Fall Seed Sowing… for Veggies and flowers

Labor Day is a big holiday around here, it’s not only the weekend to celebrate the last of summer, but it marks the time to plant those fall seeds.  Yes, some gardeners plant their seeds a couple of weeks earlier in this area, especially leaf lettuce and seeds for greens, but it’s just so hot.  And with school gearing up in mid-August, we’ll it’s just not going to happen here in this household.  

So when summer slows down (aka: the kids are back in school) and the temps are still plenty hot, but a promise of cool weather is just around the corner, then I’ll put those precious seeds in the fertilized ground and hope they make it.  So you might be asking what I planted this fall.


The lettuce from spring had gone to seed in late July/ August, so it’s been collected and cleaned out. It’s ready for swiss chard and spinach.  (For details on harvesting lettuce seed, click here.)

We’ll for the fall/ winter vegetable garden, I’ve planted parsley, spinach, swiss chard and kale.  I’ll add brussel sprouts to the garden after it cools a bit more, but those will be from transplants started in a cool greenhouse.  Brussel sprouts are one of those great plants that takes the cold winter here, just fine…. at least from my previous experience, but now that I’ve said it, well it’s destined to give me grief.  I’ve planted carrot seeds in the past, but was disappointed by my crop, maybe I’ll give it another go.  Next on my list will be garlic.  It’s a great time to plant garlic and alliums.  Use row cover or frost blankets to extend the season for your more tender crops.  

Vegetable Garden:  Fall Seeds Planted

Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach
Apple Blossom Swiss Chard
Italian Lacinato Kale
Italian Flat Leaf Parsley 

Just a note on Parsley:  Anyone who reads this blog regularly, knows I love Italian Flat Leaf Parsley for the butterflies, but it stays green all winter.  I’ve cut fresh parsley for garnish with snow on the ground. It shares a bed with my oregano and creeping thyme.  They all take the winter just fine- no cover necessary.


These Swiss Chard seedlings have emerged in 5 days. They’ll be mature in about 30 days.

Flower Garden: Fall Seeds Planted (for spring enjoyment)

Larkspur (Consolida ambigua)
Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)
Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale)

This is my first year for growing these flower seeds.  I’ve always admired Larkspur for it’s addition in cut flower arrangements and who doesn’t love Poppies waving gently on a spring breeze.  I’ve admired the beauty of Lupine in cooler climates like Colorado in mid-summer, so I’m hoping they will add beauty to my spring garden, before the summer heat kills them off.


I snapped this pic of Lupine growing in Chama, New Mexico. I love the colors… it inspired me to try to grow it from seeds here for spring.

It’s also time to plant a few flats of pansies.  These cold-hardy annuals  always grace my fall and winter flower beds.  I collected seed before ripping the pansies out last spring. You may have never noticed the occasional little dried seed pod, but look for them.   They germinate quickly, just a couple of weeks, so they’ll be ready when the temperatures finally start dipping.  I’ll start them in the greenhouse in flats until I’m ready to transition the annual beds to fall.  At that point, I’ll add my favorite fall blooming mums and ornamental cabbage or kale.   

In a couple of months, it will be time to plant narcissus and tulip  bulbs.  I usually wait until late November.  There’s plenty to do until then.  In fact, it’s a great time to plant trees and shrubs right now, but that’s another post.

Let me know how your fall gardening is going.  Until next time, happy gardening!


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