Zone 5 Fall Garden??

gabbygardnerAugust 4, 2009

I noticed on another thread that a Zone 5 gardener was planning a fall garden. I summer garden, but I didn't think there was much that would grow over an Idaho fall/winter.

Can someone enlighten me as to what I can plant that might produce this fall and even this winter if possible?

If it is a coldframe type of issue, please include this info, I can get the hubby on that if needed;)

Thanks for any help in this area!!


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Well, depend on how early your first frost is, and how cold it gets after that. But a lot of garden vegetables can survive frost and freezing temperature. But if it is very cold they may not grow much. Here are the cold crops:
-- Radishes: I would plant large Korean/chines that will stay in the ground and picked as needed.
-- Broccolie, brussels sprouts are good too. They don't need to get real big like cabbages.
-- turnips, beets, garlic, chives, lettuce,..
On the herbs side can plant cilantro, parsley, chives.
and there are more.

I would advise you to get it started as soon as you can, since you have shorter growing season.
Even cold crops need some warm (not hot) days to grow.

Here in GA, zone 8, I will start most of my fall crop in couple of weeks. Because right now day highs are around 90F.
For fall crop it is best to have day high in 70s. Otherwise they will bolt.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 6:42PM
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Thank you very much. It is in the upper 80's and low 90's here. I think I will experiment a little and see what happens. I really appreciate the help, I don't know why I didn't consider this earlier;)

Thanks again!!!


    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 7:39PM
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In zone 5 Wisconsin I grow everything I started in spring, in mid summer (as in now or earlier) for fall as well. In our shorter season it is necessary to sow seeds in August because the plants need the warm soil to germinate quickly and grow fast. You really want plants to be bearing a harvest before frost and these plants can withstand the frosts, but won't grow much more, they just sit there waiting to be eaten.

Once lettuce bolts/bitters in summer I pull it out and wait a couple/few weeks and then resow. In spring it may take weeks to germinate, in summer it's days. Same thing with snow peas, Kolrabi and really anything you would think to start as soon as winter ends.The spring planted stuff is removed, wait a couple weeks and replant and enjoy at end of summer, fall and for some things early winter.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 11:28PM
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I agree with "justaguy"

"Cool crop" does not mean that they will grow in really cold weather. So, to get a head start you have to plant/sow them when it is still warm. By the time they are sizable, hopefully it will cool off and they won't bolt.
I have already startedsome Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, swiss chards, beets, aurugula, mustard,..
As it goes on, I may sow some more. I am waiting to cool off a bit to plant Chinese big radishes. They will last through the whole winter here.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 12:36AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Turnips, escaroles and endives, spinach, fall lettuces. Asian radishes also, but pull them before hard frosts. They have too much water in them too tolerate too many heavy frosts.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 6:32AM
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veggiecanner(Id 5/6)

I start my garden in the spring as soon as I can dig the soil (april 10th), planting greens in some of the beds and they take till june 10th to harvest for canning. These are replanted with my summer crops.In these beds When the summer crops come out i replant with greens, lettuces or raddishes again. so you get 3 crops from these beds.

In the beds where I plant spring Broccolli, cabbage onions and other plants that are harvested at the end of july. these beds are replanted with longer growing fall crops such as beets, turnips, brocolli plants ect. So you get 2 crops on those beds.
some crops will last all season, such as kale and chard. But I put in new beds of those any way for fall use.
Some of your fall crops will need to planned ahead of time and started from seed in pots. So when I plant out the brocooli in April. i start new seedlings for July planting at the same time.
You'll find you need to buy the seeds for fall gardening when you buy your spring seeds, or you may not find them in mid summer. So if you get extra lettuce, raddish, turnip,beets, greens and the like they will come in handy.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 11:55AM
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DrHorticulture_(Z3 Central Saskatchewan)

I'd like to add that if you get warm weather after a frost, like we do here for a couple weeks, take advantage of it. The frost-hardy plants will grow a bit more. But harvest them before the first hard freeze.

Also, pick greens during the warmest part of the day. Frost-nipped greens in the morning are high in nitrates.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 10:59PM
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In my 4ft.x16ft. raised beds I have mini-hoops that go over them to extend the seasons on both ends. Simple & in-expensive to do. Electrical conduit bent in a hoop and attached with a c-clamp, then plastic over the hoop. I was planting this spring in mid-March, when I would have beeen waiting til May. I also put up a big 32x50 ft. hoophouse this spring, so I can't wait to play in there this fall & winter. Check out the book by Elloit Coleman - Four Season Gardening, has a lot of great ideas.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 10:03AM
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Oh, my gosh!! I am learning so much!! I feel like I've missed out in years before:)

Thank you all so much, I am heading out to plant my fall garden!! Can you see my lightbulb on top of my head. I feel like a dope, but I am glad to have the info now. I can get going on this right away.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 10:23AM
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I think I am the one who originally mentioned fall garden. I have cabbages and brocili already set out . I need to get green beans in as soon as sweet corn is done, but spring crops are late. Like some others, I am going to make hoops from pvc pipe to cover some crops to extend the season and hope to build a small hoophouse over top of tomatoes. I also use the fall to build soil by putting in cover crops to add organic matter. I have a new garden spot that I first used this spring that is good black dirt with low organic matter and is hard as concrete. I plan on putting in a cover crop of turnips and alfalfa to help improve the soil quality. John

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 10:46PM
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PVC HOOP, an excellent idea.
I am going to make one from 1/2" PVC, With fittings and pvc cement. An 8ft length sells for a buck.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 2:20AM
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