Winter Vegetables

ollieroseJuly 28, 2008

I'm planning to grow a lot of winter veggies this year and want to know what all can be grown here in Atlanta over the winter.

I'm planning all kinds of greens and onions. Will gourds, squash (spaghetti, butternut, etc), turnips and collards grow then too? What about garlic, potatoes and beans? Any others that I should consider growing?



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This is my first year gardening, but from what I've learned, it is pretty common in our area to grow garlic over the winter. I plan on planting it myself. (When it cools down, I also plan on trying onions, lettuce, spinach, carrots, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, starting from seed in a shady place or planting seed directly in September/October.)

I haven't done any research on the gourds, turnips, potatoes , beans or collard greens, though. I would think you might be able to grow some of them here in the fall and winter - we seem to live in such a great place for veggies!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 4:37PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

All squash and beans are warm weather vegetables. Potatoes can be grown in late summer to harvest in later fall but will fail if the ground gets too cold and wet. You can plant more again in spring.
All cruciferous veggies are excellent winter garden vegetables. Onions are late winter into spring UNLESS they are perennial onions such as multiplier types (welsh or potato onions are some common names). They are best eaten late winter, anyway. Garlic grows all winter, harvest in spring when tops begin to die back. Spinach may not overwinter but you can try to germinate it late winter and grow into very early spring. In the summer I grow "malabar spinach" which tastes like spinach and is more nutritious. All root veggies can be growing late summer into winter depending on the variety. Some are better seeded in late winter to harvest in spring. Many good seed catalogs will have this information on hand.
I also include:
pac choi
boc choi
joy choi
lettuces of all kinds
endives of all kinds
mustard greens

The Georgia fruit and vegetable book by Walter Reeves is a great book to reference for planting times. Another book I love, if you can find it is the old Don Hastings book "Gardening in the South with Don Hastings: Vegetables and Fruits". Nice planting charts.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 8:48PM
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opal52(z7b GA)

Public Libraries usually have the Don Hastings books. (Ours does anyway) I have checked them out on several occasions. You could scan or xerox copies of the charts if you want to keep them for reference.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 3:23PM
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I want to plant my first winter garden as well. How do you keep insects, especially worms, off of the green, leafy vegetables?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 10:11PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

we manually remove bugs if they're visible. but we don't really mind if our leafy veggies have a some holes in them...i guess i'm weird like that. just wash them really well and run them through a "salad spinner" and eat away. if something is really eaten up, we'll just snap or cut that section off.

i can understand how eating holey veggies might bother some folks, though. i'm sure there are citrus-based or other non-toxic bug treatments you can add to your leafy stuff to keep garden pests off them. you'll need to clean them that much better when the time comes to eat them, though.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 10:40AM
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What are the best veggies to grow to avoid the bug problem as much as possible? Are green beans quite unaffected (i mean the beans themselves, i know the leaves would be eaten)? How about carrots, or do they get root maggots easily here? Are any leafy vegetables less prone to bugs than others?

I'm also wanting to plant a few veggies this winter and ideally increase to plant several different veggies in the spring. I want to avoid chemicals, and I don't want to spend ages trying various things to deter any bugs, so I'm thinking that I'd be best to plant whatever is most bug-proof...if that exists here.

Thanks for your advice, veggie-growers!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 2:35PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

I can only tell you my experience, I grew both green beans (vine) and carrots - some kind that was short and stubby. i can't dig up the seeds because we planted all of them.

no bugs got into my carrots. i had some crazy ones with deformities like five roots! (took pics if you wanna see) no bugs though.

beans - same story - grasshoppers seemed to like munching on the occasional leaf, but nothing touched the beans at all.

for our greens, no bugs really touched them either - but i admit, wasps seem to love our bell peppers and our arugula for some reason. must be something in them? i don't see where they chewed on either. in the community garden, though ... man, something always goes to town on teh collards, mustards and kale. holes all over like swiss cheese. this could be a conditional thing, though. raised beds vs. non-raised. or even a matter of incredibly-well-kept (our personal garden) vs. not-as-well-kept (community garden).

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 7:02PM
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Thanks SH! I went to Ace and bought some carrot, bean and green pea seeds.

I read somewhere (here or Walter Reeves) that one can plant green peas in late Aug-early Sept, so i will give it a go.

I might try something green and leafy if these go well!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 4:01PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

i'll tell you, leafy veggies are what got us started with our garden. we bought a couple of packs of assorted leafy veggies @ the local gardening store, and threw them down, raked them around, and watered for a few days. that single pack of seeds kept us from having to buy any salad greens for almost 4 months.

that was when we were like ..."ok, wow...99¢ for a pack of seeds....or $6/week at the grocery store for three packages..." (we eat a lot of veggies)

i'll never go back.

we've had some odd experiences with arugula. we've had a lot of problems with it being excessively bitter and nutty. we like mildly bitter, mildly nutty arugula, but ... this last batch we planted is unberable to us.

i suggest doing one packet of a mix, do a single packet of something you like (we like machê a lot). i've had really miss-miss (not hit-or-miss or mostly-hit) experiences with spinach. it seems like the stuff vaults a few weeks after it starts coming up, before you get a chance to harvest it. we've tried 3 diff't kinds. and once it vaults, it stops producing significant enough leaves.

there are a lot of weeds that are edible as well. dandelions and chickweed come to mind.

you can also add some herbs to that list - i like dill, parsley and cilantro in my salads. they won't grow well in the heat of summer (parsley has for us, the others are goners), but not sure about cold.

i tried to find seeds to do a late planting of white eggplant weekend before last and none of the major chains had seeds. i didn't have time to stop by the Ace (Village Green/EAV) to see if they had seeds or not. I'm super busy lately - haven't even had time to dig out our Jessamine and replace with something else, nor to plant something other than our bitter, bitter arugula.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 6:11PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I have seeds!!!!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 11:53PM
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Thanks for all the great info everyone!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 7:44AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

okay, so i took GGG up on her offer and my wife and we swung by Village Green tonight to pick up seeds. i can tell you, based on what we picked up, the following are cold hardy:

Lettuce - Mesclun mix
Lettuce - Little gem
Swiss chard - ruby red
Swiss chard - bright lights
Carrot baby - little finger
Beet - early wonder
Broccoli raab - Rapini
Mustard greens - southern giant curled
Kale - dwarf blue curled
Spinach - bloomsdale

now, while i realize that a lot of these are leafy, that is something that we like...this is just what we found on the rack. there may be more options out there, but this is what we found that is cold-hardy, or can be grown at the end of fall/start of winter. most of these have ~60 day growth time.

there may be more veggies out there - as much as we love onions, we couldn't find any onions that had less than 120 days, so we skipped.

if anyone has other suggestions, we're game. we thought about kohlrabi and lat-minute japanese eggplant, but couldn't find seeds.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:22PM
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Where is Village Green? I assume it is a retail garden operation.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 7:59AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

Ace Hardware in East Atlanta Village, 1231 Glendwood Ave SE, Atlanta 30316 if you need to mapquest/MSNmap/Googlemap. Garden section is quaint but full of stuff that I like and they usually have what I need.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:05PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

How did I miss you satellitehead?


    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 11:07PM
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I had the same experience with my greens vaulting. Is there a way to curve that?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 5:26PM
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