FALL is fast approaching! Some of you are thinking about your favorite fall crops. Those of you in warmer climates like South Florida are gearing up for big-time planting season.
The key to successful winter gardening is knowing the average date of the first frost in your region (for example late October in the Pacific Northwest). You then plant your winter crops early enough to let them reach their full maturity before the first frost.
Use your FIRST frost date then count back to determine when to plant each batch of Fall crops.
Late maturing crops
Approx maturity 90 days.
Approximate maturity 60 days.
**Plant Mid August-September**
Early maturing crops
Approx maturity 30 days.
**Plant now to Mid September**
Succession planting is a great way to maximize garden production! This is the practice of planting in intervals. For example, plant 2 rows of Radish every 2 weeks thru Fall. This will give you a steady harvest of radish throughout Fall and winter instead of all at once.
Try successive plantings of quick growing items like leaf lettuce, beets, spinach and radishes.
Don't be afraid to try planting some crops later than recommended. While it is a bit risky, the rewards are definitely worth the risk.
Harvest over-wintered carrots early in spring before they start to go to seed and the roots get woody.
The Chinese Cabbages and Mustards also grow especially well in cold frames. They taste great, too.
Parsnips are best when pulled in January or early February after the heaviest frosts have turned them the sweetest.
This is a very critical part of any garden scheme. Do not plant the same fall or winter vegetable crops in the same location as they were planted the previous year or the summer season. It is important to note that if the same crop is planted in the same location, not only will the soil be weakened through continual loss of the same nutrients but the plants will also attract the same insects and diseases to that part of the garden.
There's still time to plant for August...
AUGUST SEED PLANTING GUIDE FOR THE US
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