Photo Cred: Treehugger.com via Natalie Maynor/CC by 2.0
Even though most summer crops have stopped producing by now, did you know you can still continue growing your own vegetables through the fall and winter? It helps to keep your soil levels well balanced throughout the year. Plus it helps eliminate so much tilling in the spring when it’s time to plant for the summer again.
While there are a variety you can plant, they take some planning still. There are late maturing crops that need to be planted by mid-July for a fall harvest, although planting later gives you some vegetables to expect in the spring. These include carrots, beets, and Brussel sprouts. There are mid-season plants that should be planted by mid-August and take approximately 60 days to reach maturity. Some plants included in this group include turnips, cabbage, and collards. Then there are the early maturing crops that take about 30 days before harvest. It is recommended to plant these by mid-September and they include chives, broccoli and leaf lettuces.
Pay attention to what zone you live in. This can help you determine the best times for planting at any time of the year. Sites like The Old Farmer’s Almanac are great tools to help you get started since you can plug in your exact zip code and it will provide you with information on your specific area.
According to Ed Hume from Ed Hume Seeds there are a few quick tips he suggests when planting for the fall and winter.
- Using cheesecloth over leafy crops will keep out pets and hold in heat.
- Keep a record of what you planted and when. Write down what succeeded and what failed to help you in the future.
- Don’t be afraid of trying to plant some crops later than recommended.
Photo Cred: Better Homes and Gardens
Ed Hume Seeds. http://www.humeseeds.com/falwint.htm
The Old Farmer’s Almanac. http://www.almanac.com/
Better Homes and Gardens: http://www.bhg.com/gardening/vegetable/vegetables/cold-weather-vegetable-gardening/