Thursday, July 18, 2019

Top 5 things to include in your cold crop garden

August heat has everyone dreaming of fall and some cooler temperatures.
This summer has been brutal with its heat and humidity. Many days were nearing 100 with very little rain in our area. Other areas of the country got devastating rains. On that note, I would like to take a moment to say that our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been adversely affected by the rains and severe weather across the south and midwest.

As our summer gardens are winding down, it is time to think about our fall cold crop gardens. Many things thrive in the garden into the fall and early winter. Here we will explore just a few of the options available to keep a harvest coming in from your garden. Most can be bought already started from your local garden center.

Kale, Swiss Chard, and lettuces

 Many of these leafy lovelies are sweetened when kissed by the autumn dew. These can be sown directly into the ground or started indoor and hardened off to the weather a little at a time before putting them into your garden. I prefer the direct approach myself so my plants are acclimated as soon as they germinate.
Brussel Sprouts
These less than favorite gems are making a comeback due to the growing popularity of low carb and ketogenic diets and gluten-free living. They are nutritional powerhouses. Their taste is much more appealing when they are planted in a fall garden so they are minus the bitter taste that hasn't won them any popularity contests.


Many people make the mistake of planting these garden favorites in their spring garden and harvesting them in the heat of the summer. This makes for a bitter if not hot taste. The summer taste has been compared to that of radish by some. The secret to a nice, mellow, smooth sweetness is to harvest in cooler weather. Considered a healthy powerhouse with its antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and richness in glucosinolates.


No matter how you look at it, you cannot deny the wonderful health benefits of this green favorite.

even children can be convinced to eat this veggie although you may have to smother it with cheese. Broccoli is a great source of vitamins K and C, a good source of folate (folic acid) and also provides potassium, fiber. Vitamin C – builds collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal faster and better. Fiber, which helps to promote digestive health.

Carrots will grow twice as sweet in cooler weather than they do during the warmer season, not to mention they just grow better in general.
Starting carrots from seed is the recommended way to grow this root food. You do not have to start the seed indoors. If you get them started now you will have plenty of time before the frost comes. Carrots are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health, and may be responsible for the significant decrease in glaucoma risk 

This is only a small portion of the things that can be planted in your garden for fall. Anything can be planted but be sure that you have time before the frost to actually harvest!

If you love the feeling of accomplishment that you get from your summer garden, why not continue that into the cooler months of fall and early winter? It is never a bad time to garden. You just have to know what to plant and when to reap to get the best rewards for your efforts.


Unknown said...

So should I go ahead and seed greens , including spinach now or give it a week or two?Beets?

Mitchell's Nursery said...

I would give it a week or two. It is best to have consistent night temps in the 60's. We are still having a lot of nights in the 70's. Cooler temps are the secret. Beets from seed should be started around Mid to late August.

Unknown said...

When do you plant turnip, mustard greens, collards

Mitchell's Nursery said...

It is best to wait for cooler weather. When our night time temperatures are in the 60's consistently it is the best time however with our summer temps hanging on a bit longer these days I would say to start seed around the first or 2nd week of September
if you are starting with plant starts then I would wait till the end of September.