Zone 5 fall veg planting

plantinellen(5)July 30, 2011

We've had a busy summer with a number of unscheduled interruptions in our household...I had wanted to plant some kale and other fall vegetables, but when I read my "Gardening in Michigan" book I got the impression that I'd missed the window for planting many fall cole and root crops. Any advice from other northern gardeners? What, other than lettuce, can I get away with planting now for harvesting in October/November? (I have a floating row cover, BTW.)

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The way I look at vegetables and what & when to plant, is by looking at the days to harvest number. For example, for summer veggies, I consider the average first frost as the deadline, and count back from there. I planted a 45 day variety of zucchini 3 weeks ago, because I easily have 45 days, plus some. I just planted suger snap peas last weekend, because from my understanding, the plant will grow ok in the heat, but will abort flowers above 80 degrees. With that said, my intention is that it won't be 80 anymore when it's flowering time. Here's what I have planned, and what you can also do.

Sugar snap peas, you can still get them in now.
Kohlrabi, I plan to seed next weekend.
Carrots, if a shorter day variety, but I popped some danvers in 3 weeks ago.
Radishes, which are about 3 weeks from seed to harvest, can go in starting in September, up until it's literally freezing out.
That's all I have planned, but look into lettuce, broccoli, and other cool season crops, and simply follow the seed packet directions. I don't grow those, so I don't have any experience with them. Fall is tricky because it's opposite of spring. For example, with peas, in spring the plants can handle down to 25 degrees, but not the flowers or fruit, so you can plant out early, knowing that it'll be warmer by flowering time. In fall, you can't lag behind, because if you get frosts, you will keep killing the flowers, thus no fruits. Get rolling on them now, because what have you got to lose? Seeds are cheap, and heck, maybe winter will hold off a bit this year, and you could end up with a great fall harvest. Good luck!


    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 6:54PM
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Just off the top of my head, these are all that you have plenty of time for:
chinese cabbage
swiss chard
green onions

More iffy would be carrots, beets, broccoli but still possible, I think.
Forget about cauliflower or brussel sprouts.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 10:10PM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

all of the leafys are good, leaf lettuces, kale, chard, collards, etc.

I think carrots, turnips and beets are quick enough, though they may not get large....

If you can do some protection, like a low hoop, then you can do the longer ones.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 3:23PM
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