Planting a Fall Garden

I recently read that there is an entire Fall growing season that I never knew about when it comes to back yard gardens. Since our raised beds were not ready in time for a full Spring planting, I was thrilled about this second chance.

Fall Garden Box made from Red Cedar containing "Mel's Mix"

Fall Garden Box made from Red Cedar containing “Mel’s Mix”

Our garden boxes are 2 ft. high and made from Red Cedar specifically chosen for its naturally ability to resist decomposition and the fact that it is a non-toxic and not chemically treated. The whole point of growing our own food was to know that it is chemical free and as natural as possible. The “soil” is actually a blend of 3 different materials known as “Mel’s Mix”. Mel Bartholomew wrote the Square Food Gardener book and after years of trial and error has come up with what he considers to be the ideal blend of ingredients for home gardens. The mix includes:

1 Part Peet Moss (makes the soil more friable – or makes it break apart more easily)

1 Part Vermiculite (makes the soil retain water reducing the needs for watering)

1 Part Organic Compost from at least 5 different sources (adds the nutrients plants need to grow)

Heirloom "Survival" Seeds

Heirloom “Survival” Seeds

Next it was time to find our seeds.  It was important to me to find non-GMO Heirloom varieties in our garden. I found a reasonable priced pack of 50 different varieties on Amazon called Survival Seeds. There were each individually packaged and were well labeled.


The seeds were planted according to package instructions in rows much closer together than traditional gardening techniques. My big concern was that our chickens would hop the fence and take dust baths in our garden and eat our precious seeds, which eventually did happen.

I had never started seeds directly in the earth before I had only started them indoors, so I had no idea how long it would take to see sprouts. Much to our delight within 3 days we had growth and within a week they looked like this…

1 Week Old Sproutlets

4 Day Old Seedlings

Some of our beautifully laid out rows eventually looked like a messed up rubiks cube so we did our best to put the seedlings back in order once they sprouted.  Our first radishes were ready at only 4 week!  Bibb lettuce is growing quickly and we already stole a few leaves for our turkey burgers last night. Yum.

Fall Garden

Fall Garden at 4 weeks old.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. mary
    Oct 30, 2014 @ 20:25:11



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