Sunday is the official start of summer, but, it is also the time to be preparing your garden for your Fall Crops.
Northern (short season) gardeners will soon need to plant their Fall – cool season crops.
Northern gardeners may see their first frost as early as the last week of September.
In cool summers you may be able to grow successive crops of salad greens all summer and well into early winter.
The cabbage family, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, as well as cabbage often yield better as a fall crop. Root vegetables such as carrots, beets, and parsnips taste sweeter after the first fall frost. Check your seed package to find the best time to plant these vegetables.
Meet the mustard family includes cool season crops such as Brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, broccoli, turnips and watercress.
The close kinship of these crops enable diversified usage of plant parts. For instance, Brussels sprout plants are grown by most gardeners for a miniature heads (sprouts) which develop in the axils of the leaves. However, the leaves of Brussels sprouts are considered by some to be milder and sweeter than those of the collard which is especially grown for leaf production.
Most gardeners are familiar with the fact turnips can be grown for the greens (leaves) or for the turnip roots.
This group of cole crops enjoy cool seasons and are somewhat cold tolerant. Cabbage for instance can withstand frost down to 20 degrees or even 15 degrees F.
Cauliflower and chard are more sensitive to cold than broccoli, collards, kale, kohlrabi, or mustard. When you plant cole crops in the garden you are investing in a healthful life.
Gardeners are in the business of producing health foods even though they may not know it. Vegetables contain essential elements for health and the enjoyment of eating fresh garden vegetables makes health fun. Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, making a daily supply essential to good health.
Cabbage is high in vitamin C, Broccoli, collards, and other vegetables of the cabbage family are rich in vitamin C, as are leafy vegetables such as kale and turnip greens supply carotene, which the human digestive system converts to Vitamin A.
The edible parts of broccoli and cauliflower are the flower heads which are quite sensitive to environmental and nutritional stress.
Cabbage and Brussels sprouts produce leafy heads and can withstand greater fluctuations in weather.
** Planting Dates: Using the days to harvest on your seed package, add 21 days to get your seed to harvest times. Based on your first hard frost date, count back from frost date days from seed to harvest to get your last chance planting date.
# Example Find Your First and Last Frost Date If your first hard Frost date is 15 November and your Seed package days to harvest is 60 + 21 days = 81 days. Count backwards, Your last chance seed planting date is: 27th day of August.
It is OK and even preferred to plant before that date but anytime after that date will likely result in a failed Fall garden crop.
Most Fall gardeners start planting their fall gardens starting in late June and early July.
Days to harvest: 50–65
Arcadia—late (fall production); small heads; domed
Early Dividend—early; reliable yields
Green Comet—early; large center heads and side shoots
Green Valiant—midseason; small firm heads
Gypsy—midseason; heat tolerant
Mariner—midseason; medium-sized compact heads
Packman—early to midseason; uniform; large heads
Premium Crop—midseason; large center heads; few side shoots
Days to harvest: 85–110
Jade Cross—large dark green sprouts
Prince Marvel—mild tasting; small to medium sprouts
Early-season cultivars mature approximately 50 to 60 days
after transplanting. Late season cultivars may require 100 or more days to mature.
Arrowhead—early; cone-shaped head
Blue Pak—midseason; medium to large dark blue heads
Bravo—midseason; uniform round blue-green heads
Dynamo—early; small heads; less likely to split
Gourmet—midseason; medium to large heads
Head Start—early; medium to large heads
Heads Up—early; fusarium yellows resistant
Rio Verde—late; large blue-green heads
Savoy Express—savoy type; early
Savoy King—savoy type; midseason; high yields
Stonehead—very early; small heads
Red Acre—midseason; small round heads
Regal Red—early; medium heads
Ruby Perfection—late; small to medium dark red heads
Early-season cultivars mature approximately 50 to
55 days after transplanting. Late-season cultivars mature
in 75 to 80 days. Novelty cultivars produce purple and orange heads that change color when cooked.
Snow Crown—early; reliable for spring and fall
Snowball Y—midseason; solid smooth heads
Days to harvest: 70–80
Flash—non-heading type; slow to bolt; blue-green leaves
Georgia—non-heading type; wavy blue-green leaves Morris—heading type; open pollinated
Top Bunch—deep green, slightly wavy, broad leaves
Vates—non-heading type; compact plants; smooth, dark green, thick-textured leaves; open pollinated
Days to harvest: 50–60
Blue Ridge—dark blue-green, curled leaves
Redbor—finely curled, red-purple leaves
Vates—finely curled, blue-green leaves
Winterbor—blue-green, finely curled leaves
Days to harvest: 50–60
Early Purple Vienna—early, reddish purple with
Early White Vienna—early, greenish white with
Grand Duke—pale green with mild white flesh
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