Four Reasons to Grow Veggies this Fall

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 5, 2016 5:40:57 PM


lettuce2.jpgSacramento is blessed with long, hot summers and mild, temperate winters, meaning we can grow our own year 'round. 

However, most home gardeners forget about the delicious, nutritious and hardy vegetables which thrive when the temperatures drop.

Here are four compelling reasons to give cool-season veggies a try this fall!

 

 

Keep The Beds Clean 
Rather than letting your vegetable beds become overrun with weeds throughout the winter, try planting cool-season crops! If you are selective about crop-rotation, the quality of your soil can actually be improved by continuing to grow veggies during the winter months. Click the button below to learn more about how to rotate your crops to maximize your yield. 

Crop Rotation 101

They're Easy Peasy 
Cooler temperatures means fewer pests, making it easier to maintain your garden organically. Slugs and Snails are usually the biggest culprit for crop damage in the winter, and they can be easily controlled by lining your beds or containers with copper tape. You'll find copper tape in the Garden Solutions department of any Green Acres Nursery & Supply. 

Nutritious & Delicious
Leafy greens such as Kale, Swiss Chard and Spinach are high in vitamins and antioxidants, boosting your immunity through the cold & flu season. Cruciferous vegetables such as Broccoli, Cabbage and Brussel Sprouts contain a substance called glucosinolates, which have been found to reduce your risk for certain types of cancer. 

Fewer Food Miles 
Food miles are the distance that your food has traveled to get to you. By buying your veggies plants from your local nursery and growing them in your backyard, you are reducing the environmental impact of fuel consumption caused by transporting food long distances (AKA your "carbon footprint")

Green Acres Nursery & Supply sources all of our vegetables from local growers such as Eisley's Nursery in Auburn, Kawahara Nurseries in Morgan Hill and Fredriks Nursery in Ripon. By sourcing our vegetable starters locally, we are:

  • Helping sustain fellow independent nurseries in our local economy
  • Providing you with plants that are well-acclimated to the area
  • Ensuring that your veggie starters are fresh, giving them a head start in your garden

Ready to start growing your own?

Here's a list of what vegetables you can plant when for the Sacramento Area:

Veggie Calendar

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Winter, Edibles, Veggies and Herbs, Fall Veggies, IPM, Fall

Spuds 101 - How to Grow Seed Potatoes

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 8, 2014 11:04:00 AM

Why use certified seed potatoes?

Unlike certified seed potatoes, the potatoes that you find at the grocery store are often treated with growth inhibitors to keep them from sprouting. Also, they are not guaranteed to be disease free, and they usually produce spuds that are not uniform in shape.

What kind of certified seed potatoes does Green Acres carry?*

Red LaSoda

Days to Maturity: 80-100

Red LaSoda has a good general disease resistance, and red skin and white waxy flesh. Keeps well, and adapts to a range to climates, withstanding cold, heat and drought.

Alegria Yellow

Days to Maturity: 85-95

Alegria Yellow is prized for its attractive uniform appearance, high yield and low susceptibility to rotting. It produces a stable yield in a variety of different growing climates. It is characterized by golden yellow skin with creamy yellow flesh, and a flavor similar to Yukon Gold.

Accord White

Days to Maturity: 80-90

Accord white is an early producing variety with a high yield. It has creamy skin and creamy white flesh with a uniform oval appearance. Good disease resistance, but relatively short storage potential.

Potatoes thrive in moderate temperatures, not too cold or too warm. Ideal temperatures range from above freezing to below 70° F. Because they are a tuber, they require rich light textured soil with good drainage. If you have poor drainage or heavy clay soil, we recommend planting in raised beds or containers. Heavy clay soil can sometimes deform the shape of potatoes.

In the Sacramento region, potatoes are typically planted between mid-November and March.  

Potatoes

Planting in the ground

Seed potatoes should be planted in rows 12” apart, and the rows should be spaced at least 18-20” apart. First, dig the furrows of your rows at least 4” deep. Cut your seed potatoes into 1 ½ ” pieces with at least two eyes per piece, or leave them whole depending on how large they are.  If you cut them into pieces, let the pieces dry for a day or two before planting, to prevent rot. Lay the seed potatoes in the furrows, eye side up and cover with 2” of soil. Water thoroughly, and then wait. As the potatoes begin to sprout, gently pile more soil on top of them, until your furrow has turned into a mound 4” above soil level. Cover rows with a 2-4” thick layer of mulch to conserve moisture and insulate tubers should the temperatures drop below freezing.

Planting in pots

Fill the bottom of a large container (at least a 15 gallon or larger) with 6” of a rich potting soil or compost. Place seed potatoes, or seed potato pieces on top of the soil, about 12” apart. Top with 2” of soil, water, and wait for them to sprout. After they have begun to shoot up past the soil, continue the process, gently mounding soil around them as the shoots grow, until you reach the top of your container.  Some people apply this method using tires or stackable crates, which allow you more vertical growing space.

Watering

Soil should be kept moist, but beware of overwatering if you choose to plant in the ground. Soggy soil will result in rotten potatoes.

Fertilizing

Use a starter fertilizer upon planting, we recommend E.B. Stone Sure Start.  Then fertilize with tomato and vegetable food according to the package direction.

Harvesting

Harvest “new potatoes”, or the smaller less mature spuds when the plants begin flowering. Reach under the first few inches of soil and pull them off the plant. Harvest the mature potatoes once the plants turn brown. Harvest time is between 80 and 120 days after planting, depending on variety. When harvesting,  dig carefully to avoid damaging the tubers.

*Available while supplies last, check stores for inventory 

  Veggie Planting Calendar

Topics: Edibles, Sacramento Gardening, Fall Veggies

What Fall Veggies to Plant in Sacramento?

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 3, 2013 10:43:00 AM

fall vegetables

Plant a Bountiful Fall Veggie Garden – Add Some Zest to Your Yard and Your Plate

Fall Vegetables have rolled into our nurseries. The seed racks are restocked for the fall vegetable planting season. Rows upon rows of vegetables are now in the nursery nestled in their flats waiting for customers to come in and choose what they want to grow …what they want to eat.

Plant your fall veggie garden now! Reap the rewards of healthy vegetables directly from your garden! Fresh and delicious! But how do you choose?  

A Plethora of Goodness Awaits You! 

Arugula, Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Garlic, Leeks, Lettuce, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mesclun (Zesty Salad Mixture), Mizuna (Japanese Mustard), Mustards, Onions, Potatoes, Rutabaga, Sorrel, Spinach, Swiss Chard just to name a few!

Try a Few of These to Spice Up Your Taste Buds!

Arugula ‘Rocket Salad’ – Adds texture to salads. Arugula has a peppery and nutty flavor that adds zest to your salad. Try it as a topping for your pizza. Plant by seeds or plants when available.

Befall veggiesets! – Detroit Dark Red or Bulls Blood? Beets are high in Iron. Very nutritious!  Add color and tang to any salad. Detroit Dark Red has a tender, buttery-sweet taste. Great for canning, pickling and eating fresh. Bull’s Blood is primarily grown for its tender, sweet red foliage. Plant by seed or plants when available.

Bok Choy (Pak Choy) – Use in stir-fries. Great for steaming, or adding to soups! Very nutritious, high in Calcium and Vitamin C. Try Tatsoi (Baby Bok Choy) or White Stem. Plant by seed or plants if available.

Broccoli  Packed with nutrition! High in Vitamin C, calcium, potassium and iron!  Tasty raw or steamed. Diplomat, De Cicco, Packman, Romanesco and Waltham 29 are varieties that do well here in Northern California. Plant by seed or plants when available.

Garlic – Besides benefiting the immune system, Garlic is the perfect complement to many foods. It provides wonderful aroma and flavor to most dishes. Roasted Garlic is delicious! Elephant Garlic, Chesnoke Red, Spanish Roja and California are a few of the wonderful varieties of Garlic that we carry. Plant from cloves.

Rutabaga Delicious, firm, sweet roots are a must for hearty soups and casseroles. Mash just like potatoes, add chunks to soups and stews. The tops are edible too. They make tasty sautéed greens. Grow from seed.

Sorrel – A hardy perennial. The leaves have a lemony, spinach flavor that add a punch to salads. Grow from seed.

Crimson and Clover…Over and Over!

fava beans cover crop resized 600Not feeling like planting a fall garden to replace your Summer Garden? Try planting a cover crop like Crimson and Clover or Fava Beans! 

Planting a cover crop brings many benefits. These plants cover the ground in the winter, smothering weeds, fixing nitrogen from the air and turned into the soil into late winter helps improve soil structure. Other benefits include: preventing erosion, enhancing drainage, inhibiting weeds and attracting beneficial insects. You can plant a winter cover crop now or until late October. Cover crops are called "Green Manure".

  

  Veggie Calendar

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Planting Ideas, Veggies and Herbs, Fall Veggies

Veggies and Herbs for Fall Harvest

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 5, 2012 10:26:00 AM

The best part about fall veggies and herbs is that you get to plant, and let 'em grow. You don't have to worry as much about irrigation like you do for your summer vegetables and herbs. The light fall rains are just around the corner and will help keep your veggies and herbs happy.

fall-garden-vegetables_3-resized-174-778161-edited.jpg

WHAT TO PLANT?

But what to plant, you might ask?
How about varieties like:

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Cilantro, parsley, garlic & so much more.  


SOIL

Now to soil. Since most vegetables are fast-growing annuals, they need garden soil that provides a wide range of nutrients with good aeration. Each year that you plant vegetables in the garden bed, they are using some of the nutrients and it's essential to replace them for future success. The key is adding organic matter and soil amendments every time you plant something new.  

One of our favorite nutrient-rich amendments we add to our plantings is Soil Booster by GreenAll. This product is an all organic soil conditioner for mixing into flower beds and vegetable gardens prior to planting. It helps make soils easier to work, helps loosen compact soil, and conserves moisture and improves soil aeration. The special ingredients are fir bark, chicken manure, composted mushroom soil, earthworm castings & more. An amazing mix to give you the right results. Use two bags of soil booster for a 4'X4' space.

organic_fert-resized-600.jpg

 

FERTILIZING

Now to feeding your plants. It's important to fertilize your fall veggies and herbs from the start, right when you plant. We always recommend organic fertilizer because it won't burn the plant, and it gives the plant a natural balance of nutrients.  

Many synthetic fertilizers encourage too much green growth so you will have lots of leaves, but a weak root system. The most important part is to have a healthy, strong plant in all regards.  

Our favorite organic fertilizer for starting your plants is Sure Start by E.B. Stone. Sure Start contains Blood Meal, Feather Meal, Bone Meal, Dried Chicken Manure, Bat Guano, Alfalfa Meal, Kelp Meal, Potassium Sulfate, Humic Acids and soil microbes including mycorrhizal fungi. All are excellent nutrients for your new veggies and herbs. 

 

HARVEST

Harvesting is actually good for the plants, as it helps them produce even more in most cases. There are some exceptions to this rule. For cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, radishes, head lettuce or cabbage, the plant only produces one time. Meaning, once you harvest, you are done. That is why successive planting is so important.

 

PLANTING TIPS &TRICKS

Successive planting is one way to extend your harvesting season. Instead of planting one time and being done, you continue to plant continuously through the season. A good rule of thumb is to plant in 2 week increments. As a result, when others are ranting about the high price of organic lettuce, you are enjoying a consistent harvest all fall and winter long.  

Successive planting can be done by seed or starter plant. Successive planting can also mean, that once you finish harvesting a particular vegetable, it's time to prepare the soil again to be replanted. Remember, empty space in your garden produces nothing but weeds. Keep planting!

Green Acres Nursery & Supply is dedicated to your gardening success, 365 days a year. Visit any of our store locations for expert advice.

Interested in more?  

Veggie Calendar

Topics: Veggies and Herbs, Fall Veggies, Fall Herbs

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