Some people are programmed into thinking spring is for planting, fall is for harvesting, and then you have to wait until next spring to do it again. Fortunately, that’s not true!
Planting cool-weather vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, brussel sprouts – in August and into the fall lets them do most of their growing while the days are still long and warm. In fact, many of these cold greens do better in the fall than spring. Imagine fresh vegetables from your garden at your Thanksgiving dinner!
Kale, romaine, escarole and even carrots are great fall veggies to plant. With carrots in particular, a fall harvest can actually make them sweeter! As the weather starts turning cold, the starches in plants turn to sugars, changing the flavor of your produce.
If you’re not completely confident with your fall planting skills, first of all, come talk to us! But also keep in mind kale is very hardy. And similar to carrots, late-fall kale, even after frost, loses some of that trademark bitterness and is quite tasty. Who woulda thought!
Planting turnips and beets also work well if planted early enough – again, 8 weeks before the first frost. In Central Ohio that’s usually late November, so early September is ideal. There are lots of varieties of turnip that are much more flavorful than the classic bitter-tasting turnip. For beets, you should get roots big enough to harvest if you plant in early September, but if not you can use the tops as variety on your salads.
Most years, 8 weeks before the first frost is a great time to start planting. The great thing is, if you continue seeding and planting as late two weeks before and harvest them as baby greens. If you have growing pots, rotate them throughout the fall, harvesting every two weeks, then re-planting with seed starter and adding fertilizer AFTER the seeds germinate.
If you’re going to grow broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts or anything in the Cole or brassica family, it’s important to plant from seedlings, not from seeds or there won’t be time for them to develop. Come to your nearest Strader’s Garden Center and we’ll help with all the details, supplies and seeds to keep you eating garden fresh all the way into winter. See you soon!
We have lots of ideas for you to keep harvesting delicious home-grown vegetables, many of which taste even better as the weather turns cold in the fall.