Frosty Salad

This design can be used in both fall and early spring, as these vegetables do not mind a nip of cold. Many of them will continue to produce into summer but may lose their sweetness. Allay this by keeping them well-watered and thoroughly mulched, and even providing some shade if desired. Otherwise, just transition the plot to warm weather crops when they begin to turn bitter or go to seed.

Frosty Salad (3)

Arugula

arugula
  • Sow seeds directly in garden, 1″ apart and 1/4″ deep.
  • Spacing: Broadcast seed; then, thin to 16 per sq. ft.
  • Plant a new crop every two to three weeks until first frost.
  • Days to harvest: 30 to full-size leaves; small leaves ready in 21. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Fall crops are less bothered by flea beetles.

Spinach

spinach
  • Plant seeds 1/2″ deep directly in garden.
  • Sow spinach every two weeks until frost.
  • Spacing: 18 seeds per sq. ft.; thin to nine plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 30 to 40 from germination. Very frost-hardy.

Leaf Lettuce

leaf_lettuce
  • Sow seed 1/4″ deep directly in garden.
  • Thin seedlings when four weeks old.
  • Spacing: 16 plants per sq. ft.
  • Plant more lettuce every two to four weeks until frost for a good supply.
  • Days to harvest: 28 for baby lettuce, 45 to full size. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Harvest outer leaves anytime, or use scissors to harvest entire plant, leaving an inch of stem to encourage new growth.

Scallions

scallions
  • Sow seeds 1/4″ deep, 10 weeks before first frost.
  • If beginning earlier, plant every two to three weeks for a continuous harvest.
  • If planting sets, plant 1″ deep.
  • Spacing: 16 plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 60 days, pencil-sized or larger. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Flavor gets hotter as scallions mature. Plants require consistent moisture.

Mesclun Mix

mesclun_mix
  • Sow seed 1/4” deep directly in garden.
  • Thin seedlings when four weeks old. Add thinnings to salad.
  • Spacing: 16 per sq. ft.
  • Plant more mesclun mix seeds every two to four weeks until frost for a good supply.
  • Days to harvest: 28 for baby mix, 45 to full size. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Harvest outer leaves anytime, or use scissors to harvest entire plant, leaving an inch of stem to encourage new growth.

Swiss Chard

swisschard
  • Plant seeds 1/2″ deep.
  • Spacing: two plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 30 from seed for baby; 50 to full size. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Good source of summer greens, chard is not bothered by heat.

Collards

collards
  • Sow seeds 1/2″ deep.
  • Spacing: two plants per sq. ft. Can be planted wherever early crops are removed.
  • Continue to grow and produce leaves until late fall.
  • Days to harvest: 60. Very frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Collards can be grown in part shade. They need plenty of moisture, so mulch well.

Chives

chives
  • Purchase a pot of chives, or get a clump from a neighbor. Plant in garden anytime.
  • Chives take about three weeks to germinate if planted from seed.
  • Hardy perennial.
  • Spacing: nine plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: Leaves can be harvested as soon as they are 6″ tall. Cutting promotes regrowth. Use flowers in salads.
  • Hint: Divide and pot up some chives in fall, and bring indoors to grow on a sunny windowsill all winter.

Carrots

carrots
  • Sow seeds in garden 1/4″ deep six to eight weeks before fall frost for late crop.
  • Spacing: Plant 30 seeds per sq. ft.; thin to 16 plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 55 to 70 from seed. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Before planting, loosen soil to 12″; remove stones, and add compost.

Onions

onions
  • Plant onion sets 1″ deep.
  • Spacing: nine plants per sq. ft., or plant more densely, and then thin, and eat small onions.
  • Days to harvest: 100 to 120. Frost-hardy.
  • Harvest and use the greens when several inches high in spring.
  • Harvest the bulbs when the tops go brown (from late spring to autumn). Cure in the sun for longer shelf life.
  • Hint: Onions will not tolerate weeds and require consistent moisture.

Lettuce

lettuce
  • Sow seed 1/4″ deep.
  • Spacing: Start with five seedlings, eat four as they grow, and let one head mature to full size.
  • Plant more lettuce seeds every two to four weeks until frost for a continuous supply.
  • Days to harvest: 50 to full size. Edible anytime. Replant every two weeks. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Lettuce dislikes heat. Give plants afternoon shade and lots of water.

Garlic

garlic
  • Plant cloves in fall, six weeks before ground freezes, 2″ deep, pointy end up.
  • Spacing: four per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: nine months
  • Hint: Keep soil evenly moist all summer, 1″ water per week. Mulch several weeks after planting to retain moisture and insulate against extreme cold.

Beets

beets
  • Sow seeds 1/2″ deep directly in garden.
  • Spacing: Plant seeds 18 per sq. ft.; thin to nine plants.
  • Days to harvest: 45 to 60. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: The longer you wait to harvest, the bigger the beets. Tops and thinnings are flavorful.

Parsley

parsley
  • Sow seeds 1/4″ deep.
  • Spacing: two plants per sq. ft.
  • Edible all summer and into winter.
  • Biennial: plants will go to seed second year.
  • Days to harvest: 75. Begin harvesting foliage at any time. Very frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Parsley takes up to 21 days to germinate. Treat seeds with hot water before planting.

Leeks

leeks
  • Sow in late summer for a spring crop.
  • Spacing: six plants per sq. ft.
  • Early leeks can be planted in spring and again in summer for a fall harvest.
  • Days to harvest: 50 to 75 from transplant for early leeks; 90 to 120 for storage leeks. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: To get long white stems, plant in a 6″ hole, and fill with soil as leeks grow.

Radishes

radish
  • Plant 1/2″ deep directly in garden.
  • Plant successive crops anywhere there is unused space in the garden.
  • Spacing: 16 plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 21 to 28. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Harvest as soon as possible. Roots get woody when large.

Bok choi

bokchoi
  • Plant seeds 1/4″ deep outdoors.
  • Harvest outer leaves, or cut down whole plant an inch above the roots when plants are 12″ to 18″ tall.
  • Spacing: two to four plants per sq. ft., depending on desired harvest size.
  • Days to harvest: 45 to 50 days from transplant; start a fall crop in late summer. Frost tolerant.
  • Hint: Grow under garden fabric (row covers) to protect from flea beetles. Fertilize every two to four weeks.

Fennel

fennel
  • For plumpest bulbs, sow sweet or Florence fennel seeds directly in garden in midsummer.
  • Spacing: Florence two per sq. ft.; sweet fennel nine per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: Florence fennel bulbs 80; sweet fennel leaves 50 to 60.
  • Hint: Florence fennel needs shortening days to produce a bulb, so plant in summer, not spring.

Kale

kale
  • Sow seeds 1/2″ deep.
  • Spacing: one or two plants per sq. ft., depending on variety. Can be planted midsummer wherever early crops are removed.
  • Kale continues to grow and produce leaves until late fall.
  • Days to harvest: 60. Very frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Kale can be grown in part shade. It needs plenty of moisture, so mulch well.

Turnips

turnip
  • Sow seeds directly in garden.
  • Spacing: nine plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 40 to 50, depending on variety.
  • Tip: Replant turnips in midsummer for fall harvest.