Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Planning for a Fall and Spring Harvest

Now is the time to be thinking about, if not planting crops for a Fall harvest. This is a generalized list of crops you can be sowing now:
  • rutabaga
  • globe and bunching onions
  • peas
  • beans
  • brussels sprouts
  • cole crops
  • carrots (try a good main crop/storage variety)
  • beets

Many crops can be "wintered over" for a Spring Harvest, these have various planting times depending on the number of days to maturity, but a general rule of thumb is to sow these in August. Some examples are:

  • early carrots
  • leeks
  • some chards and cabbages
  • rhubarb

I had planned on experimenting with wintering over but have found my garden with little room to spare. How can I start a Fall pea crop when the Spring crop is still producing heavily? Where am I going to stick those Brussels Sprouts? Ugh, and the idea of starting leek and onion seedlings makes me cringe, we just broke down the seed station from the winter that had been a garden catch-all for us all season. At least I got a carrot and bean sowing in this past weekend.

Seeds of Change has a nice list of seeds they recommend for a Four Season Harvest here, and this is a tip from Mother Earth News-

"Most important for winter harvests—after the selection of the hardiest
vegetables and varieties available—is the application of deep mulch. We put
12 or more inches of dry hay over the beds before freezing temperatures
begin in the fall (plastic sheeting on top keeps water out). That way, we're
still eating winter crops when the spring garden starts producing its first
greens. And that's a gardener's thrill!"

Most importantly, don't forget to order that garlic!!


Erin said...

I will definitely be doing more leeks this year..they wintered over great last year but I didn't plant very many! I know what you mean about the peas...I intended on planting ALL my raised beds for a fall crop so I will actually be able to freeze some, but I don't think they will be empty in time!! Thanks for putting the reminders up - it's so easy to forget about fall stuff while battling tomato jungles until it's too late, lol!

Ruralrose said...

You are right on the money with this post. Food is going to be scarce this winter with the droughts in California and Asia. Just sprinkle those seeds in the beds where you want them. Most are slow growing at the beginning. You will be so happy to see new plants, developed enough to stand on their own, when the crops you have now are done. I will try and find pictures of this from last year to post as proof. One would never know you were a beginner gardener, you must have fantasized about this for a long while. Thanks for sharing, peace for all