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Smart Gardening for Fall Vegetables

Fall 2008 | Archives

veggies Just because the weather is cooling down and leaves will soon be turning doesn´t mean it´s necessary to abandon the garden. With autumn in the air, consider planting fall vegetables in the garden or in containers for fresh, home-grown treats through the fall.

Cucumbers, green beans, Swiss chard, spinach, radishes and summer squashes like zucchini work well in Fall gardens. These mature in about 45-50 days, and the cooler weather means fewer insects and better flavor. Also, many weed seeds have already germinated so there won´t be many weeds to pull. Lower temperatures do not dry plants out as much as hot summer weather, and the cooler ground allows root crops like carrots and beets to thrive.

A fall vegetable garden can be planted in the same location as a summer garden, and newspaper between planted rows will still help keep weeds down. Lettuce, spinach and zucchini can be planted in pots; this way, they are easily moved in preparation for an early frost. Cucumbers can be grown on a trellis in a pot as well as in the ground, and a low-nitrogen fertilization twice a month will help. With some containers or a vegetable garden, it´s simple—and delicious—to give new life to the yard for the fall.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor with this recipe for zucchini mash, which is nutritious and reminiscent of mashed potatoes.


Zucchini Mash

1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
6 medium zucchini (1¾ lb), halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup chopped scallion greens

Cook the bell pepper in the oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a wide, 4-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened (4 to 6 minutes). Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the zucchini, water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, and then cook at a brisk simmer, covered, for 6 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer until most of liquid is evaporated and zucchini is soft (about 6 minutes).

Coarsely mash zucchini with a potato masher and add scallion greens and remaining tablespoon butter, stirring, until butter is incorporated. Serve warm.

Recipe courtesy of www.epicurious.com.

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