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Fall Gardening Time in Hilton Head – At Last!

Fall gardening in Hilton Head- Sweet potatoes are almost ready.

Sweet Potatoes and flowers were about the only thing growing through the hot summer months. We are starting pole beans in our tomato cages.

Hard to believe -Janet and I have been Hilton Head community gardeners for a year! Seems like yesterday we stood looking at plot 22D, in the August heat, wondering what on earth we would grow in the black, sandy soil.

With nighttime  temperatures starting to dip into the low 70’s, we are getting serious about fall gardening. Our garden has been in maintenance mode since mid-June. The zinnias and marigolds provided interest, while the sweet potatoes we started from “slips” competed with the weeds for control of the beds.

Fall Gardening List – Planting for the Spiralizer!

Spiralizer Spiral vegetable slicer

We are trying to grow “spiralizable” veggies this fall. Check out the Spiralizer in Janet’s Amazon store.

This fall we are building our garden around Janet’s new favorite culinary appliance, the “Spiralizer“. The Spiralizer has made my gluten-free existence much more enjoyable. Four of our friends have also purchased this inexpensive kitchen miracle machine and rave about their creations.

Fall gardening- sweet potatoes, eggs, and sausage

Eggs and sausage baked in spiralized sweet potatoes.

Thanks to the Spiralizer,  I now enjoy zucchini pasta noodles, sweet potato hash, carrot salad, butternut squash rice and much more. The  list of vegetables  Janet wants to grow and spiralize this fall includes sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, daikon radish, celeriac, cucumbers and butternut squash. We are also planting the usual cold weather crops –  broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and cabbage.

Fall gardening- 1/4" sprayers help keep the soil moist.

We set up little sprayers to keep the soil evenly moist until our seeds germinate. This bed has seeds for kohlrabi, parsnips, rutabaga, and daikon radish.

We are direct sowing more seeds this fall. I’m making some changes to our efficient watering scheme.  One lesson I learned from last year is drip irrigation works great for established seedlings but not for germinating seeds in the soil.  I think I have solved this problem by setting up miniature sprayers, fed by 1/4″ tubing, at  the raised beds where we plant seeds.  These little sprayers keep the soil evenly moist and don’t waste water by spraying the pathways.

Fall gardening- potato cages can save space

We experimented with a space-saving sweet potato cage this summer.


Fall Gardening Experiments – Growing Vertically

We are looking forward to seeing how our sweet potato cage works out.  We found this idea on Mavis Butterfield’s   gardening website.  She uses cages for regular potatoes.

Fall gardening tip- tomato cages can be used for pole beans.

We are using our tomato cages to grow pole beans this fall.

With no extra garage space at home we needed to find a use for our tomato cages in the fall garden.  We are adapting them to grow pole beans and cucumbers .  This saves both garage space and garden space.

We are trying not to plant the same crops in the same places this fall.  Rotating locations is always recommended by the organic gardening experts.  We also have a great batch of compost cooked up to spread around the garden.

The temperatures are pleasant, the weeds are dying, and there are fewer pests attacking our plants.   It’s great to be back in the community garden again!

Please share some of your fall gardening tips and tricks in our comment area below!



About the author: John Turley blogs about Hilton Head, Geothermal, and Sustainability.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • terri December 21, 2014, 8:47 pm

    Live in Allenwood condos. Do you know of any place renting vegetable gardening space on the island. I assume community plots available in HH Plantation are for those behind the gate; I,m outside the gate. Thanks

    • John Turley December 24, 2014, 7:42 pm

      That’s a tough one. Maybe contact City Hall. I know of three community gardens on the island- HHP, Port Royal, and Sea Pines. I don’t think any of those rent to non- residents.

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