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Cool Season Greens: How To Grow Them in the Fall

Cool Season Greens: How To Grow Them in the Fall

Nov 30th 2023

Gardening should occur all year long: your garden does not need to go dormant in the chilly weather. Some cool-season vegetables can withstand and thrive in freezing weather without losing their flavor or texture. Fall is the best time to grow these cool-season vegetables. It's a misunderstanding that early summer and spring are only good times for planting vegetables. You can grow crops through the autumn, too, because September, October, and November are perfect times for cool-weather crops. From spinach to lettuce, these vegetables will give your garden a seasonal boost of nutrition and color.

Let's explore which cool-season vegetables you should plant in the Fall and learn what makes each crop special!

Lettuce

Lettuce is a popular cool-season green that loves the fall and spring seasons. It is simple to grow and thrives in full sun. For the best results, provide light frost protection at night to the plants. When planting lettuce, moisten the soil and amend it with organic matter.

Ideally, they should be planted 8 to 10 weeks before the first frost. Baby lettuce leaves ideally grow in fall. Sow lettuce seeds outdoors in loose and well-drained soil. In 4 to 6 weeks, you can harvest baby lettuce greens that are perfect to add to a salad or sandwich.

Spinach

You may love refreshing spinach salads in the summer heat, but this leafy green loves the cold. Spinach that is grown in fall has more bolt resistance and sweetness compared to spring and summer crops. Additionally, you can harvest baby leaves within 30 days after planting seeds.

Spinach is a cold-hardy vegetable that is highly used in soups and salads. This cool season green is rich in iron, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin A. The crop flourishes in cooler temperatures and can bolt fast in warm weather.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a wonderful crop for a winter garden. Fall's cooler temperatures and predictable conditions make it the best time of year for planting these green florets. This vegetable is easy to cultivate in both late summer and early spring.

You can grow broccoli seeds in early spring or even late summer. These crops do well in full sun and well-draining soil. Plant broccoli seeds outdoors in the fall when daytime temperatures are usually around 65°F. In addition, this cool-season green can withstand light frost but won't survive warm temperatures.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is another cold-weather vegetable that prefers cool weather and can be grown in the fall and early spring. Gardeners should sow seeds when daytime temperatures are around 60 and 65° F.

Further, plant this veggie in an area with full sun exposure and light frost protection for the greatest yield. Also, keep the plants hydrated in dry spells because cauliflower requires constant moisture. The soil should be nutrient-rich as it helps retain moisture and improve drainage while delivering essential nutrients for growth.

It's also important to note that cauliflower is susceptible to worms, aphids, and beetles. So, it is recommended to cover autumn seedlings with fabric.

Parsley

Parsley is a biennial herb that can be grown in cooler climates. This is an ideal winter crop as it thrives in temperatures between 44.6-84.2°F. Also, this cold, hardy herb can survive light frost if protected with cover. Being an abundant source of Vitamins A and C and rich in flavor, parsley is often used in soups or as a garnish.

Fall is a prime time to plant parsley because fall parsley yields in greater abundance than spring crops. This leafy herb does well in partial shade to full sun. Moreover, parsley seeds take up to 3 weeks to germinate and around 70-75 days to mature, so it is best to get it started early. Gardeners can sow their seeds in late summer and transplant them in a garden in early fall.

Carrot

Carrots are the most sought-after vegetable in a winter kitchen garden. They thrive in the cold weather and are perfect to be planted in October through November when there is plenty of rain. These hardy vegetables can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Gardeners should plant them in well-drained soil and in an area that receives direct sunlight for optimal growth.

Carrots are versatile cool-season vegetables because they get their unique sweetness from cold weather. So, plant these popular veggies in the fall and enjoy delicious candy-like carrots throughout the winter.

Celery

Celery is another vegetable that prefers cooler weather, making it a perfect choice for a winter garden. Sow celery seeds when the nighttime temperature is below daytime highs, and the soil has dried and warmed up. Celery seeds require slightly warm days and cold nights to germinate. So, gardeners should plant this green in either late summer or early spring.

When planting celery, prepare the soil with organic matter. They can survive light frost but require full sun for healthy growing conditions. Additionally, harvest celery by cutting off individual stalks rather than pulling the entire plant.

Brussels Sprouts

Last on our list, brussels sprouts is another cool-season green that is worth including in a fall garden. This popular veggie can tolerate extreme conditions and yield in abundance. Plant Brussels sprouts in the early cool days of autumn in an area with direct sunlight for optimal growth and a lot of space. They love cooler temperatures and flourish if exposed to light frost or light snow.

Harvest the vegetables from the bottom up because they'll grow from the top. Lastly, it is recommended to plant marigolds and nasturtiums close to this vegetable to help repel aphids and cabbage moths.

Wrapping Up

Cool-season vegetable crops can be planted in late summer or fall to enjoy a bountiful harvest of produce throughout the winters. These greens are packed with nutrition and flavor. Cool-season vegetable crops do well in temperatures between 45-75°F (7-24°C). However, the ideal temperature for these hardy vegetables is usually between 59.9 – 64.94°F.

As a gardener, you should monitor temperatures constantly when growing these vegetables because extreme cold or even heat can cause stunted growth and lower yields. All the above-listed veggies thrive in cold temperatures and often need less water and minimal effort than warm-season vegetables, which makes them easier to plant in many climates.

So, be ready and fill your garden with colors, fragrance, and abundance by planting these cool-season greens and enjoy healthy meals all year long.