Asphalt Garden: Thinking About Fall Planting

Even though it’s still quite warm and sunny here in Southern California, I’m considering what to plant in my containers next that will grow deep into winter.

Here’s how I see it: The second crop of jalapeños on my plant will be ready to harvest any day now. That frees up one wine barrel (second from left in the photo). My early girl tomato plant never really recovered from the drenching it received this summer, and isn’t sprouting any new blossoms. The four tomatoes on the vine now will be ready to pick soon. Since I have two basil plants going, I can afford to eliminate the one that’s growing along with the tomato. That frees up another barrel (far right in the photo).

I have one barrel full of green beans that will be ready to harvest by the end of October (the baby green beans have begun to set on the plant, right on time). The remaining barrel has a cherry tomato and the other basil plant. I’m going to let the cherry tomato go until the first frost hits.

This means for the time being, I have two barrels to play with. Here are the vegetables I’m considering planting:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Swiss chard

I am a bit wary of planting broccoli and Brussels sprouts, because the plants can grow quite large. I’d love to be growing some winter squash, but they aren’t container friendly. I’m tempted to make one container a combination of swiss chard and kale, and the other a combination of parsnips, carrots and radishes. I’ve read a lot about how carrot seeds are tough to get started, but I think I’m up for the challenge. Some gardeners say the taste of chard and kale actually improve after a light frost or two, so I think they would be perfect.

Of course, I’m always open to advice. Chime in, dear readers. Are there winter veggies I’m missing? Have you had personal experience – either struggles or successes – with the plants I’m considering? If you had two wine barrels and were planting now, what would you fill them with?

  • Lydia

    Radishes grow quickest and most reliably in my experience. But how many radishes do you want to eat? Carrots also grow well, but once you pull one out to check how big it is you can’t put it back. I’ve never tried growing the others you mention. What about lettuce?

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