Cool Season Crops You Can Still Plant Now

Okiedawn OK Zone 7September 3, 2010

With cooler temps and rainfall returning to some parts of the state, there's still a few cool-season crops you can plant now according to the OSU-recommended dates. These include:

If you're a gambler....

Aug. 15 - Sept. 1: green peas (in southern OK, you'd only be a couple of days late planting them if you get them into the ground this weekend)

For those who prefer to stick to the OSU-recommended dates:

Aug. 15 - Sept. 15: rutabaga

Aug. 15 - Oct. 10: radishes

Sept. 1: kale, kohlrabi, leek, onion

Sept. 1 - Oct. 15: garlic

Sept. 5 - 25: spinach

Sept. 10 - Oct. 10: mustard

If you're planting any of the above in cold frames, you could plant a couple of weeks later than the recommended dates since the crops will have the winter protection of the cold frame.

Remember too, that our first autumn frost or autumn freeze is often followed by another 4 to 6 weeks of relatively warm weather, so if you can cover up and protect tender vegetation through that first round of cold temps, you'll likely have a few more weeks of production.


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Thanks for the reminder. I might go for the spinach, garlic, radishes and onions. My kids want to plant some stuff so maybe this is a good project for them.

Is it too late for carrots?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 11:12AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


You're welcome.

Technically, it is too late for carrots. Their recommended planting dates are July 15 - Aug. 15th.

You might get away with planting them this late if you choose some with relatively short DTMs and mulch them before really cold temps arrive. This is especially true if you're in the southern half of OK where the first frosts normally arrive a week or two later than in northern OK.

Even if you have to harvest early, you might at least have time to get young, tender, baby carrots.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 11:35AM
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crm2431(7 -Tahlequah)

I have cucumbers I had planted as plants a month ago in pots, the vines now have inch long cukes on them. Even tho they are not cool season crops will they go ahead and produce? (Marketmores)


    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 6:08PM
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And lettuce. I planted lettuce, radishes, both French Breakfast and the winter Daikon and Chinese Red Meat, mustard, turnips, and several Oriental Greens today. Will plant the Chinese Cabbage plants Sunday and Spinach Monday after I buy more seed.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 6:31PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


They 'should' assuming the weather behaves normally. Don't ask what 'normal' weather behavior is because we've only lived here 12 years and haven't had a normal weather year yet, so I'm not likely to recognize 'normal weather' if it ever occurs here. For cukes, OSU says Aug. 10 - 20 so yours sound right on track to produce just fine. The only concern with fall cukes is that you plant them early enough that they produce before freezing temps arrive, and I think that you've done that.


Well, I could have sworn I had lettuce on the list! Hmmm. Maybe I left it off because I was listing OSU-recommended dates, not my own personal recommended dates.

For lettuce, OSU says Aug. 1 - Aug 15., but I wouldn't try to plant it in August 9 years out of 10.

For anyone who hasn't planted lettuce for fall, most people here where I live plant it about the same time they plant spinach, kale and chard. If you're in the northern half of the state, just plant it when Dorothy plants hers. Or, if using a cold frame either plant it later or keep the frame open all the time so the lettuce doesn't roast while temps are still in the 80s and 90s. Then close the frame much later in fall as really cold overnight lows arrive.

And, for anyone wanting to plant cool-season cover crops or wanting to overseed their lawns with winter rye grass, now is the time for that.

And it is too hot to transplant pansies and other cool-season flowers.

Any more questions? (grinning as I say that)

Jay has to come up with his own fall planting dates because his zone is foreign to me. : )


    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 9:53PM
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I planted bush beans and spinach this morning. Time is running out for beans but could get a harvest or two before Thanksgiving, if the weather cooperates. Last week (8-27)I planted yellow straight neck squash plants that I started from seed around the 4th of July, along with seed for zuchinni and yellow crookneck. One of the yellow squash plants had tried to damp off but was still hanging on so I thought I'd give it a chance instead of tossing it.
Since planting it, it has put on new growth from the base of the plant. From being the runt of the litter it just might turn out to be the best plant.

Also, I used to plant whenever I had time, never even giving moon phases or the Farmers Almanac a thought. The last couple of years I've sworn by the almanac and had very good luck with germination. Today is not exactly good for planting above ground crops, better day for planting root crops. But like I said time is running out for bush beans and I didn't want to wait another week for a favorable time for above ground plants.

Do any of you only plant by the moon, and how much stock do you put in the Farmers Almanac? I've linked the Farmers Almanac below for those who are interested...

"The best tranquilizer is getting your hands dirty in the soil of a garden."~Wm. Andrew Walling (My Grandfather)

Here is a link that might be useful: Farmers Almanac

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 3:27PM
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I never go by the Farmers Almanac. My Neighbors always "Plant in the Sign", as they call it. I always share my garden with them because they always have very little from their garden.

I find good soil, water and sweat goes a long way toward a good harvest.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 5:18PM
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mrsfrodo(z7 OK)

Just got kale, broccoli, brussel sprout, cauliflower, and chard transplants. Some are going in partial shade and others in full sun. Any ideas on how to keep them alive in full sun in the heat until it cools off? I plant on watering regulary, but I was thinking of using light colored bed sheets for shade. When it gets cold, they will be covered with cold frames. I just want them to survive until cold water.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 6:21PM
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mrsfrodo, I had to slide my irrigation tubes into my plant rows. I was loosing too many just watering by hand, the ones that get a little shade from the tomatoes are doing better than the others. It is still very, very dry here. I planted lettuce, spinach and radishes a couple of days ago and I expect I will have to put tubes along those rows also.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 8:25PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Mrs. Frodo,

I think light-colored bed sheets will help, but once your daytime highs are staying below 90, you shouldn't have to worry about the plants. I'm assuming the sheets still would allow a moderate amount of light to reach the plants so that they don't sunburn when you remove the sheets.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 10:22AM
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mrsfrodo(z7 OK)

Thanks everyone. I will go ahead and plant, and see if I can find a light bedsheet or maybe some window screening to shade the plants until it is cooler.

Happy Gardening!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 11:53AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


I don't plant by an almanac or moon pnases or whatever, as I find the more important factor to be whether soil temps and air temps are in the right range that each plant needs.

I plant based on knowing what our air/soil temps are likely to be at any given time, the DTMs of plants I am planting, etc. and I seldom have a problem getting a crop. When I do have trouble, it tends to be related to some sort of weather extreme....flooding that leaves the soil too wet for weeks or temps that get too hot too early in the year and shut down flowering, fruit set, pollination, etc.

If using the Farmer's Almanac works for you that's great, but I find it hard enough to make sure we have the right air temp, soil temp, moisture level, etc. to plant anything at the 'right' time. Trying to wait for the right phase of the moon in addition to all the above just makes gardening more complicated than I want it to be.

I like to read Farmer's Almanacs for historical data, averages, etc. but I ignore the moon phase stuff so, since I don't use it, I cannot comment on its effectiveness.

One of the local 'old timers' here told me from the first year we moved here that I should ignore all that 'outside' info, including most lists of recommended planting dates, and learn to 'read' my own microclimate (he didn't use that word but it is the one that best describes what he meant), weather conditions, soil temperature, moisture level, wildlife clues, etc.

For example, he told me to wait until the native pecan trees had leafed out before planting tender heat-loving vegetation in order to be sure the last freeze or frost has occurred. I've tried it, and it seems to 'work' about 9 years out of 10. I think we've only had a hard freeze here after the pecans leafed out once or twice in a dozen years, making his method of forecasting the last freeze more accurate than local forecasters, almanacs, the NWS, etc.

So, every year I try to observe and understand what is happening in and around my garden and adjust planting dates accordingly. It works better for me than planting by any other method, although of course I have the planting dates memorized for reference purposes.

There are a couple of folks near me who try to plant by the moon signs and I don't know how good they are or aren't at doing it, but they have not had highly productive gardens. However, you know, we don't know if their gardens would be any more productive if they weren't planting by moon signs, now do we?


    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 12:14PM
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massive rookie asking a question here!

If I wanted to plant some lettuce, broccoli & maybe spinach in my little garden box (I'm right outside of OKC), is it too late to do that? If it's not too late, can I find plants somewhere to transplant or would I need to start from seed?

Thanks very much in advance!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 5:17PM
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cottentop, I just left walmart, they had a small selection of plants. They had some very pretty cabbage plants @6 for 4 dollars. I did not buy any because I am already running short on space. I bought 9 red sails lettuce plants at ace hardware 3 days ago and finished out the rest of the row with lettuce seed, which is already coming up. I bought plants at the farmers co-op about a week or more ago which look good except for loosing 2 or 3 because of the heat.

I live about 150 or 200 miles east of you ( FT. Smith). I can now find plants in several places, but not untill the first of Sept. I expect you can find plants at places near you.

We are getting some much needed rain, only have gotten about 1/4 inch today but should get more tonight. I am excited, I had forgotten what rain looked like. We should be up to about 1/2" for the mo. so far.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 9:17PM
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