Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Late September Planting

Good morning gardeners!

Autumn has arrived and you may be wondering if you still have time to plant any vegetables for a winter harvest. The answer is yes and no.

Many vegetables like cooler weather like: arugula, beets, broccoli, broccoli raab, brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, endive/escarole, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, mesclun mix, parsnips, peas, radicchio, radishes, rutabaga, spinach, salad greens, turnips. The key is planting timing.

Our average first frost date in Portland has shifted to November 15th. When thinking about planting for a winter harvest, you want all vegetables to be at harvestable maturity by this frost date. So ideal planting time for most cool season crops was July, August and early September. Please see this post for full details on planning and planting for a fall/winter harvest.

At the end of September you can still plant quick maturing crops like radishes, arugula, mesclun mix, and micro greens. If you are providing winter protection like a greenhouse, cold frame, etc you are extending your season and can continue to plant a variety of cool season crops.

Now is the ideal time to plant overwintering crops. You still have time to plant them through September. Look at your local nursery for vegetable start varieties that say "overwintering" or have long days to maturing like 120 days. There are overwintering varieties of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots. Fava beans are another overwintering crop. You can plant them now by seed. Overwintering crops will grow a little in fall, withstand the winter, and begin growing again in late winter/early spring. They are harvestable is spring, much quicker than crops you plant in the spring.

Did you know that garlic and shallots are overwintering crops? Garlic and shallots prefer being planted in the fall. Here in Portland we plant them in September and October. They need the cooler weather for root growth before the cold of winter sets in. Then in the very early spring their green shoots appear. Garlic and shallots are harvestable by summertime.

• Remove cloves from bulb, but do not peel off papery skin.
• Plant the cloves flat side down, pointy side up about 1-2 inches deep and 6-8 inches apart.
• Garlic and shallots need a full sun location with good drainage and free of weeds.

The abundant summer days of basil are nearing an end. Do not despair herb gardeners! Some annual herbs prefer cooler weather, like cilantro and chervil. Now is a great time to plant cilantro from starts and chervil from seeds. They will provide you with herbs throughout the cold days of winter. Parsley, a biennial, stays evergreen and withstands the cold. Evergreen woody herbs like rosemary are a welcome treat in winter.

Happy planting! Jolie

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