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Marty’s Fall Gamble

Gamble gardens are typically planted in late winter/early spring. I think of gamble gardens as planting vegetables earlier than recommended, if there is a window of opportunity with unseasonably warmer temperatures, and you are able to protect the newly planted vegetables from frost. Looking back to a few weeks ago, my late summer planting of some fall crops could be considered a ‘gamble garden’. I knew the weather would be cooling down, and we had transplants at the store so I though I’d give it a try.

For the most part it has worked. My kale, broccoli and some of the lettuce has done well. It got established and is thriving considering the recent bout of warm wewather. However, there are a few lettuce plants that have ‘bolted’, or began its flowering cycle because of warmer temperatures. At this point, the lettuce will become bitter, and won’t really taste great for a fresh garden salad.

With a recent shipment of cool season vegetable transplants, out the bolting lettuce and in went their replacements. I planted more lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, mixed greens and more kale. Also to be seeded are beets, radishes, carrots, turnips, and even more lettuce.

If your Acre is tired, don’t give up on a fall vegetable garden. Now is the best time of year to plant cool season crops. They love the cool fall weather when they are maturing, not the warmer summer temperatures in June when the spring plantings are ready for harvest.

I imagine your tomatoes are looking a little tired by now. I’ve side dressed mine with ferti-lome Gardener’s Special fertilizer. This has been my go-to fertilizer for decades, as I fondly remember unloading those (then) pink bags of garden fertilizer off of the ferti-lome trucks when we were home on winter break from school.


Good luck with your fall gardening. Stop by the store for gardening supplies, seeds, plants and for us to answer any questions you may have.

Happy Gardening,
Marty Johnson