Fall Gardening Awaits
Planting your fall and winter garden should start in July, to allow fall varieties time to mature and later varieties to get enough age to be hardy through winter weather.
Greens – While many vegetables can be grown in the cold season with no protection but the soil they are planted in, to keep greens growing for harvest we recommend use of cloches or row covers.
Lettuce – Leaf lettuce varieties perform well. Seed or transplant any time from late July to late September. Plant in the shade of pole beans or tomatoes to reduce heat stress. Harvest late summer through winter.
Mustards, Chinese cabbage, Pac choi – Seed in July or transplant in August for Chinese cabbage/ Pac choi, which will be ready to harvest in the fall. August or even early September seedings of mustard greens will produce all winter long.
Kale – The champion cold hardy vegetable. Plant seed in July or early August, or transplant August to the end of September and harvest all winter and spring.
Spinach – Not all spinach varieties take well to summer planting. Seed heat tolerant varieties like Olympia, Galilee, or Bordeaux in July and early August for Fall harvest.
Some varieties, such as Bloomsdale Savoy and Giant Winter will mature in early spring from late August / early September seeding.
Swiss Chard – If you like to plant by seed, get an early start – should be planted by the end of July for decent yield. Also available as starts, which can be planted as late as eraly September. Will continue to produce through spring and early summer.
Cole Crops These are the classic vegetables for cool season harvests. All need good fertilizing and plenty of space.
Broccoli – Plant seeds in July or early August for harvest in October. Thin well, they prefer about a 2 ft spacing. Transplants are available for planting in August to early September. Overwinter broccoli are sprouting types – tall plants with a multitude of small florets to harvest. They can be seeded in July or early August, or transplanted late August to September.
Cauliflower – The best thing about cauliflower is that you can plant varieties with different maturation dates, and have fresh cauliflower in fall, winter, and spring from a single planting. Fall and winter varieties plant from seed in June or early July or plant transplants in August to early September. For spring harvest types seed in July or early August, or transplant in August to early September.
Cabbage – As with cauliflower, the many varieties mature at different times. Plant seeds in July for fall and winter harvest varieties, or transplant August to early September. Some varieties are hardy down to single digit temperatures.
Root crops provide abundant harvests of long-storing veggies to get you through the winter.
Beets – Best planted by seed in July. You can harvest some leaves for salad, but the real bounty is the roots, ready to harvest by October or early November, when cooler weather has sweetened them up. A few varieties (such as Flat of Egypt) can be left in ground and harvested as needed through the winter.
Carrots – Plant from seeds. Plant most varieties in June or July for harvest in September or October. Overwinter varieties such as Merida and Autumn King are seeded in August or even early September for Harvest late March through May. Thin thoroughly.
Parsnip, Rutabaga, and Turnip – Plant these high yield crops from seed in late July (into August for turnips). All will mature over the winter, and be ready for harvest when you are getting desperate for anything fresh – November to January! Harvest all at once and store in root cellar conditions, or leave in the ground and hravest as needed.
Radish – The classic all-season vegetable. Sow a few seeds every 2 weeks for a continuous harvest, from mid September to the end of October. They will be ready to pick in three to four weeks.
Onions – Plant onions either from seed or from transplants from mid July to early September. Keep well watered. Bunching onions will be ready for harvest as early as December, while larger onions will be ready near the solstice in June.
Garlic – Plant garlic bulbs in September or early October. Early varieties will be ready by late June/ early July, and late varieties a few weeks later. Feed well and keep weeded.
Legumes Legumes have some freeze risk here, but will make it most winters. This is the best time to do favas; for peas it is a way to beat your neighbors to the first harvests of the season.
Favas – Plant seeds mid September to mid October. These will be quite large – and very showy – by spring, and ready to harvest by late May or June.
Peas – Plant snow peas, snap peas or shellng peas late September or early October. Use bush types. You can also start planting as early as late January for spring harvests – but then you must pre-germinate the seed and plant after sprouts have emerged.