Garden Update | So I cheated and bought transplants.

By Kiersten | Last Updated: September 26, 2012

Mizuna - September 2012

Mizuna - September 2012
I have no idea why buying transplants feels like cheating to me. I guess it’s like running a marathon and starting a few blocks from the finish line? But every weekend was either rainy or way too hot to be outside, so I didn’t get around to starting most of my fall seeds on time. I did manage to plant bok choy, broccoli rabe, carrots, radishes, beets, bunching onions, and spinach, but the rest I bought from the farmers market–like the mizuna, pictured above.

Red Lettuce - September 2012And after spotting the mizuna, I grabbed a flat of this red leaf lettuce. It seemed perfect for a fall salad. Something with apples or pears perhaps?

Brussels Sprouts - September 2012I have yet to successfully grow brussels sprouts in my garden, but I’m hoping this time it will work out. Because if it doesn’t, I’m quitting! You hear that brussels sprouts? I am done!

He Shi Ko Bunching Onions - September 2012Little He Shi Ko onion seedlings are popping up. The other seeds have yet to sprout.

Thai Basil - September 2012This weekend I finally pulled out all the basil and made a big batch of pesto. I left the Thai basil, though, since it had gone to seed months ago. Hopefully it will reseed itself and I won’t have to buy any next spring.

Tomatoes with Gash - September 2012Even though it’s almost October, a lot of my summer plants are still going strong! I was excited to get a big crop of perfect looking tomatoes soon, but after a few rainy days, most of them burst open…

Cherry Tomatoes - September 2012…and the ones that didn’t burst open are teeny tiny! I guess these probably won’t ripen before it starts getting too cold for tomatoes.

Red Pepper - September 2012Like last year, the pepper plants got a second wind this month. After doing very little all summer long, they’re heavy with peppers now. This is some kind of sweet red pepper–the info on the plant marker washed off in the rain. Oops!

Poblano Pepper - September 2012And I have a ton of poblano peppers. A ton. I’m already freaking out about what I’m going to do with them all.

Celeriac - September 2012This celeriac was supposed to be a spring crop and it remained a tiny little stem with three leaves all through the summer. But now it’s finally starting to grow. Which is good news because celeriac is crazy expensive and I’d rather grow my own!

Do you have any summer plants that are still hanging on? How are your fall veggies doing?

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.

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Pssht, I gave up on veggies and after it being hotter than the surface of the sun this summer, I let everything fry. (Not that I had much anyway)

Soooo, if my basil bolted, it should grow in the same container next year? Or do I need to do something to it? It bolted months ago for me.

I tried planting some late season seeds this year for the first time but they didn’t do well. The spinach never germinated and the other stuff got attacked by slugs! Maybe I’ll stick to summer veggies from now on.

I have a major slug problem too. I have to put out huge amounts of Sluggo to try to keep them away from my root veggies. I tried growing them in containers last spring and they still got to them.

Not cheating at all! Unless you need some rare variety, it is a useful shortcut because starting seeds takes so much space, time, and coordination. I can never even imagine starting Brussels sprouts in July/August, so I bought seedlings for the first time this year, too– fingers crossed! Also, I think bigger plants gives you a bit of a leg up with the pests that might munch your tiny seedlings, and they are less likely to dry out on early fall warm days. When you are trying to wait for every last tomato and pepper, it is nice to have plants waiting in the wings. Can’t wait to see what you do with all of those poblanos! Here’s a start, my favorite Rock Bayless recipe, but I use zucchini instead of chayote:

Thanks for the recipe–that sounds so good! I have never had brussels sprouts work out for me, so I’ll be curious to see how yours do. They’re one of my favorite fall veggies, so it’s always so sad when the plants refuse to grow!

That is so funny! I hate when I can’t grow my plants/herbs from seeds – but ultimately, you’re still growing it yourself and you get healthy treats so it’s worth it!

You are not cheating. You’re taking a shortcut, and one that is available to all gardeners. Cheating would be stealing someone else’s ideas 🙂 I need to get my garden cleaned out but this work thing is killing me!!

Transplants are not cheating! I usually buy about 50% max of transplants because some stuff takes so long to grow and my yard/garden is always 1 month behind everyone else. I sewed seeds for carrots and spinach last week, but nothing popping up yet. It hasn’t been too warm or sunny though. Keeping fingers crossed.

Is celeriac a fancy name for celery? I’ve never heard of it but that shouldn’t surprise you. Your garden looks great and we have an incredibly difficult time with seeds so we do transplants with everything. It does take effort still to get them to survive and flourish which we’re not all that great at either – but we try!

I think it’s a type of celery–it’s grown for the root, not the stalks. You can mash it and it kind of tastes like potatoes (except fewer calories/carbs) with a hint of celery.

Man, I wish I had the gumption to grow a garden. It’s all I can do to walk up to the farmer’s market near my house. Good luck with the brussels sprouts!

All of our peppers are still doing great. We always have fresh jalapenos and bell peppers handy (although our bell peppers are much smaller than the ones in the grocery store). I pretty much stopped tending the garden back in July though, it was either too hot or raining all the time here in FL.

Hi Kiersten! Love your name–and your photography! Your garden looks gorgeous.
I still have Swiss Chard that won’t quit (it never got too hot this summer) and some sort of Asian green going strong for fall, though I expect the peppers and tomatoes to poop out shortly.
I’m trying to figure out where to plant the garlic, onion, and shallots this fall so that I can rotate the tomato bed next summer.

Have you tried roasting the poblanos and using them in salsa verde?

Thank you! 🙂 I have had such problems with Swiss chard. Mine never grew very much last year and the same happened with the chard I tried to grow this spring. I’m hoping it does better this fall!

I didn’t think of putting the poblanos in salsa–thanks for the idea! I was thinking that maybe I would roast them and see if they’d hold up in the freezer. It might be one of those good things to have on hand and throw into soups, pasta, etc.

I have much better luck with transplants than starting from seed. I still have a few tomatoes hanging out in my garden, but it is so cool now they aren’t ripening very fast.

Yeah, I think I might pull out my tomatoes this week. I have a few that will probably ripen, but the ones that are fully green? Nope, I don’t think those are going to turn red!

Poblanos are great in a corn chowder. I think they’re also used for chiles rellenos, though I’ve never made them. I only buy transplants, having not had much luck with seeds and wanting more of a guarantee of success. I still have some tomatoes going too, though I think they’re at their end. Like you, I had a few large ones that almost ripened, and lots of little, hard green ones. The tiny Thai pepper plant (those pack a kick!) is still going strong.

I just posted what I did with some of them today–mac & cheese! I ended up roasting and freezing them so I can throw them in soups or baked potatoes this winter. We’ll see how they fare in the freezer. I was going to pull my tomatoes this weekend, but it rained–I definitely need to do that soon!

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