I gave a talk last night at the East Cobb Library; the topic was “Planning a Fall Garden.” I am lucky that I get asked to give these talks, because I get to meet more gardeners!
The group that attended asked a lot of good questions, but two particular questions I had never been asked before.
I don’t remember the wording of the first one exactly, but it was, essentially, “which of these fall garden crops grows up to be tall?”
This was from a gardener who was being very careful to plant his small garden with the taller plants along the north edge, so they wouldn’t shade everything else. He was trying to maximize the sun exposure of his plants.
I looked down the planting guide that I had created and realized that all the plants on my list were short! If I had put Brussels’ sprouts on the list, they would have counted as tall, but everything except the broccoli was to be harvested as a leafy green plant that had leaves coming from around the base. Examples from the list: lettuce, cabbage, Swiss chard, kale, collards, beets, turnips, radishes. All short and bunchy!
Another great question was “how much of one plant (of arugula or lettuce, for example) can I harvest at one time?” I’d never thought consciously about it; instead, I have just worked “by feel.” I would say that I usually don’t harvest more than a quarter of a head of leaf lettuce at one time, and never more than half of the leaves from any one spinach plant, so 1/4 to 1/2 the plant was my answer.