The days are quickly becoming shorter and nights are slowly becoming cooler. The chickweed, Stellaria media, will soon be sprouting in any moist and fertile soil. These are the signals to begin planting the fall through winter growing vegetables. Now is the time to remove those scraggly heat loving plants and vines such as cucumbers, squash and some tomatoes to make room for sweet fall and winter favorites.
We city dwellers don’t need to plant a Villandry, France or a Canyon Kitchen, NC garden shown in these photos; however,we can take inspiration from them and more than a few ideas. It was in Villandry that I really understood the beauty of blocks of vegetable plantings, rather than the agrarian rows that I grew up seeing in Mississippi.

A small garden has room for bunching onions, seeded in collards, white egg turnips for both the greens and the turnip itself, a few carrots, perhaps a few colorful Swiss chard, plenty of lettuce mix such as Encore, and lots of Arugula. If you have a few more square feet, broccoli will thrive in all but the coldest days of winter. Plant it as soon as plants become available from the hardware stores and garden centers.

I prefer to plant my vegetables directly in the ground rather than raised beds or containers. In ground, the roots travel further and get a greater variety of nutrients. The benefit of raised beds is drainage and during the winter that is important. Aesthetics matter and even I must admit that I like the look of tidy raised beds all in geometric forms.

If you need help renovating an existing garden for fall or would like to add a small veg patch to your garden our horticulturalists are here to help you. Just let us know what you would like to have for supper on a cold winter night. We will plant it on an Autumn morning.


Marcia Weber
Gardens To Love