Hardy Harvest

These vegetables laugh at the cold. Some of them are actually improved by frosty temperatures, obtaining a sweeter flavor. With this plan you will have greens available through to January, and they will start up again in March. While these produce a harvest during cool weather, they are planted during midsummer.

Hardy_Harvest2

Kale

kale
  • Sow seeds 1/2″ deep in garden.
  • Very frost-hardy.
  • 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.

Kohlrabi

kohlrabi
  • In the South, sow seeds directly in garden in late winter or early fall. Plant 1/2″ deep.
  • Spacing: Sow 2″ apart; thin to four plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 40. Storage variety Kossack requires 80 days.
  • Hint: A fast-growing crop. Replant area after harvest with Florence fennel, bush beans (in summer), Swiss chard or beets.

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. If planting sets, plant 1″ deep.
  • Spacing: 16 plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 60, pencil-sized or larger. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Flavor gets hotter as scallions mature. Plants require consistent moisture.

Parsley

parsley
  • Sow seeds 1/4″ deep, preferably in early August, or buy starts – long germination time. 
  • 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.

Beets

beets
  • Sow seeds 1/2″ deep directly in garden.
  • Spacing: 18 seeds 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.

Spinach

spinach
  • Plant seeds 1/2″ deep directly in garden.
  • Sow spinach every two weeks in late summer for fall crops.
  • Spacing: 18 seeds per sq. ft.; thin to nine plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 30 to 40 days from germination. Very frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Spinach bolts in hot weather, so harvest early. Keep soil cool and moist with mulch or shade netting.

Radishes

spinach
  • Plant 1/2″ deep directly in garden anytime after soil reaches 45 degrees F.
  • 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.

Carrots

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

Leeks

leeks
  • Sow seeds 1/4″-1/2″ deep, about 1″ apart.
  • Thinnings can be used in salad.
  • Spacing: thin to six plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 50 to 75 days from transplant for early leeks, 90 to 120 days for storage leeks. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: To get long white stems, plant in a 6″ hole, and fill with soil as leeks grow.

Parsnips

parsnip
  • Sow seeds 1/2″ deep directly in the garden.
  • Spacing: 18 seeds per sq. ft.; thin to nine per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 110 to 120. Harvest in fall, or leave in ground over winter, and harvest early spring.
  • Hint: Wash hands after contact with leaf sap; it sometimes causes skin reaction.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

PurpleSproutingBroccolism_r1_c1
  • Sow seeds 1/4″ deep indoors sometime in March.
  • Transplant into garden when seedlings have two sets of true leaves, sometime in April.
  • Spacing: one plant per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 220 days from seed. Frost-hardy.
  • Harvest beginning in November when purple and well before turning to yellow flowers. Will continue to produce. Leaves are edible and good in stir-fry.
  • Plant a second broccoli crop eight weeks before first fall frost.
  • Water in dry weather for good growth and larger heads. Mulch to conserve moisture.
  • If growth is slow, and purple buds fail to appear, add a boost of nutrient with seaweed or chicken manure pellets spread widely around the base.
  • Hints: Row covers are an effective control for cabbage worms. Before winter, draw soil up around stems to protect from wind movement; if very windy, stake well. For enough to feed a family of four, grow six plants.

Turnips

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

Swiss Chard

swisschard
  • Plant seeds 1/2″ deep in garden.
  • Spacing: two plants per sq. ft.
  • Days to harvest: 30 from seed for baby; 50 to full size. Frost-hardy.
  • Hints: Good source of summer greens; chard is not bothered by heat. Harvest outer leaves, and allow center to remain for continuous harvest.

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.

Winter Onions

onions
  • To overwinter onions, choose a cold hardy variety, and buy onion sets.
  • Plant them 1″ deep sometime from August through to early winter.
  • Spacing: nine plants per sq. ft., or plant more densely, and then, thin and eat small onions.
  • Cover with a heavy layer of mulch.
  • Water once or twice a week for the first two weeks. Avoid watering again, especially if there is chance of freeze. In spring, only water if there is drought.
  • Fertilize once in fall and again in early summer before harvest.
  • Days to harvest: About 250. Frost-hardy. Harvest onion greens any time in spring. Harvest bulbs in late spring to early autumn when tops go brown.
  • Hint: Onions will not tolerate weeds and require consistent moisture.

Collards

collards
  • Sow seeds 1/2″ deep in garden.
  • Spacing: two plants per sq. ft. Can be planted midsummer wherever early crops are removed.
  • Collards 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. Hardy perennial.
  • Chives take about three weeks to germinate if planted from seed.
  • 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.

Fennel

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

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 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.

Mesclun Mix

mesclun_mix
  • Sow seed 1/4” deep directly in garden.
  • Thin seedlings when four weeks old. Add thinnings to salad.
  • Spacing: 16 plants 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 for 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.

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 frost; sow in late summer for fall harvest.
  • Days to harvest: 30 to full-size leaves; small leaves in 21. Frost-hardy.
  • Hint: Fall crops are less bothered by flea beetles; cover spring crops with fabric to minimize damage.

Lettuce

lettuce
  • Sow seeds 1/4″ deep when soil is at least 50 degrees F.
  • 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 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.