Late-Season Crops

It is high summer, but I have to be thinking about what we will be eating this fall. The average first frost date for this area is September 30th. That means I have just over sixty days of growing outside. The greenhouse next door will give me another week or two and our own greenhouse is heated by compost and wood and should keep things growing all winter.

Red cabbage

With that in mind, we can have a look at number of days from planting to harvest of the plants I have on hand:

  • Green beans, 60 days
  • Beets, 62 days
  • Broccoli, 70 days
  • Early Cabbage, 70 days
  • Carrot, 70 days
  • Cauliflower, 60 days
  • Chard, 50 days
  • Cucumber, 55 days
  • Kale, 70 days
  • Kohlrabi, 60 days
  • Lettuce, 50–70 days
  • Mustard, 40 days
  • Onion sets, 50 days
  • Parsley, 40 days
  • Peas, 50–70 days
  • Peppers, 70 days
  • Radish, 30 days
  • Spinach, 50 days
  • Summer Squash, 60 days
  • Turnip, 70 days

Those vegetables in bold can withstand a light freeze (or more) and are especially good choices for a summer planting and fall harvest.

Potted kale

I know I should rule out those that produce over a period of time, like cucumbers and peppers, which are heat-loving plants anyway. I might take a chance on some peas, which I can put in the neighbor’s hoop house to replace the cucumbers, in hopes of a fall surfeit. I’ll also try to put some more expansive plants in a field that I’ve cleared with my scythe: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi. Those plants that need a little less competition and/or weeding care, will go in my backyard garden: beets, chard, kale, mustard, radish, spinach, and turnip. I’ll also build some beds in my greenhouse for those plants that I plant to grow there all winter: spinach, kale, and more.


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