Beans Cucurbits Fall gardening Gardening Tips Lettuce Organic Pest Control Pest control Squash squash bug

3 Tips for Fall – Lettuce / Bush Bean Planting, Squash Bug Control Strategy (& a personal note)

#1 – What You Need to Do to Get a Bountiful Supply of Lettuce Through Next Spring

To get a bountiful supply through fall, harvests through the winter, and the earliest supply of lettuce in the spring now is time to start your staggered plantings of lettuce if you haven’t already.

I usually start about mid August and stagger plantings every 10 days or 2 weeks through October.

That might seem like a lot of plantings but it’ll allow for some losses to weather, bugs, and/or seed not germinating. You have no way of knowing those things in advance so it’s beneficial to plan just in case.

Three of my favorite varieties for fall harvests are Sierra Batavia, Winter Density and Bronze Arrowhead. Also good are Rouge D’Hiver, Winter Marvel, Little Gem.

I’ve found Winter Density to be THE best for wintering over in my garden. (I protect from below freezing temperatures.)

Since I anticipate it being another month to 6 weeks before I can walk, I’ll be late getting started this year. But better late than not to have any lettuce. How bountiful my late plantings will be during the fall months will depend on the weather.

#2 – Want a Fresh Green Bean for Thanksgiving Dinner?

Masai bush beans are great for fall planting. They only take about 55 days from seedlings to beans.  Here in zone 7 there should be time to get beans before frost. Covering with a thicker row cover fabric should allow them to continue even a bit after frost.

A short bushy plant, the Masai plant produces long thin beans that are not only beautiful, but delicious.

If you have trouble with grasshoppers and other pests eating your emerging seedlings in the fall, you can start Masai Bush Beans in flats or pots. Transplant to the garden when they have 2 or more true leaves.

A great addition to Thanksgiving dinner. Or possibly Christmas dinner depending on your last frost/freeze date and how cold it gets.

#3 – Squash Bug Control Strategy – Do It Now to Cut Down on the Numbers Next Year

As I pointed out in a previous post you need more than one strategy to control squash bugs. One of the most important tactics is to prevent their overwintering in your garden.

Considering that female squash bugs can hibernate in the top 6 inches of your soil over the winter with as many as 250 eggs that will be viable NEXT spring without her mating again –– stopping even 10 females from wintering over could prevent as many as 2,500 bugs from attacking your squash next year.

You’ll need your dead or dying squash plants (or other cucurbits that the squash bug attacked) for this control tactic.

I gave the details in this post: Squash Bugs – End of the Season Strategy.

If you’ve already taken your plants out of the garden, I would recommend looking around where they grew. Some of the bugs may have stayed in that location.

Final Thoughts – a Personal Note

Thanks so much for your emails of concern and well wishes. They’ve meant a lot.

Still in my kitchen floor, but each day brings a tiny but noticeable improvement. Every little degree of movement gained makes things a bit easier for me and is very encouraging.

I’m heading towards getting up from this serious setback in better condition than before it happened. And wouldn’t that be something!! 🙂

All my best wishes for a great fall season. I’m thinking of you.



Related Posts:

Squash Bugs – End of the Season Strategy

Fall Planting – Less than Perfect Conditions

Time to Plan and Plant for Fall

Gardening and Life in General – Walking in the Direction You Want to Go

Fall Crops – Starting In Flats Can be a Strategy for Pest Control


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  • Theresa,
    Where do you purchase your lettuce seeds? In the past couple weeks I purchased your Secrets to Seed Starting Success so I’m ready to start my regular supply of lettuce!
    Thanks! Pam

  • Hi Pam,
    Glad you’ve finished Secrets to Seed Starting Success!

    I use my own saved seed whenever possible. It does so much better than purchased seed.

    My favorite suppliers for seeds (all seeds – not just lettuce)are listed in this post:

    High Mowing Seed is usually the first I check to see if they have what I want.

    On occasion I use Southern Exposure Seed Exchange although it’s not included on the list in the post.

    I just Googled Sierra Batavia lettuce and Fedco and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange came up.
    I find Fedco hard to order from sometimes, so if I were ordering Sierra Batavia I’d probably to with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

    Winter Density is pretty easy to find.

    Hope this helps.
    Keep me posted and let me know how you do.

  • Sorry to hear you’re not up yet, but glad you are at least seeing consistent improvement. Your attitude is amazing and not many people would be so matter of fact about it!

    I need to try fall lettuce again this year. I am so hit or miss on taking care of things in my garden consistently I haven’t had much luck with lettuce in general – somewhere between bad (old) seed, inadequate soil, never watering, and only planting once or twice, I typically end up with very little lettuce only for a short window before it all bolts and/or gets completely overtaken by the mustard seedlings.

    But, there is always next time and the worst that can happen if I get out there this week is I plant lettuce seeds I already have that I don’t get any good harvest from one way or the other, so it’s not like I’m risking anything by trying 🙂

  • Hope you’ll do better with your lettuce this fall Anna.
    Getting it planted is a step in the right direction. Keep in mind you can start in flats or containers
    and then transplant to the garden. Maybe that would help keep the seedlings in mind until they get a
    bit of growth.

    Just today I was able to raise my foot 1 inch! A major accomplishment!
    Left leg is still swollen (normal with healing to some degree). Can bend knee a little.
    Seems small but considering I couldn’t move my left leg at all — every little bit is a big deal.
    I’ve been in my kitchen floor 8 weeks on Tuesday. And needless to say, I am looking forward
    to getting up!!

    Thanks for taking time to comment Anna.

  • Thank you for these great tips and guidelines for pest control and fall planting.
    I had difficulty with my summer squash and with cucumber production this year. I will check meticulously to see if it is bug problems. I did see a couple cucumber beetles on the cukes but I haven’t noticed and bugs on the zucchini.
    I am excited and sad that you were able to raise your foot! I’m just sad that you are still down. Oh how I wish I could help!
    As Anna said – your attitude is amazing!
    I wish you well.

    With love,

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