Posted by Bill Thorness
on Jun 10th, 2015 in Blog
| 0 comments
It seems crazy, doesn’t it? What you want is this:
and if you want to feed yourself this winter, you should be thinking also about this:
Oh boy, kale!
Yeah, right now I’m feeling that too.
But consider: plan ahead now, not just for kale, but for the Asian greens, beets, carrots, endive, European greens, lettuce, parsnips, peas, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips.
Some of those foods will taste very good long after the last tomato has been sliced open. And some take a very long time to cultivate.
So here’s a quick list of what to plant when, with a few suggestions of varieties to try for fall and winter:
- Asian greens: Plant July-September, harvest October-April. Try Green-in-the-Snow, my friend Carl Elliott’s favorite.
- Beets: plant July-August, harvest October-March. Try Boro, a flattened globe that is very reliable. Mulch these guys if you’re leaving them in the ground over winter.
- Carrots: Plant August-October, harvest May-June. Try Merida. Cloche or cover with floating row cover in the coldest part of winter.
- Endive: Plant June-September, harvest October-May. Try Tres Fine Marichiere. Treat like carrots in winter.
- European greens: Plant August-October, harvest October-May. Try arugula, corn salad (mache), cress, miner’s lettuce. Treat like carrots in winter.
- Lettuce: Plant August-September, harvest October-March. Try Black-seeded Simpson, Green Deer Tongue, Little Gem, Continuity, and Red Oakleaf. Cover with a cloche for fall, or protect with a cold frame into winter.
- Parsnips: Plant March-mid-July, harvest December-March. Try Cobham Improved, Gladiator, or Javelin. They take forever to sprout, and forever to mature, but will sit in the bed a long time and be there when you want a sweet roasted root veggie dish in mid-winter.
- Peas: for fall, plant by July 10, says my friend Lisa Taylor, author of Your Farm in the City. I agree. You can try shorter-season varieties into early August, for an October feast. For overwintering peas, plant by early September for a harvest between March and May. Cover with floating row cover in fall, or a cloche in winter.
- Radishes: Plant the winter radish Black Spanish in July and early August for a harvest in May and June. Might need protection from floating row cover or a cloche if we get a hard winter. Let them go to flower, then eat the pods when tender and green.
- Spinach: Plant July-September, harvest February-April. Try Bloomsdale, Giant Winter or Tyee. Cover with a cloche for winter, and don’t eat the biggest outer leaves.
- Swiss chard: Plant June-September for harvest in September-May. Try Bright Lights/Rainbow, or Fordhook Giant, the king of the winter chard. Cover with floating row cover or cloche in mid-winter.
- Turnips: Plant July-August for harvest in October-March. Try Gold Ball or the small Japanese varieties. Mulch in winter. Later plantings may produce only greens.
But, you might ask, where is the kale on this list? Chill out, kale lover. I’ll tackle the Brassicas (kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli) in a future post.
Look at all that food! You have plenty of opportunities to try new vegetables in your garden this year. When a bed comes open as you harvest your summer crops, try one of these as a culinary experiment.
Bon jardinage and bon appetit!