, there were seeds everywhere. I'm sure I have missed some and will have to deal with seedlings next spring!

edible landscaping, transitioning into fall, urban farming, gardening
Red Russian Kale transplants with Peppermint Swiss Chard. I made space for these by removing the New Zealand Spinach.

 The herbs are thriving and I am still harvesting and preserving them. I am waiting for the shiso to flower and when it does I will pull it. It is a prolific seed producer and I have been warned about not letting the plant go to seed, unless I want a shiso farm next year!

To replace a lot of the faded plants, I added transplants and sowed seeds. I have been growing kale and cabbage under my grow lights and this week finished hardening them off. Both Tuscan or Dinosaur kale and Red Russian kale have been planted out. I will use the young leaves for winter salads and the older leaves in soups and stews. I also added lots of cabbage transplants in the lower sections of the garden.

Tuscan Kale
To replace the pulled cilantro I sowed a winter radish called Round Black Spanish. This radish takes longer to grow and can handle the cold. It is also a dramatic black color and I'm excited to see how it looks. It has already germinated!

edible landscaping, fall plantings, urban farming, gardening
I think head lettuce  is more showy than leaf lettuce.

I planted Red Sails lettuce a few weeks ago and planted some more to fill in some spaces. This is a handsome looking lettuce with red tips on the leaves. I decided to grow head lettuce rather than leaf lettuce because I think it is beautiful and showy! One of my next chores is transplanting the strawberry runners and that will fill in the final gaps in the front part of the landscape.
 Edible landscaping, transitioning in to fall, urban farming, gardening
 I worried so much about how the summer edible garden would look and I was very happy with the results. I am taking a more laid back approach to the fall version, experimenting a little and trying not to stress about empty spaces. I think I gave this garden good bones and I can have some fun fleshing it out, season after season.

edible landscaing, transitioning in to fall, urban farming, gardening
I sowed winter radish along the path next to the cabbage transplant.
What are you planting for the fall?



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