What are you planning for fall/winter/spring?

organica(7RichmondVA)June 13, 2005

Have you started seeds for your fall/winter crops yet, to overwinter and/or grow under protection?

I planted parsnip seeds last week in one end of a raised bed. Most of the books and catalogs I've seen, say to plant them in spring or fall, but Eliot Coleman says it's traditional to start them in early June. We want to have them to eat through the fall and winter.

Also, I have started seeds for parsley and kale. Leeks were started a few weeks back, and I just started an additional batch.

Plenty more seeds will be started over the next 8 weeks depending on how long they need. And in case I'm too early with the parsley and kale, I'll start a couple more batches.

I've charted out my planting dates and even started thinking about the following spring.

Anyone else in planning/seed starting mode?

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jimlang(7/8 S. Carolina)

Too early for me to plant but here is what will be in my SFG this fall: Brocolli, cabbage, beets, carrots, onion, lettuce.

I am also going to start a second crop of tomatoes soon.

Lettuce here usually burns up, bolts or gets bitter in the hot summer. I am picking now and it still tastes good. Next year I am going to try some of the heat tolerant mixes.

Now picking tomatoes, lettuce, onion, summer squash, cucumber.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 9:40AM
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Great topic Organica! I really didn't do much fall/winter planting last year but want to give it an effort this year. I'll be interested to read what you're starting as you follow your plan. I haven't grown parsnips, but love the flavor so will probably hurry and give them a try. Keep us posted- it helps the newbies here! I had very good results growing under lights last winter with herbs and flowers, but want fresh lettuce and peas when the chill comes around again.

- Nan

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 11:17PM
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Thanks, Nan. This is a new approach for me in several ways - I've done 4-season gardening before but it was in a mild climate with no protection needed. This time around, I will have to do something to keep the plants safe from the winter extremes of the Middle South.

I still don't even know what summer veggies I will get to eat myself, and which ones are going to the squirrels - they don't seem to want to let my corn reach maturity. And there are many more insects and diseases here than I've dealt with before, such as the armyworms chomping on my cabbages as they try to head.

I think the parsnips are starting to germinate, though.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 9:21AM
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PNWet(z7 WA PNW)

I'm in the PNW, with poor drainage, and lots of rain, so stuff rots. However, I'm always trying to find things that I can grow in my raised beds that will last as long as possible. So far I've been able to eat carrots, beets, leeks, brussel sprouts and onions from the garden well into the holidays. I couldn't get my family to eat many parsnips,so I think I'll cut way back on growing them. I'm tryng to find some cabbage that will keep without getting too slimy after a few frosts and then rain. Any suggestions for winter eating? Thanks, Lisa

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 1:44PM
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Can you grow those long-season cole crops, like Purple Sprouting Broccoli? When I lived on the west coast I grew it - gets huge, takes months and months to mature but is one of those things you can only grow in mild-winter areas. I loved it but it attracted way too many aphids for me to do again. What I'm hypothesizing is that if you grow something that is naturally long-season, it might be more rot-resistant.

Have you tried kale? I had great results with a fall/winter planting of True Siberian Kale, on the west coast. Long-producing and abundant, and very few pest problems.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 9:53AM
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PNWet(z7 WA PNW)

Thanks for the suggestions. I should try some of those long season brassicas, I forgot about them. Is it too late to plant them? I'll have to find a source for seeds. Our good seed source here decided not to carry seeds this year.
There's a little book called "Winter Gardening in the Maritime Northwest" that I should reread,it has more information, and was written just about 10 miles from where I live. Thanks again, Lisa

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 2:10PM
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slaphead(z8 WA)

Hi Lisa,

We're probably pretty close to you, zip code 98072. Our crop plans for this fall are:

Sugar snap peas, lettuce, spinach, leeks, garlic (for 2006), shallots (for 2006) and onions. We're also considering a late sowing of garden peas. Not sure how they'll work out but that's half the fun :-)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 9:36PM
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I agree Lisa. I'm going to try re-planting peas again too- just not sure if I'll seed them in August or September. I may nix the parsnips now and go ahead with some better bets with shorter harvest times. I've bought arugula, escarole, mixed salad greens, spinach, radishes and sorrel. I tried planting transplant cell paks of brocolli, but it seems like I had all kinds of annoying thing attacking them round about October of last year. I'm still in the process of staggered planting now too with bush beans, Armenian cukes, winter squash and yellow crooknecks.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 10:01PM
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slaphead(z8 WA)


We've had zero luck with winter squash. Sowed six Delicata and not one germinated. What's the secret?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 10:43PM
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laxfan(z7 GA)

I'm planting a lot of Italian varieties: started several hills of winter squash (2 kinds) a week ago; put in some zucchini genovese yesterday; soon I'll plant chard, arugula and radicchio (I grow a misticanza- mesclun- earlier in the year) and after that I'm going to try kale (cavolo nero) and three bush beans for the first time: borlotti, cannellini and fava.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 5:35PM
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ladymari(z8 AZ)

I am still experimenting with fall plantings. Last year parsnips planted the end of June did well and were harvested in Dec & Jan, but I got to them too late this year, I don't think they are going to germinate. I did get a batch of Brussels sprouts, broccoli & cauliflower started in June & set out in July, they are doing very well and should be ready to harvest when the weather cools down in Sept & Oct. I also started some more in July to winter over, last year the July planted Cauiliflower was ready in Jan. I also grow the purple sprouting broccoli. Planted in July it bears beginning in March most years and lasts into May, depending on how fast the heat comes on. I also plant beets, carrots and turnips in June, July, Aug for fall and winter eating. Planting carrots & beets too late in the fall tho, they don't size up & bolt straight to seed as soon as things warm up. I'ts too early yet to start onions, garlic, oriental greens, lettuce et. So I plant those later, Aug & Sept. Also peas, Last year i started Sugar Snap peas, in soil blocks, about 3 or4 seeds in each block, in Early Sept. then planted out Oct 1. The peas were blooming March 1st and did well until the temps went over 80. This year I"m going to start them earlier, as I now have a hoop house & see if I can have peas earlier.

Here is a link that might be useful: my garden pages

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 8:31AM
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My seed-startings for fall are having a rough time from the heat. I've got just a few struggling seedlings of kale and parsley and collards. Hoping that in this week's milder temps I will see germination of radicchio seeds, more parsley and brassicas. But I expect I'll have to purchase some transplants to fill in gaps.

The harshness of one season makes it difficult to get things started for the next. I was expecting to have this problem for starting spring veggies in winter weather, but didn't think about what intense summer heat could do to fall starts. I need to think about a more protected environment for seedlings, or just start a whole lot more of them at once to allow for failures.

Leeks that I seeded months ago were finally large enough to transplant, and they are looking quite viable in their new bed. I've also seeded some fall peas.

In the meantime, the white runner beans I planted are vigorous enough but unproductive in this heat. I may leave them in to see if they start producing this fall, and will be more prudent in my summer bean choices next year. Potatoes that were spring-planted are also stalled in the heat. Looks like I'll be harvesting those in the fall.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 12:27PM
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I should have come back sooner to respond Slaphead- sorry about that. My secret really isn't a secret for the winter squash at all. It was mere accident that I planted them (the seed packet said "Mixed Squash" and bam! Up they came! I meant to plant yellow squash there, but in my hurry I planted these instead. Surely if I try and plant them on purpose next year they probably won't do squat for me! LOL

I haven't done any direct sowing for Fall just yet- particularly right after that heatwave we just went through. I'm a bit gun-shy at this point to seed anything at all. I did some additional squash, tomatoes and beans a few weeks ago, and they're looking good, but all else is going to wait a few more weeks. Organica- do you think if things were shaded they might be more vigorous? Most of my propagated herbs and seeds are doing really well in a protected area near my potting bench.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2005 at 9:24PM
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silybum(Sunset 16/z8b)

I started some kale indoors last month and planted them out last week. I am soaking some sweet peas and snow peas right now to plant directly outdoors today. I am going to start some chard, green onion and garlic cloves outdoors today also. I start lettuce/winter greens and carrots every 2 weeks, almost year round. I'll start some calendula, carnations, stock, cornflowers, spinach, leeks and broccoli raab indoors this month to plant out next month.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 11:20AM
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