Here are a few things I learned in my class about fall and winter vegetable gardening:
Photo by Karen K. Acevedo
Start seedlings for cole crops and lettuces in the early part of July; transplant by August 1.
- Use hoops and shade cloth over beds containing transplants or direct-seeded crops.
- Keep transplants and seed beds hydrated until well established.
- Freeze spinach seeds for a week before planting—they’ll germinate better this way.
- Spray fall transplants and seedlings every two weeks with a fish/kelp solution in the morning to help reduce heat stress.
- Make your own custom salad mix and plant each variety separately. When the seeds germinate, it will be easier to tell what’s a weed and what was planted. Mixes make this job more difficult.
- Plant a late crop of bush beans around the end of July. They’ll be less affected by Mexican bean beetles and the weather will be cooler come harvest time.
- Try a variety of Asian greens; they can take the cold without much protection.
- Use floating row covers and hoops on delicate crops like lettuce and spinach.
- Always plant a winter-hardy cover crop in areas you don’t plan to use until next year.