Cool Season Vegetables for Your Garden
Gardeners are sometimes baffled when thinking about a cool season garden – either Fall and Winter or early Spring. We’ve put together this quick checklist to help you see the abundance that can be grown both before and after the traditional Summer garden.
- Asian or Mustard Greens are always a success among fall vegetables, and are as easy to grow as lettuce. Sometimes used as edible cover crops. 21 days baby, or 45 days mature.
- Arugula or Roquette has a wonderfully mild flavor, becomes large and leafy and rarely bolts when grown in fall.
- Endive grown in the fall garden has big, crisp hearts, and taste less bitter compared to spring-grown crops. 40 days baby or 60 days mature.
- Beets germinate quickly in the warm soil of late summer or early fall. 35 days to greens, 50 days mature.
- Broccoli stays sweeter, richer and produces longer in cooler weather. Choose from the traditional head type or the “shoots and leaves” for some variety. 40 days, may be cut again.
- Cabbage should be both direct sown and transplanted after sprouting to extend the harvest. The transplants will mature first, leaving room for those started from seed a couple of weeks later. 60 days from transplanting.
- Carrots need a moist seed bed to sprout but will become extra sweet as the soil cools off. 70 days.
- Cilantro bolts in hotter weather, but will produce over a much longer time in the fall. Cut and come again.
- Cucumbers sweeten up as the weather cools off. Hot, dry weather and lean, poor nutrient soil make them bitter. 60 days, frost sensitive.
- Kale is incredibly cold tolerant, yet highly productive and easy to grow. Very nutritious and tasty on a cold fall or winter evening. 30 days baby, 60 days mature.
- Lettuce really prefers a cool season and benefits from both direct seeding and transplanting to extend harvests. 60 days, or 30 days from transplanting.
- Mache (Lamb’s Lettuce) is a miracle green that grows strongly through winter with minimal protection and fills your salad bowl first thing in spring. 40 days baby, 60 days mature.
- Peas are very often overlooked but are a cool season crop that does well in the fall garden. Use an early maturing variety. 50 – 70 days.
- Radishes grow well in fall including the familiar salad radishes, huge Daikon, and radish blends.
- Scallions or green onions develop a richer flavor as cooler weather arrives. 65 days.
- Spinach can be planted or harvested 3 times. Start seedlings indoors and transplant for an early fall crop, direct sow once soil temperature is below 70F and grow a third crop under a row cover or low hoop house until the coldest part of the winter. 30 days baby, 45 days mature.
- Swiss chard is both heat and cold tolerant but produces richer flavors once the first frosts set in. 30 days baby, 55 days mature.
- Turnips will give you both tasty greens and crunchy roots that will store for several weeks. 40-50 days.
Spend some time browsing these and making notes on what you like to eat and what varieties do well in what dishes you like to cook – pretty soon you’ll have a mouth-watering list to plant!