In this issue:

  1. November in the Garden
  2. Frost Kissed Seed Tin Giveaway
  3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month: Protecting Your Garden
  4. Gardenerd Product of the Month: Gardenerd Mug

1. November in the Garden

Wow. Hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes are all over the news this week. It’s hard to ignore these changes in our climate, and while scientists around the globe universally agree that it’s happening, some people still deny that climate change exists. While California experienced heat wave after heat wave this October (when it’s usually cool enough to plant fall crops), the east coast has been blasted with Sandy. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the storm.

In the Test Garden, the hot weather has kept our rogue watermelons growing bigger and bigger. Meanwhile, the heat makes for the perfect seed-starting conditions. Our peas, cover crops, and garlic have all sprouted, with lettuces, carrots and parsnips not far behind. We’re still holding off on putting brassicas in the ground until the weather cools (Bagrada bugs are still at large in the heat). No matter what your weather is doing, this is a good time to plant flower bulbs both outdoors and inside for forcing. Bulbs remind us that spring will once again return.

We have another great Giveaway this week. Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply has generously donated a Frost Kissed Spring or Fall Seed Mix, a collection of 10 certified organic seed packets for your fall or spring garden. See below for details, and…

Happy Gardening,


Tasty peas growing on the vine

2. Frost Kissed Seed Tin Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Garlic Planting Party last month. Now we’re pleased to be able to give away a great seed collection from Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply. It’s their Frost Kissed Seed Tin with these 10 great varieties which can be planted this fall or next spring:

Express Red Cabbage– great for coleslaw and salads, soups and casseroles.

Snowball Cauliflower– heirloom variety with resistance to downy mildew.

Red Russian Kale – sweet, purple-veined kale great raw or cooked.

Pak Choi – technically a non-heading cabbage, use leaves in soups, noodle dishes, and stir fries.

Progress #9 Peas -heirloom variety, the quintessential garden snack.

White Icicle Radish – A.K.A. Lady Finger, long, slender roots with edible tops.

Bloomsdale Spinach – a great heirloom spinach with savoy-ed leaves.

Broccoli Raab “Spring Rapini” -Italian heirloom variety with an abundance of side shoots.

Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard – heirloom chard with white ribs/stems and dark, glossy leaves.

Rutabaga“Joan” -A.K.A. Swedish Turnips, a classier Purple Top Turnip with mild flavor.

Frost Kissed Seed Tin

PVF happens to have a sale on all their seed tins this week, so if you don’t win, you can pick up a collection at a discounted price.

Enter to win by posting a comment below between Thursday, November 1 and Wednesday, November 7 before midnight. The winner will be chosen at random and announced Thursday morning, November 8th. Good luck!

3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month – Protecting Your Garden

As critters come to investigate your garden snack bar this fall, it’s a good idea to literally cover your bases. Cloches, floating row covers and insulated garden fabric will help keep the elements at bay as harsh weather and foraging becomes more commonplace.

One kohlrabi leaf left unprotected means cabbage worms devoured it.

Here are some previous posts with tips on how to protect your crops with fall and winter:

Keeping Cucurbits “Cloche” By – it may be about cucumbers, but it works great for lettuces, mustard greens, peas and more.

Take Cover! It’s Cabbage Moth Season – how to use floating row cover to your advantage.

Bad Haircuts, the Cutworm Way – paper collars work most of the time, but even when they don’t, there are solutions.

Death of a Garden – for tips on Agribon and cold frames, and links to frost date resources.

4. Gardenerd Product of the Month – Gardenerd Mug

Cool weather and holiday gift giving season is fast approaching, if not here already. The Gardenerd Mug makes a great gift and keeps you warm this fall and winter. Who can resist its adorable charm? Display your gardenerd tendencies proudly!

Gardenerd Mug

Gardenerd Terra Cotta Pot Mug

Stay tuned for more tips and tidbits from Happy fall gardening!

This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Marlene

    Hi Christy, I love your site. I can’t wait to get my garden going soon.

  2. Susan

    Raab and rutabaga…count me in! I’m happy to have found this blog. Thanks for all of the helpful gardening info and insights.

  3. Veronica Flores (@VeronicaInLA)

    I love winter veggies! Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Rebecca

    Thanks for the great giveaway! I love ordering seeds from PV!

  5. Rose

    Here’s to a great fall garden! 🙂

  6. Konnie

    I’m enjoying the blog and the giveaways…. I’ll keep sharing with friends and family……

  7. Renee

    Holiday shopping will be done here!

  8. raenie

    Would love to win the peaceful Valley seed tin
    also! Thank you for the great tips and blog.

  9. Jenn Dredge

    Just built new veggie beds. Would love a tin if winter veggies and lettuce!

  10. Debby

    Would love to win the Peaceful Valley seed tin.

  11. Elena

    I get a real kick out of fall and winter gardening in Western WA. This is my second season doing it. I learned a lot last year about how the plants should be 90% grown by now, early November, so I can winter harvest.

  12. Paige Hyder

    What a neat blog, going to try some winter gardening this year. I live in the Central Valley so I’m trying to convince the hubby to help me winter proof my garden before the Tule fog and frost come for the winter.

  13. Katina Williams

    I love Peaceful Valley Farm…and I would love to win this tin….:)
    I am an Organic Landscape Gardener…and since I’ve been on FB have posted from your page… PVF…to encourage people to grow organic…..and to trade and support reputable organic businesses….you guys rock… <3
    btw….the arbequina olive tree I purchased from you all a few years back is doing great….had my first harvest this fall….not enough to cure….so I ate them off the tree and shared with some friends…..gosh…raw olives aren't that bad….!

  14. Patricia McNamara

    Any good winter seeds I can’t use myself I toss into the fields, paths and lawns to sprout for the deer, ducks and other wildlife. They love lettuce, beet greens, and most of the radish leaves (once they sweeten a little).

  15. Sandy

    Posting a comment to win a Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply Frost Kissed Seed Tin with 10 great varieties which can be planted this fall or next spring!!!

  16. Sharon

    I’m new to the newsletter and to veg gardening, going to try growing kale this fall. Love the info in the newsletter and how you respond to questions here in the comments!

  17. Lynn

    I’ve been battling critters- small, green caterpillars on all my herbs this year! Would you believe I haven’t been able to grow mint, pretty crazy. Been using insecticidal soap. Perhaps I need to be more rigorous or try something else (I garden organically). Look forward to learning more here! BTW- love the terra cotta pot mug 😉

    1. Christy

      I hear you Lynn. Check out this month’s Gazette, particularly the part about floating row cover. That will help you keep cabbage worms (those green caterpillars) at bay.

  18. Paula Waxman, S. Robertson Neighborhoods Council

    Love reading Gardenerd and have found the tips extremely helpful. Any suggestions on an organic pesticide to protect brassicas?

    1. Christy

      Hi Paula,

      First, I grow my broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts in the fall instead of spring. That reduces the risk of aphid infestations right there. Second, make sure your soil have plenty of organic matter to keep the plants healthy and strong. Third, use floating row cover (see this month’s Gazette) to keep white butterflies (cabbage moths) from laying eggs on the undersides of your brassicas. Lastly, hand check. It only takes a few minutes each morning. Flip over the leaves and look for eggs, worms and such. The best fertilizer is the farmer’s footsteps. Only as a last resort would I move to something like a Safer Brand insect killer. Oh – and plant plenty of beneficial flowers in your garden to attract the good kind of insects that eat the bad ones. Balance is key.

  19. Brien

    Love the Gazette and your podcast. I would be interested in your recommendations for other podcasts that deal both with contemporary issues and with the history of gardening and landscape design.

  20. Lisa Broderick

    I look forward to reading the Gardenerd, and especially appreciate the helpful hints on what to plant or maintain each month. This fall, I harvested two pumpkins and several butternut squash. Thanks for broadening my knowledge and increasing my confidence in growing my own vegetables and edible flowers!

  21. Charlie

    New to the blog! Also new-ish to gardening (just moved into a place with a yard this year).

    I have something digging in my garden — I thought it was gophers, but someone else said it might be raccoons. How can I tell the difference & what’s the best way to protect my plants/fruits?

    1. Christy

      Hi Charlie, usually gophers come up from underground, where as racoons are above ground dwellers. Gophers leave mounds of soil and often store their food under those mounds (underground). You’d see holes, mounds and tunnels if you had gophers. Racoons harvest above ground and dig holes (more like pits, really) like a dog or cat would. You’d see soil disarray and munched plants. Thanks for posting. I hope this helps.

  22. Cheri H

    I don’t know what is digging in my garden lately, but it is making big, deep holes! AAGH! Thanks for your newsletter!

  23. Mark R.

    Now that we are living closer to the garden plot we will certainly be getting the soil ready for slightly late fall planting! We are so excited to be closer to our garden! Thank you for all of your awesome posts filled with great info. 🙂

  24. lori

    Have so much kale this fall
    We cant eat it all.
    …the posting poet

  25. Alissa Alexander

    Brand new garden nerd here! Thanks for all your posts. I am learning a lot!

  26. Jackie Isler

    Would love to take advantage of planting earlier/later in the year….

  27. Nan O'Donnell

    My brocoli seedlings do have a fair amount of insect damage, but I have been pretty successful plucking off the cabbage worms. At night when the worms are active, I shine my flashlight on the plants and find tiny green worms – exactly the same color as the brocoli plant – , about 1/4 to 1 inch long on the leaf stems or back side of the leaf. Night time is also best time to gather any slugs or snails from my lettuce. My chickens won’t eat the cabbage moth worms, but love the slugs and snails.

  28. Susan McCormack

    Enjoy reading your posts! Please post more about your chickens! I am still eating zucchini and wax beans from my garden, but time to put in some other crops. After reading about kale here have decided to plant some. Thanks!

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