Out with the Old, In with the New!

Spending my extra time gardening during quarantine kept me sane and my garden flourished. It’s always sad when you realize that your summer crops have come to an end. Don’t fret, fall is here and a new exciting fall season begins. Aren’t we all ready for some new beginnings? We might as well leave this year with a bang. Let’s not plant just any ole plant. Experiment with eye-catching, mouth-watering varieties of veggies that will wow the crowd. The planting we do now will be harvested into 2021. Just think, we will be enjoying the fruits of our labor while we say goodbye and good riddance to 2020!

My motto is, if you are going to plant something, you might as well plant a variety that you haven’t planted before. The best way to do that is order seeds online. You can find all kinds of interesting varieties that will impress your family and friends. Here are a few of my favorites and where to find them.



(etsy seller AbundantHarvestSeeds $2.75 for 150+seeds) This beautiful cabbage is a reddish-purple and grows small heads that range from 5 to 7 inches in diameter and weigh about 3 pounds. This is the perfect cabbage to add a festive red/purple color to a salad or coleslaw. This variety stores well and is compact.


( $3.75 for a packet) This Broccoli is actually an English heirloom variety bred for overwintering. Tall and prolific, Purple Sprouting Broccoli can be grown in the fall and sprouts in the winter in southern California. It’s a wonderfully interesting addition to your garden that is just as flavorful.


(Etsy – seller EdenWilds $4.00 for 25 seeds) This cauliflower is an heirloom, open pollinated Romanesco type cauliflower/broccoli varietal. It has beautiful chartreuse colored heads with captivating spiral buds. Heads are about 5-6 inches wide. Cut promptly before head starts to spread out. Makes a fun vegetable side for kids or a crudité to serve with a dip. 90 days to maturity. Plant in Fall for winter harvest.


( $3.14 for 250 seeds) A variation of the Cabbage family. The name Kohlrabi means turnip cabbage. The flavor is a mix between a turnip and water chestnut, with a mild, sweet flavor and crisp, crunchy texture. The edible part is actually an enlarged, bulbous stem and it is best harvested when the stem reaches 2-3 inches in diameter. Many people use the young leaves in salads or steamed. This variety has a purple-skinned exterior, greenish white interior, and is a bit larger than the White Vienna Kohlrabi.

We all have been though the ringer with Covid19. Let your garden cheer you up this Fall. It doesn’t take any more effort to grow veggies that are uniquely delicious than to grow something ordinary.


(Etsy- seller Farmlust $4.50 for 25 seeds) Open-pollinated kale varietal bred by Frank Morton, this is a cross of Lacinato with Redbor kale. This spectacular kale combines some of the best features of both kales – appearance, cold-hardiness, and slow to bolt. It has curly edges, red veins, purple leaves, blue-green leaves, and diverse leaf shapes and colors. 60 days to maturity.


( $6.60 for 50 seeds) Light green, romaine-like heads. Uniform, avg. 10” tall heads with soft green exterior leaves and a crisp, blanched interior. More sure-heading than the old open-pollinated varieties. Mildly bitter flavor adds a nice touch to mixed salads or use as the jacket for a veggie wrap.


( $3.50 for 250 seeds) This carrot’s beautiful red-purple exterior provides a striking contrast to its yellow-orange interior and light yellow core. A treat for the eye when sliced, Its sweet, almost spicy flavor makes this carrot a home gardener’s favorite and a best-seller at specialty and farmers’ markets. My son loved growing these carrots. Considered the most refined purple carrot available, it was bred by Seed Savers Exchange member John Navazio. 90 days to maturity.


( $3.14 for 470 seeds. Sometimes called “Roseheart Radish” or “Red Meat Radish”, this is one of my favorites because of its sweet flavor and, its intense interior color just like a watermelon. You can enjoy these beauties raw in a salad or roasted. Delicious!


( 7 $3.75 for 1 oz) These are bred to bring more flavor and more purple. These wavy-podded snow peas hold their vibrant color when cooked. They are not only delicious but striking in salads or as a side. My daughter found these for me for Mother’s Day and I grew them in the spring through the summer. Now you can plant them in the fall for a winter harvest.

Try your hand growing these unique varieties above and don’t forget you can plant these cool season plants right now as well:

There are a lot of reasons to plant this Fall. Here are just a few:


• The weather is cooler – in the high 70’s, making it easier on seedlings and starts.
• Cooler weather and pleasant breezes make gardening more comfortable.
• Warmer soil is optimum for developing new root systems.
• Less daylight hours and less water evaporation equals less watering.
• Bugs are fewer during the cooler season.

Before you get started, a few reminders for getting your garden ready, so those gorgeous specimens you’re about to plant will flourish.


• Remove remaining summer vegetables that have stopped producing.
• Remove all weeds.
• Turn over the soil. Add nutrient-rich, well-draining soil amendments like: worm castings, compost and chicken manure, to give your garden a fresh start. Make sure you select the soil amendment that’s right for your soil. Soil tends to be clay (slow draining) or sandy (quick to erode). Amendments can provide the proper balance.

We all have been though the ringer with Covid19. Let your garden cheer you up this Fall. It doesn’t take any more effort to grow veggies that are uniquely delicious than to grow something ordinary. Gardening has been a God-send for me during this crazy time. The turnover of the seasons give us hope. 2021 is a new year, and it is going to be amazing!

Stay healthy,

Kelly Emberg, the model gardener
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Watermelon Radish

Romanesco Cauliflower

Purple Kohlrabi

Red Acre Cabbage

Rainbow Lacinato Kale

Beauregarde Snow Pea