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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Working On My Fall Deck Garden

a trough of turnips just started

I've been clearing out early season vegetables from some of my containers so that I can plant some vegetables for fall and winter harvest. In my zone, most vegetables stop growing in early October. If I start cooler season vegetables now through mid-August, the plants should be mature enough to harvest by the time the light levels are too low for more growth. I won't be harvesting everything in October, however. Most of the plants I've chosen for fall and winter will "hold" in my deck garden for early to mid-winter harvest.

The deck is on the south side of the house. Right now, it gets part sun and stays cool due to deciduous trees. Once the leaves fall, my planters will receive full sun through winter. For now, the containers are a couple of feet away from the house wall. When temps cool more, I'll push them completely against the house to protect the plants from hard frosts. 

The vegetables that I've chosen for my fall garden are kale, cauliflower, turnips, beets, Swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, arugula, and green onions. Some of these vegetables will die out in early November (lettuce, green onions), but most of them will still be harvestable, with protection, through winter.

I love the idea of a four-season garden. Lacking a walk-in greenhouse, I'll have to be satisfied with a fall and early/mid-winter harvest from my fall deck garden. 


  1. It is time to think about a fall garden. Currently, our summer veggies are just coming into their own, so I won't have much space for a little while. I may start some seeds, but they seem to grow better and faster when they start in the ground. As you can tell, you're much ahead of me in your planning.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I think I need to be early to plan for fall harvests, as my growing space doesn't facilitate quick plant growth as it does in other areas, due to low light conditions. But that said, I've had mixed experience with starting from seeds then transplanting vs starting from seeds in the growing area. I've been experimenting this summer with different germination techniques. Anyway, good luck as you begin to plan your fall garden.

  2. Good for you! Sounds like we are doing much the same. It always feels strange to be out planting in the stifling heat of July/August, but a must to get those crops growing. Our first frost is often in early November, but last year we got an ice storm in October, so we'll see how this year goes. Just planted the bulk of my fall green bean crop yesterday. I've got flats started indoors with Brussels sprouts, cabbages, broccoli, turnips, and beets, and those will be transplanted out in the next couple of weeks. I need to get lettuces and greens sown. We harvested the remainder of the first crop of winter squashes and removed the plants this past weekend to make room for the green beans (on the trellises used for the winter squashes). I do have more winter squashes planted later so we'll see if anything comes of those.

    1. Hi Cat,
      good job on your garden! It sounds like you have a great start on your fall veggies.
      Can I ask, what type of winter squash can you grow vertically? I'm wondering about support for the weight of squash.

    2. I grew spaghetti squash and Sweet Meat squash vertically, and now have more spaghetti squash and Burgess Buttercup growing vertically (started later). The largest Sweet Meat I harvested was 15 lbs and even that one did not take any additional support. I do weave the vines through the trellis as they grow. My husband made our 8 foot trellises similar to those shown by Patrick of One Yard Revolution (on youtube) but substituted half of a 16 foot cattle panel for the concrete remesh as it doesn't rust like the galvanized material.

    3. Almost forgot, we also grew Long Pie squash this way.


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