Chard, Spinach, Turnips, Beets and many more vegetables are grown for their delicious green tops. Most greens are best grown in the cool weather of early Spring and planted in mid/late summer for the cool Fall weather. Lucky for us, some of the green top producing crops like kale will tolerate frost and even freezing weather.
Kale The ‘New’ Super Vegetable Kale is a hardy, cool season green that is part of the ‘cole’ cabbage family. It grows best in the spring and fall and can tolerate frosts. Kale is rich in minerals and vitamins A and C.
You can plant kale anytime from early spring to early summer. If you plant kale late in the summer you can harvest it from Fall until the ground freezes in Winter.
Mix 1-1/2 cups of N-P-K, 5-10-10 fertilizer per 25 feet of row into the top 3 to 4 inches of soil. Plant the seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep.
Kale likes well drained, light soil. After about 2 weeks, thin the seedlings so that they are spaced 8 to 12 inches apart.
Spinach has similar growing conditions and requirements as lettuce, it is nutritious and can be eaten raw or cooked. Spinach is high in iron, calcium, vitamins and is a excellent source of vitamin A, B, and C. Cornell University – Growing Spinach
Plant seeds when your soil temperature is 40%F to 75%F. Hint Seeds may fail to germinate in warm soils. Plant seed 1/2 to 1 inch deep and 2 inch apart cover lightly with soil. After germination, thin plants 4 to 6 inches apart. Keep your seed bed damp ‘Not Wet’ to speed germination.
Spinach likes a rich soil with compost capable of retaining moisture. It may be beneficial to side dress your crop with a N-P-K 10-5-5 when your Spinach is about 3 week old.
Swiss Chard (aka) stem chard, spinach beet, leaf beet. Cornell University Growing Chard
Plant in full sun or particular shade. Chard prefers full sun early in the season, part shade in summer when it’s warm. Chars will Tolerate moderate frosts, but don’t plant in very early spring. Seed Germinates when your soil reaches 40%F to 95%F, but is best around 70%F.
Chard likes well drained moist (Not Wet) soil. It prefers deep, loose, fertile soil, high in organic matter, with pH 6.0 to 7.0. Needs consistent moisture, especially as plants grow large.
Chard will benefit from a mid season fertilization using a N-P-K of something like 10-5-5.
Chard Varities for your consideration.
Beets and their delicious tops. Beets like full sun and will handle light shade. Beets are not heavy feeders and tolerates low fertility soils. Plant beets in well drained loam to silt loam soil, high in organic matter, with pH between 6.5 and 7. Good soil structure is important because growth is improved by good soil aeration. Beets tolerate low fertility and light frost but require consistent moisture.
Beet seed Germinates from about 40%F to 85%F but around 50%Fis a good soil planting temperature. Seed will begin to emerge in 5 to 8 days. Don’t panic it may take two to three weeks in cooler soils.
Hint Seed can be saved 4 years.
Here is a list of a few beet varieties for your consideration.
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