When to start fall vegetables?

bella_trix(z6b SE PA)July 7, 2007

When do you start your fall vegetables? I'm planning on having these fall crops: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, spinach and maybe some peas. My best calculation is that I should start the seeds pretty soon, but maybe a little later for the peas and spinach. When do you start yours (from seed, not transplants)? I'm zone 6b, near Pottstown, but I seem to be in a slightly warmer microclimate, maybe more like just outside of Philly. Any help would be much appreciated!



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I'd like to know as well. I did find this planting schedule but I'm not sure of it's accuracy. Link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: fall planting schedule

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 2:41PM
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Tracy Brant

Hi Bellatrix! I am right up the highway in Reading. I am planning my first fall veggie garden this year. I was going to to try broccoli, spinach, lettuce, bush beans, and rutabagas. I am also planning to put in garlic and shallots in the fall for harvest next summer.

I started the bean seeds in pots, but they have not germinated yet. I was planning to start the rest by August 15, direct sown. I read a study where someone planted a bunch of Spinach varieties in our zone on different dates, and found that August 15 was the best start date from seed. I'm afraid that if I start earlier, the stuff will burn up in the heat. When are you starting your broccoli?

Until it's time to plant, I have been working on the soil in my small bed. I cleared sod from it a month ago, and have been burying kitchen waste and wet shredded paper in trenches a foot down. (I notice that harder clay starts about a foot down, too!) I won't have to dig very far down for veggie planting, so I am hoping the stuff will be well composted by the time I really turn the bed in the spring. I plan to add a few bags of composted manure before I plant, and mulch with dry grass clippings.

I am going to rotate this bed with another one that now has tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers in it. So next year, this fall bed will be a summer bed, and this year's summer bed will be peas and beans, to put nitrogen back into the soil. I have a really small yard, so we are talking about beds that are only about 6'x6'. At least, that's the plan!

Keep posting how your planting works out - we can compare notes.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 11:24AM
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bella_trix(z6b SE PA)

I meant to post this in July, but I got swamped with tomatoes and forgot. Then I couldn't find my notes on when I decided to plant everything. My list just reappeared, so here's what I found. I based my dates on information from "Joy of Gardening" by Dick Raymond. It's the book my grandmother used when she was still gardening. It was published in 1982, but has excellent information.

Beans 8/6 - 8/27
Broccoli 7/23 - 8/6 (from seed, add four weeks for transplants)
Cabbage 7/23 - 8/6 (from seed, add four weeks for transplants)
Cauliflower 7/23 - 8/6 (from seed, add four weeks for transplants)
Collards 7/9 - 8/6
Kale 8/6 - 9/17
Lettuce 9/3 - 9/17
Spinach 9/3 - 9/17
Peas 8/6 - 9/3

I started kale, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower on July 28 from seed and transplanted on September 15. I started the peas and spinach late, Sept 30, so I don't know if they will be ok.

matriarchy - I'm not sure if you are checking the list, but if you are, how's your garden doing? So far, most of mine looks good. I've had a little trouble with Imported cabbage worms, but hand picking has worked well. Sadly, the paper wasps that kept them in check this summer are no longer around. My winterbore kale is almost ready to harvest, but I'll let it go for a bit. I do square foot gardening, so the picture (from Oct 6) looks a little crowded . It works great! This spring looked the same and I had a great harvest. If you have a small yard and haven't tried square foot gardening, you should look into it.

Hope everything is growing well,

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 8:19PM
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Tracy Brant

I forgot to check back - I'm glad your fall garden is going so well. Mine didn't go so well. The lettuce and spinach were doing great at first. They got to a few sets of leaves and we thinned the rows, making a great little baby green salad with the pickings.

Then, the next morning - tragedy! We went out and everything was eaten down to the ground! I haven't seen a rabbit at all, so we don't know what ate it, but it was a bit shocking. We have a few spinach plants left, and a little bit of tatsoi, but some bug is making tatters of the tatsoi near the ground - slugs? A few tatsoi plants growing up off the ground in a pot look great. Hmm.

Next year I will try a row cover of some sort. Or maybe figure out how to plant more containers of greens off the ground.

We are comforted by a great sweet potato crop from only a few plants, a bumper crop of eggplant and peppers, and a reseeded second crop of basil that is going into pesto tomorrow.

I'll try more greens in the spring.

We don't exactly square foot, but I do have a small square plot that I tend to plant in quarters, and a 2-foot deep border where I put some things. Going to do more with veg in pots along the back sidewalk next year.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 10:08PM
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That is amazing, you can grow beans late? I was worried about mine that I planted about a month ago (philly) and now they've turned a bit yellow and are only 1 foot tall.

Perhaps I should retry planting the seeds now? Could my current plants not be growing because I planted them in the hottest part of the summer? Completely new to gardening on my own :) Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 2:39PM
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