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When to plant "fall crops"

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When to plant "fall crops"

Post  Cropper2 on Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:57 pm

I'm always torn about how much of an idiot I am willing to be in a public setting, but I'm just going to have to jump in and accept the Idiot designation until further notice on this one. I'm really confused about when I should plant fall crops such as carrots, beets, brussels sprouts, onions, radishes and so on. The instructions reference carrots and brussels sprouts, for example, as doing better in cool weather. But clearly planting them in cool weather doesn't give them enough time to grow before downright COLD weather. I'm in Zone 7. Will someone please take pity on this idiot and help me out?

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From a fellow idiot

Post  Lavender Debs on Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:14 pm

Someone taught me the secret idiot handshake but I found it confusing and was afraid to ask for help.

I am in one of the zone 7's (b I think) I start my Brussels in pots in June, and then put them where the peas were growing in July. By thanksgiving they usually find their way into the fry pan.

In Western Washington (the state) we can still safely put beets and carrots into the ground for another month. Closer to August beets can go into the winter garden. Carrots are bi-annual. Most of them will live through the winter (if they do not rot from rain after a freeze....the freeze they can live through, thawing in wet soil is bad). Once they try to flower in spring they are not as sweet to eat (to me at least) Onions can go in as seed when the ground is warm (mid July here) and make spring onions, again, they need to be protected from too much rain (I think we have a theme).

Spinach and radishes might give it a go in the dog-days around the time you start last minute school clothes shopping. Shorter days can mess with their growth but you should at least get a salad or five from them.

Deborah .....wondering where in zone 7 your garden is?
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Re: When to plant "fall crops"

Post  Cropper2 on Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:23 pm

Thanks!

My Zone 7 is just outside of Annapolis, Maryland, along the Chesapeake Bay.

Are there "fall" veggies that should absolutely wait to be planted until late summer because they can't handle real heat or is just about everything OK to plant now (or soon)?

Here's another Idiot follow-on question. You say that carrots are bi-annual (I always have to have a conversation with myself to remember if that means twice a year or every other year). Conversation over - every other year. So are you saying that they are perennial and will come back every other year if left in the ground?

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Re: When to plant "fall crops"

Post  Lavender Debs on Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:53 pm

No, pre... comes back every year like a tree or bush even though they can die back to the ground and come again from the roots, rather like a dandelion or asparagus.

Bi… means they grow the first year and flower the next (two seasons), then die after flowering. I think the actual word is biennial.
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Re: When to plant "fall crops"

Post  Cropper2 on Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:56 pm

Thanks again!

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Re: When to plant "fall crops"

Post  Lavender Debs on Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:59 pm

Whoops, skipped the 1st part.....

Cool season veggies survive the heat, but use the heat to make seed. In doing so they become bitter, annual root-crops (beets, radish, turnips) become hot in an unpleasant way or the leaves become bitter.

I like swiss chard for warm weather cooking greens instead of spinach.
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Re: When to plant "fall crops"

Post  Retired Member 1 on Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:29 am

In the back of the New SFG book, there is a chart called "Planting schedule for continious harvest crops" that has both spring and fall planting schedules. Plus another chart on planting schedule for fall crops. I have the cheapie dollar store book so my page numbering is different than the full size book. But if you know your Fall freeze date, you can follow those charts to know when to plant.

Your county ag agent will also have publications with that info.

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Re: When to plant "fall crops"

Post  Cropper2 on Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:01 am

I got the SFG book and love the charts in the back. I just love a good chart. But it looks to me as though I can plant cool weather plants throughout much of the summer for continuous harvests. I'm so confused. But hey! I'm going to plunk down the seeds and we'll just see what happens!

Thanks for all of your feedback.

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Re: When to plant "fall crops"

Post  Shoda on Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:09 am

We are in zone 8b. The temp in the summer gets to over 90-100 for months. Last year we successfully grew carrots, beets and lettuce in the middle of the summer. I will say that the carrots and lettuce were bitter during the hottest months but we ate them anyway. The lettuce variety I used was from Burpee and was labeled HEAT tolerant. It did not go to seed.

We are trying to grow some fall vegetables again this summer. I am going to shade them under tall plants or shade cloth and see how the do. We are just such big salad folks that without some summer lettuce we are lost. This year I plan on planting them in the shade of some peppers and will try a few different lettuce varieties to see what works.

Also, as the summer progresses I am hoping that the forums will help us figure out when to plant those fall crops.

Good luck!
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Re: When to plant "fall crops"

Post  Lavender Debs on Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:30 am

I'm always looking for new tricks Shoda. When I kept a big garden I would make the tepees for pole beans and put a little bit of salad inside the tepee. It was better than salad in open beds but not as good as spring salad.

This year I am planning to put a bed of salad next to the fence on the shady side of the house and see what I get.
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Re: When to plant "fall crops"

Post  Retired Member 1 on Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:26 pm

@Shoda wrote:We are in zone 8b. The temp in the summer gets to over 90-100 for months. ...
We are trying to grow some fall vegetables again this summer. I am going to shade them under tall plants or shade cloth and see how the do. We are just such big salad folks that without some summer lettuce we are lost. This year I plan on planting them in the shade of some peppers and will try a few different lettuce varieties to see what works.

Also, as the summer progresses I am hoping that the forums will help us figure out when to plant those fall crops.

Good luck!

There is a variety of chard called spinach chard -- it will grow all summer long and is good fresh just like spinach. I haven't seen the seeds on store display racks, but it can be ordered on-line. Just do a search. Also, New Zealand spinach loves hot weather and is great for salads.

I have some fall seed planting methods using trenches that I've used in row gardens with pretty good success. I thought I'd experiment in a couple of months when the weather is warmer to see how to adapt the method to SFG. I'll post on my experience when I know more.

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Re: When to plant "fall crops"

Post  argardener on Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:41 pm

We love salad too Shoda and can also relate to the extreme heat. I'm headed outside now to plant a container of salad mix close to the house for a.m. exposure and give it a try. Thanks belfrybat for the suggestions of the spinach chard and new zealand, will look for them and give them a try!
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