Week 17: Cut-and-come-again for fall harvest

As we enter the last week of August, we turn our attention to fall.  Although we still have a month until  the equinox and the official arrival of autumn, now is the time to plant the last few seeds of quick-growing, cold loving vegetables.  That list of cool season crops that we planted includes:

  • Radishes – Watermelon radishes are particularly well-suited for fall, and they are beautiful!
  • Mustard greens – We directed seeded many varieties ranging from mild Spinach ustard, to dark burgundy Red Giant, and frilly Ruby Streaks.
  • Asian greens – We will harvest baby greens in mid-September and hopefully a few full size Pac Choy and Tat Soi that seem to be highly prized by gardeners.
  • Spinach – Oh spinach, we have missed you in our garden!  We have held off on direct seeding spinach until late summer, but now it looks as if we will be harvesting plenty iron-rich leafy greens from almost every student plot.
  • Lettuce – We are choosing to plant varieties that can be harvested with the “cut-and-come-again” technique.  Read below to learn more.
  • Mache, swiss chard, arugula and cilantro also made it into our direct seeded fall crops.

We love the cut-and-come-again technique for continuously harvesting an abundance of leafy greens in fall.  Here are a few sketches that sweetly illustrate the technique:




One of our second-year CTG students, Ute, has perfected the art of cut-and-come-again harvesting.  Ute planted her first arugula seeds during the first week of class, and within less than a month she was snipping off tender arugula leaves.  Arugula and baby kale from Ute’s garden were the first garden harvest we enjoyed munching on.  And now we are coming full circle, as first-year students remember Ute’s arugula and are now inspired to try out the cut-and-come-again technique in their own plots.

                                   Ute with her late-spring harvest of cut-and-come-again greens 
On the left, freshly cut greens. On the right, greens to be cut next week.

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