How to Begin a Cool-Season Vegetable Garden

In late summer, you may believe your vegetable garden is on its way outside. But if you live in a mild-winter climate, then the cool-season garden may actually span the second half of the gardening season, producing fresh veggies even in winter.

A cool-season vegetable garden is full of plants that prefer the warmer temperatures and soils of both autumn and spring. Some even do their best with a bit of frost. For many individuals, cool-season veggies would be those you plant since summer winds down or early in the season, when you simply can’t wait to return to the backyard.

Wondering what vegetables you can plant in late summer and late winter for harvests in spring and autumn? There are far more options than you may think.

The Brickman Group, Ltd..

Popular crops to plant in late summer and late winter: beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, chard, kale, lettuces, leeks, peas, radishes and lettuce.

For the connoisseur: arugula, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, collards, endive, fennel, onions, garlic, parsnips, salad greens and turnips.

Surprising cool-season crops: including cherry, potatoes and rhubarb. Yes, they are often thought of and grown in the summer, however they prefer the warmer temperatures of spring and autumn.

See how to increase each cool-season harvest

Natalie DeNormandie

Check for frost dates. While cool-season crops can even handle a few frost, you’ll need to focus on air and soil temperatures to get the most out of your backyard. This implies planting early enough in autumn to permit crops to reach maturity until hard frosts hit or daytime temperature drops too low (typically below about 55° Fahrenheit). In spring, you’ll need to take the reverse strategy, waiting to plant until the air and soil temperatures are warm enough for the plants to flourish.

Consider a cold stage. Cold frames and cloches allow you to set out vegetable seedlings earlier in the season and keep crops producing later in this season. They are available commercially, but it is also possible to make your own. Hinge the top of a cold frame to permit ventilation. If you wish to plant directly in the backyard, simply set the cold frame in place and remove the lid once the air temps warms up, replacing it as things cool down.

See how to extend your growing season with a cold frame

Carolina Katz + Paula Nuñez

Go green. Lettuces and other greens will go to seed and become bitter in summer, but plant them during the spring and early autumn and you can enjoy fresh-from-the-garden goodness for sandwiches and salads for weeks.

How to grow lettuce

Robin Amorello, CKD CAPS – Atmoscaper Design

Go for the cold. Some cool-season veggies can even cross the line and endure since cold-season vegetables. Kale specifically can endure until the temperature reaches the freezing point and may even survive through snow.

Robin Amorello, CKD CAPS – Atmoscaper Design

Move underground. Start rapidly maturing root crops, like carrots and beets, early in the season of course, but also plant them in the end of summer to keep them moving well into the autumn. Both may be overwhelmingly effective if you’ve got one big harvest, so only plan to keep sowing small rows or stains successively. This way you’ll always have something ready to go but will not be staring in a sea of greenery and wondering if Peter Rabbit is available for a few selective garden pruning.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Go for the crunch. There’s a motive broccoli is a autumn and winter favorite from the shops; it may manage the warmer temperatures. Any member of the cabbage family is a fantastic selection for the backyard when temperatures drop.

Robin Amorello, CKD CAPS – Atmoscaper Design

Move up. Tender peas have long been regarded as a harbinger of spring. Start them you may use the same supports afterwards in the summer to support beans, then get one final harvest of legumes in during the autumn.

How to start your garden from seeds

Samuel H. Williamson Associates

Give back to your garden. Fill in the empty spots in your landscape with a cover crop. Though you may end up with more fava beans than you understand what to do together, that is the idea. These crops are not grown for food; rather they are tilled or dug into the soil since alterations. There are a number of alternatives available. Legumes, as fava beans and clovers, help add nitrogen to the soil; grasses add organic matter. In this photo, clover is used to pay a hillside, but it would do the job just as well at a vegetable garden.

Next: How to Grow the Best Spring and Fall Veggies

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