Fall Planting Dates
Next week marks to first day of fall; don’t miss out on its planting season! The cool season demands the return of more hardy, stick to your gut meals. Gone are the days of fresh salsa and chips, or eating melons on the porch. Though pleasant in the heat of summer, you now need something more hearty to keep you happy and warm.
About this time every year I begin to crave much more hearty meals such as such as roasted venison and sweet potatoes, or fried rabbit and collard greens. Winter greens are a perfect pair for hearty meats such as organic beef, lamb, and venison.
To take full advantage of you spot of dirt out back, and to keep you from completely going carnivore, start early on your fall garden. If you don’t have any “dirt out back,” never fear, you can plant just about any winter plant in pots. Food in pots is so appealing as one enters your home.
Some plants often bolt or die when too cold (or hot), while others only get sweeter. Success often depends on timing. When does “fall” actually start when planting a fall garden? Everyone’s optimum date to plant will vary with region to region; however, I get a rough estimate by using frost dates. Most gardeners plant fall vegetables at the same time, with a couple exceptions.
Around 8 weeks before average first frost, plant your “winter greens.” Greens like collards, kale, turnips, radishes, mustards, lettuce, spinach, kohlrabi, parsley, and even leeks can be sown directly from seed. Cabbage, and other relatives like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts need to be planted 6 weeks previous in containers, and then set out at the time you you plant your other fall vegetables.
Around 4 weeks before average first frost, sow onions, along with more greens if you have room.
Around the first frost, plant garlic.
These vegetables grow great in my region, or zone 8, but some might not grow great in your zone. Collards and kale, for instance, need to be only planted in the spring outside the South. Therefore, to get accurate dates, look up your state’s extension system.
Whatever you do, don’t get overwhelmed and do nothing. Go ahead and get a few things in pots. Enjoy the process!! It’s worth it for your body, mind, and soul. Happy gardening!