2020 Fall Garden Plans

Reference https://sundownfarms.com/gardening/germination/soaking-pre-spouting/


  • From HOSS here.
    • Beets work great grown in double rows to maximize garden space. For double row planting, plant two rows 4″ apart with 3′ between double rows.
    • Beet seeds are multigerm, which means that each seed will germinate 2-3 plants. As a result, plants will require thinning once they emerge from the soil.
    • Kestrel Beet is a productive, hybrid beet variety that works great for baby bunching or full-sized beetroots. It produces globed-shaped, deep red beetroots that are sweet and consistently-sized. Plants produce semi-glossy tops that mature at 12″-13″ tall. Kestrel Beet has an excellent disease package that includes resistance to downy mildew, powdery mildew, cercospora and rhizoctonia. It is slow-bolting for extended growth periods into late spring. It works great as a storage beet for pickling and preserving.
      • Planting Depth: 1/2″
      • Seed Spacing: 4-6″
      • Row Spacing: 3″
      • Days to Maturity: 55
      • Packet: 350 seeds at 6″ oc = 175′ single row or 135′ double rows, 4″ apart.
      • 20′ double row at 6″ oc would require 80 seeds pre-sprouted.
  • From SESE
    • Beets should be grown in a light loam of pH 6.5 to 7.0. If soil pH is below 6, sprinkle limestone or wood ashes in the row as you plant; otherwise, the yield will be seriously impaired. 
    • Late spring and early fall sowings should be 3/4 in. deep. Thin to 6 plants per foot for fresh beets, 3 plants per foot for beets used for winter storage, in rows 12 in. apart.
  • From Pam Dawling – Beets are notorious for spotty germination — their seed coats contain a germination inhibitor. Presoaking beet seed for two hours can help dissolve this compound. Room temperature water is better than cold water, and running water is the best, I’ve heard. I suspect when I’ve had failures with soaked beet seed it’s because I soaked them for too long and they suffocated due to a shortage of oxygen. Another option is to pre-sprout them just until small red shoots are seen.
  • From SowTrueSeedA side dressing of phosphorus, in the form of bone meal or rock phosphate, will also ensure your beets produce large, healthy roots.
From SEVG Handbook

Beet Planting Dates

  • AL South
    • Spring 2/1–3/31
    • Fall 8/1–9/30
  • LA South
    • 2/1–3/31
    • 9/15–11/15
    • Seed rot and damping-off may be a problem, especially in early spring plantings when soils are cool. Seeds should be treated with an appropriate fungicide to protect the seed.
    • Cercospora leaf spot is the most common disease that occurs on beets. Circular spots with reddish-brown or purplish margins are the first signs. Spray every 2 to 3 weeks with an appropriate crop protectant.
    • The most common insect pests of beets are aphids, leafminers, flea beetles, and webworms. Sanitation and crop rotation should be practiced to avoid pest build-ups.


Green Magic Broccoli – The exceptional heat-tolerance ensures the broccoli heads are slow to bolt and go to seed. Seeds are fast to germinate and compact plants mature at about 2′ tall. Plants will continue to produce side shoots for a second and third harvest.

  • 100 seeds per packet at 12″ oc transplants = max 100′ row
  • Planting Method: transplant
  • When to Plant: early spring and fall
  • Planting Depth: 1/4″
  • Seed Spacing: 12″
  • Thin to 18″-24″
  • Days to Maturity: 55
  • Disease Resistance: Downy Mildew


Need to pre-sprout per Pam Dawling due to low temp for germination as we will sow in August and September.

Cheers Cabbage (100 seeds per packet) provides exceptional disease resistance and consistent production. This hybrid cabbage variety is resistant to fusarium yellows and black rot. Cheers produces large heads that average 5 lbs. Heads have a short core which means more of the cabbage head is usable for processing. It also has large wrapper leaves to protect the harvestable unit. This is a consistent variety for all levels of production from market farmer to backyard gardener. Cheers taste great when cooked but also makes excellent sauerkraut! Grown by many commercial growers. From HOSS here.

  • Planting Depth: 1/4″
  • Seed Spacing: 12″
  • Row Spacing: 2-3′
  • Days to Maturity: 75
  • 100 seeds per packet at 12″ oc = 100′ row

K-Y Cross F1 [aka Taiwanese Cabbage] – Seed / Untreated / Packet – 50 Seeds. Has large oblate-shaped heads that can weigh up to 6 lbs. have a light green color and grow on a small frame. The dense heads have a short core and thin leaves that are extremely tender and have an appealing sweet flavor. K-Y Cross cabbage has shown good heat tolerance and is ideal for warm growing areas. Purchased from Harris Seeds.

Should have pre-sprouted but did not learn about that until after it was sowed.

  • Soil temperature: 70 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Seeding depth: 0.25 – 0.5 inches
  • Germination days: 4 – 10 days
  • Weeks indoor: 5 – 6 weeks
  • Maturation days: 75 days

From SEVG Handbook


  • AL South
    • Spring 2/1–3/31
    • Fall 8/1–10/30
  • LA South
    • 2/1–3/31
    • 9/15–11/15
    • Seed rot and damping-off may be a problem, especially in early spring plantings when soils are cool. Seeds should be treated with an appropriate fungicide to protect the seed.
    • Cercospora leaf spot is the most common disease that occurs on beets. Circular spots with reddish brown or purplish margins are the first signs. Spray every 2 to 3 weeks with an appropriate crop protectant.
    • The most common insect pests of beets are aphids, leafminers, flea beetles, and webworms. Sanitation and crop rotation should be practiced to avoid pest build ups.


  • Pre-sprouting advice is at the top of this page.
  • Good general advice and his pre-sprouting methods are here. One thing that might help with Pam’s technique and is recommended there is to freeze the seeds for 24 hours then keep warm & wet until sprouts.
  • Good suggestions in Growing Guide here.
    • Plant seed 1/4” deep, 3 seeds per inch, and thin to 1-2” apart in rows 12” apart.
    • Cover seeds with fine light soil, and keep the soil moist. 
  • BaleroHighly productive & pelleted. Disease Resistance: Alternaria Blight, Powdery Mildew, Cavity Spot, Bacterial Blight, Cercospora Blight. We recommend seeding carrots in a thick band along the desired row. This will ensure a solid stand of carrots and help to aid in weed control once tops get larger. Carrots are a great crop for double-row planting on drip irrigation. For this strategy, plant two rows 6″ apart, skip about 3′, then plant another two rows 6″ apart.
    • 250 seeds per packet at 1″ oc = 250″ = 21′
    • Planting Depth: 1/4″
    • Seed Spacing: 1/2″, thin to 1-2″
    • Row Spacing: 12
    • Days to Maturity: 75
  • From SEVG Handbook
    • Planting Dates – AL South 8/1–11/30
    • Root-Knot Nematode: By far, the most destructive problem in carrots is root-knot nematodes. Good success has been obtained using field soil fumigation to eradicate root-knot nematodes in the root zone of carrots. Use nematicides or fumigants listed in the “Nematode Control in Vegetate Crops” tables in the Disease Control section.
  • From YouTube Video: Plant in the space where a wide board will cover them. Then water the soil well. Drop seed onto wet soil then press down into the soil but not too much so you cannot still see them. Flip board over seeds/soil and press into the soil. Check for sprouts in 5-6 days but likely 10-11 days. Keep soil moist so water around the board if the dirt dries out.

Cover Crop

Elbon Rye left over from 2019. See SEVG Handbook pdf page 23. Sow in late September.

Cucumbers – FROM SEVG handbook

  • Planting Dates – AL South Fall 8/1–9/15
  • NOTE, NEW FOR US – Spacing.
    • Slicers: Space rows 3 to 4 feet apart with plants 9 to 12 inches apart.
    • Pickles: For hand harvest, space rows 3 to 4 feet apart and plants 6 to 8 inches apart in the row. Close spacing increases yields, provides more uniform maturity and reduces weed problems, but requires slightly higher fertilizer rates.

Leeks – Per HOSS in this video

  • MATEJKO LEEK SEEDMatejko Leek  (pronounced mah-tay-ko) is a hybrid, improved leek variety that is slow to bolt and great for fall plantings. This hybrid leek variety was specifically designed for fall production, although it can be overwintered in moderate climates. It is slow-bolting and it holds well in the field, providing a longer harvesting window once plants are mature.
    • Seeds per packet – 50 at 6″ oc = 25′ row
    • Planting Method: transplant
    • When to Plant: early spring and fall
    • Planting Depth: 1/4″
    • Seed Spacing: 6
    • Row Spacing: 24″
    • Days to Maturity: 100
    • Disease Resistance: Rust, Onion Thrips
  • TADORNA LEEK SEEDFor planting in Nov.
    • Seeds per packet – 250 at 6″ oc = 125′ row
    • Planting Method: transplant
    • When to Plant: early spring and fall
    • Planting Depth: 1/4″
    • Seed Spacing: 6″
    • Row Spacing: 24″
    • Days to Maturity: 100
    • Disease Resistance: Leaf blight
  • Per SEVG Handbook
    • Seed should be planted 1/3 to 1/2 inch deep 8 to 12 weeks before field setting. Plants will be ready to set in early August. Plug cells have worked well.
    • Field Spacing. Rows: 20 to 30 inches apart; plants: 4 inches apart in the row. Set plants in trenches 3 to 4 inches deep. Leeks grow slowly for the first 2 or 3 months. To develop a long white stem, start to gradually fill in trenches and then hill soil around stems to 3 or 4 inches.
    • There has been limited success growing leeks in Alabama.


  • From Pam Dawling.
    • Pre-sprouting in the frig – For most crops, 0.2 inch (5 mm) [initial root] is enough. For lettuce half that length is good, and one day may be time enough. Separately she said: Chilling lettuce seed can help germination in hot weather.
    • Also, in warm weather, put seeds into the freezer for 4 days then bring to room temp before opening. Or, store them in the refrigerator. See page 255 of her book.
    • Requires light to germinate.
    • BUT, if nights are cool then the plant can tolerate 80° to 85° days. Historically, such days begin here in mid-October. Per Sustainable Market Farming, pg 247.
  • Tehama has an upright habit and did well in the little garden in spring 2020. One packet has 250 seeds planted on 12″ spacing, 1/4″ deep in 18″ rows.
  • For baby Tehama green production, plant densely on a 2-3′ wide bed and harvest when greens are about 4-5″ tall. This is a cut-and-come-again type green that provides multiple harvests throughout the cool growing season.
  • From SESE:
    • Sow seed 1/4” deep and thin to 10-16” Plan a double row 12″ apart.
    • Lettuce can be planted during late summer or early fall while the days are still hot provided that the seeds are germinated in the refrigerator for 4-6 days.
    • The glucose content of lettuce harvested in the morning may be 2-1/2 times greater than lettuce harvested in the early afternoon. For best quality and maximum sweetness harvest by 7-8 am, especially in summer.


  • From SEVG Handbook – Mustard Planting Dates – AL South Fall 8/1–10/31.
  • Savanna Mustard from HOSS
    • 500 seeds per packet = 500″ = 41′ row
    • Planting Depth: 1/4″
    • Seed Spacing: 1″
    • Days to Maturity: 20
    • If smaller leaves are desired, direct seed with a walk-behind seeder and plant densely in a 2-3′ bed. Harvest with a sharp knife once leaves have grown to the desired size. New leaves will continue to emerge for repeat harvests throughout the growing season.
    • Savanna may also be harvested at larger stages.
  • Florida Broadleaf did very well in our fall 2019 garden.


  • See Pam Dawling’s Pre-sprouting advice here.
  • Warrior Bunching Onion
    • 250 seeds per packet transplanted 2″ apart = 500″ = 42′
  • From SEVG Handbook for green onions:
    • space rows 12 to 16 in. apart
    • space seed 0.75 to 1.5 inches apart
    • seed depth should be 0.25-0.5 inches
    • Place transplants or sets 1.5 to 2.5 inches deep.


Blue Bayou Pumpkin

Blue Bayou Pumpkin is a hybrid pumpkin that provides heirloom beauty with a strong disease package. Plants produce trailing vines that are very productive. Resistant to downy and powdery mildew. 15-20 lb pumpkins. C. Maxima. Treated.

  • Planting Depth: 1/2″
  • Seed Spacing: 18-24″
  • Row Spacing: 5-6 ft
  • Once plants emerge, thin plants to one every 2 feet.
  • Days to Maturity: 90
  • Disease Resistance: Downy Mildew, Powdery Mildew

Jack-o-Lantern Pumpkin

  • 20 SF per plant/hill so 4′ apart. Vining.
  • 3-5 pumpkin seeds about 1 inch deep in each mound. Thin to 2.
  • 105 Days to Harvest
  • Prefers full sun exposure
  • Also good to eat

About Pumpkin insects from SEVG Handbook – Squash Vine Borer: If pheromone traps are not used, a preventive treatment should be applied when vines begin to run. Re-apply insecticide every seven days for four weeks.


  • Champion Radish from HOSS
    • Planting Depth: 1/4″
    • Seed Spacing: 1″
    • Row Spacing: 6-12″
    • Days to Maturity: 25
  • Cherry Belle – Seeds left from 2019
  • White Icicle – Seeds left from 2019
  • IFAS says:
    • Sow Sep-March
  • SEVG Handbook says
    • Sow AL South – 1/15–3/31 or 8/1–10/31
    • Apply 1 to 2 lb boron (B) per acre with broadcast fertilizer. Michigan State University said “For gardeners, about 4 teaspoons borax per 1,000 square feet is equivalent to 1 pound boron per acre.”


From Pam Dawling

  • Pre-sprouting spinach seeds in late summer is very worthwhile. For this we do the whole sprouting process in the fridge, and I confess we don’t rinse them at all! One week is a good length of time for fridge sprouting of spinach. Give the jar a quarter-turn each day to tumble the seeds and even out the moisture.
  • Pam Dawling recommends Perpetual Spinach Chard as a close substitute to spinach and it can take the heat better.

Crocodile Spinach has been described as probably the most heat-tolerant spinach variety in existence. This hybrid spinach variety performs well in warmer climates and has an exceptional disease-resistance to downy mildew. It has an upright growing habit with excellent productivity. Crocodile Spinach has thick, crisp leaves that are excellent when harvested as baby leaf spinach for salads and other raw preparations. It also performs well when full-size leaves are harvested for cooking applications. It is very bolt-resistant and can be grown well into late spring and started in early fall. This is a cut-and-come-again type crop that can be harvested several times throughout the growing season. Harvest with a sharp knife by cutting the leaves while leaving the root structure intact.

  • Packet 250 seeds at 2″ =500″=41′. For the first 20′ single row, pre-sprout 125 seeds or 1/2 of the packet.
  • Planting Depth: 1/2″
  • Seed Spacing: 2″
  • Row Spacing: 12-18″
  • Days to Maturity: 45
  • Disease Resistance: Downy Mildew

From SEVG Handbook

  • Germination is maximized at soil temps at 41°F with emergence taking 23 days. Higher temperatures reduce germination. [See Germination Tips]
  • Despite the size of spinach seed, it is sown fairly shallowly, 0.8 to 1 inch (2 to 3 cm), in soil moisture conditions ranging from slightly above permanent wilting to field capacity.


  • Betternut 401 F1 – 80 days. An early butternut, uniform 8-9″ long with a light tan skin color. Semi bush type plant. Tolerant to powdery mildew. Treated seed. Bought from Morgan County Seeds.
    • Planting Depth: 1/2″
    • Seed Spacing: 4′
    • Row Spacing: 5-6′
  • South Anna butternut squash planted by HOSS in spring 2020; starting to fruit in June – has not had to spray as very disease resistant. …a stabilized cross between Waltham Butternut Squash and Seminole Pumpkin. This open-pollinated variety has the shape of butternut squash with the vigor and disease-resistance of a Seminole Pumpkin. C. Moschata. 
    • 110 days to maturity. In fall garden, plant 10/15 minus 4 months (120 days) = 6/15/2020 – 7/1/2020.
    • Planting Depth: 1/2″
    • Seed Spacing: 18-24″
    • Row Spacing: 5-6′
    • Days to Maturity: 110
    • Disease Resistance: Downy Mildew
  • Taybelle PM Acorn Squash – 70 Days. A new Table Ace Type acorn squash. Also, see here.
    • Planting Depth: ½”-1″
    • Seed Spacing: 6′-7′
    • Row Spacing: 5-6′
    • plant five or six seeds per hill, thin to 2-3
    • vines prefer temperatures between 70 and 90 F
    • feed them regularly with a good all-purpose fertilizer
    • Keep the area weed-free with shallow cultivation so as not to damage the surface root system.
  • White Scallop Squash – Cucurbita Pepo
    • 50 days. A very ancient Native American heirloom squash, grown by the Northern tribes for hundreds of years. This type was depicted by Europeans back to 1591. Great fried, or baked.
    • 7-14 days germination
    • Thin seedlings, leaving one or two plants per hill or one plant every 12 to 24 inches of row.
  • Pascola Zucchini
    • Planting Depth: 1/2″
    • Seed Spacing: 18-24″
    • Row Spacing: 5-6′
    • Days to Maturity: 45
    • Disease Resistance: Cucumber Mosaic Virus, Powdery Mildew, Watermelon Mosaic Virus, Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus

Swiss Chard

  • See https://morningchores.com/growing-swiss-chard/
  • Peppermint Swiss Chard is another common variety you’ll often see in stores. It has distinctive red and white striped stalks. It’s disease resistant and slow to bolt. Bought from Gurney’s Seeds.
    • Spacing: 6 inches apart in rows 18 – 30 inches apart.
    • Depth: 1/4 – 1/2 inches.
  • Green Lucullus is possibly the most common and well known Swiss Chard. Originally an Italian heirloom variety, it has dark green leaves and white, crisp stalks. This is a nice variety if you live in a hot area because it’s more heat tolerant than some other types. Bought from SeedBarn.com and got free shipping.
    • Planting depth: 1/2″
    • Seed spacing: 1″
    • Spacing between rows: 18″-24″
    • Days to germination: 7-14
    • Spacing after thinning: 8″-12″
    • Days to maturity: 52
  • Northern Lights – Intensely colored gold, white, red, and magenta stalks with shiny green leaves, Northern Lights Mix contains some of the intense colors of chard that we have ever seen. Leaves are smooth to lightly savoyed at the young stage, while mature leaves are lightly savoyed to full savoyed. The stalks are broad, tender, and fleshy, even at full maturity. Harvest for bunching at full maturity or for a colorful salad mix component at 3 – 4″ tall. From Harris Seeds 6/25/2020.
  • Perpetual Spinach (Leaf Beet Chard) – Sowed mid-Sept.
    • Presoaked but half the seeds floated.
    • Sow about 6 inches apart, covered with ½ inch soil and rolled in.
    • When 2 – 4 inches tall, thinned them to 12 inches apart.

Thyme, Winter, from Harris Seeds

  • Soil temperature: 55 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Seeding depth: 0.12 – 0.25 inches
  • Germination days: 18 – 24 days
  • Grow on temperature day: 55 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weeks indoor: 8 – 10 weeks


  • Depending on the planting zone, fall tomatoes should be transplanted sometime in July. From MSUES. Prep seedlings from rooting cuttings from the spring plants.
  • From George W. Carver, 1936, How to Grow a Tomato. “ROOTING CUTTINGS – The tops and suckers will root readily if inserted in boxes of moist sand or moist shady places. The cutting should be 3 or 4 inches in length. Keep well watered, and they will be nicely rooted in about 9 days, when they should be taken up and set the same as for seedlings. They will begin bearing almost as soon as they begin growing well. They are preferable to seedlings. In making the cuttings half of each large leaf should be taken off.”
  • The Best Cherry Tomatoes For Zone 9  – Cherry tomatoes are the most reliable producers with high yields that ripen early and continue to produce throughout the growing season.
    • A tried and true variety is Sungold, a disease resistant, early maturing, sweet orange cherry tomato.
    • Super Sweet 100 Hybrid is another favorite that is also disease resistant and produces large yields of sweet cherry tomatoes that are extremely high in vitamin C.
    • Other options for cherry tomatoes are: Black Cherry; Green Doctors; Chadwick’s Cherry; Gardener’s Delight; Isis Candy; and Dr. Carolyn.

Seed Purchases To Date


Kestrel Beet – Packet (350 seeds) Packet (350 seeds)
Cheers Cabbage – 100 seeds per packet at 12″ oc = 100′ row
Savanna Mustard – Packet (500 seeds) Packet (500 seeds)
Crocodile Spinach – Packet (250 seeds) Packet (250 seeds)
Green Magic Broccoli 
Marigold Sparky Mix – Packet (250 seeds) Packet (250 seeds)
Tehama Lettuce – Packet (250 seeds) Packet (250 seeds)
Blue Bayou Pumpkin 
Warrior Bunching Onion – 250 seeds per packet
Matejko Leek 
Pascola Zucchini
South Anna Butternut Squash – Packet (30 seeds) 

From Johnny’s

From G&D Feed Store

  • White Scallop Squash – 1/2 oz. $1
  • Jack-o-Lantern Pumpkin – 1 oz. $2

Harris Seeds ordered 6/25/2020. All on sale.

Product imageDescriptionQuantityPrice
Thyme Winter - Seed / Untreated / Packet - 100 Seeds1Thyme Winter Seed / Untreated / Packet – 100 Seeds1$1.00
Dill Fernleaf - Seed / Untreated / Packet - 100 Seeds1Dill Fernleaf Seed / Untreated / Packet – 100 Seeds1$1.00
Cosmos Xanthos - Seed / Untreated / Packet - 50 Seeds1Cosmos Xanthos Seed / Untreated / Packet – 50 Seeds1$1.16
Swiss Chard Northern Lights Mix - Seed / Treated / Packet - 100 Seeds1Swiss Chard Northern Lights Mix Seed / Treated / Packet – 100 Seeds1$1.00
Pepper Chile G76 F1 - Seed / Treated / Packet - 50 Seeds1Pepper Chile G76 F1 Seed / Treated / Packet – 50 Seeds1$2.53
Broccoli Diplomat F1 - Seed / Treated / Packet - 50 Seeds1Broccoli Diplomat F1 Seed / Treated / Packet – 50 Seeds1$1.00
Radish Cherry Belle - Seed / Treated / Packet - 250 Seeds2Radish Cherry Belle Seed / Treated / Packet – 250 Seeds2$2.00
Cabbage K-Y Cross F1 - Seed / Untreated / Packet - 50 Seeds2Cabbage K-Y Cross F1 Seed / Untreated / Packet – 50 Seeds2$2.00

Organic Lisbon Spanish Heirloom Evergreen Onion bunching Scallions White – Bought on Amazon thinking they were shoots but seeds arrived. August 2020.

Seed Order From SESE – 8/29/2020

Danvers 126 Carrots, 3g (approx. 1500-1950 seeds, depending on variety) sows 84-110’.1$2.50
Perpetual Spinach (Leaf Beet Chard), 4 g (approximately 200 seeds) sows 25’.12.75
French Marigold, Frances’s Choice, 0.5 g 180 seeds1$2.75
French Marigold, Red Metamorph, 0.5 g, 155 seeds1$2.75

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