Rutabagas, leeks, turnips, and collards on the Gulf Coast

squirrelwhispererpup(9a)June 24, 2013

With the exception of the okra, my spring garden is showing signs of being on its last legs here on the Texas Gulf Coast, so I'm thinking about Fall even though it's a few months and about 30 or 40 degrees away (got to 100 in my backyard microgarden today). I am interested in trying my hand at rutabagas, turnips, leeks, and collards this Fall. I'd like to hear from other GC gardeners who have had experience with these vegetables. I understand collards do well down here but what about the bigger root veggies? I'd appreciate any tips or insights, including direct sow versus transplants, timing of planting, fertilization, special pest control considerations, etc. Thanks in advance!

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darkman270(8b/9a)

Here in Pensacola, FL I grow Turnips, Collards, Mustard greens and Fall green beans. All do very well!

An important side benefit is that when the collards start blooming next spring it will condition the bees to start visiting your garden and when your Spring plants are blooming the bees will be there.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 12:10PM
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squirrelwhispererpup(9a)

Thanks darkman. Any tips for getting these cool season seeds to germinate in our still-hot fall weather? I'm still trying to figure out how to do that. Local Ag. Office says September is the time to sow them but it's still hot here then.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 2:50AM
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darkman270(8b/9a)

A lot depends on your soil. We have a high sand content and it drains really well so there is no danger of rot and fungus attacking the seed. There is a bit of a gamble because if you plant to early the plant will try to bolt. I'd say that late August to mid September should be OK. You just have to look and predict the arrival of Fall. By the time the seedling is growing we should be getting the cooler days and nights.

A second alternative is to start them indoors under lights and then transplant them.

It is a lot like Spring planting. Sometimes you nail it and some times you have to replant. I know I had to replant my butter beans this year.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 10:30AM
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afishlady(8b)

Squirrelwhispererpup, I did turnips last spring mostly for the greens and they did well. Give them plenty of room and I just direct sowed them.

Darkman, what are you starting now? I'm also interested if you would address the OPs question regarding direct sow vs transplant of the veggies he mentioned.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 2:47PM
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darkman270(8b/9a)

Sorry for the delay.

I direct sow but if I was late I wouldn't have a problem with transplants. I believe you get a stronger plant with direct sow.

I will be planting Turnips and Collards this weekend.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 11:50PM
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wally_1936(8b)

This is the season for root plants, lettuce and Cole plants

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 10:11PM
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