Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > July 2015 > BONNIE-S GARDEN--Time to Think Spinach and Lettuce and Kale

BONNIE-S GARDEN--Time to Think Spinach and Lettuce and Kale

This time of year is a perfect time to think about your fall garden.  What are you going to do when the tomatoes, squash and green beans finally give their last?  Do you let your garden lie fallow over the winter or do you get hungry at the thought of spinach, lettuce, and broccoli?  Since some of my favorite vegetables are cool-season crops, I know which category I fall into.
If you’re going to let those summer veggies chug along until the frost finally gets them, yank them up and enjoy a well-deserved rest for the winter, then there are a couple of things to keep in mind. 

1:  Make sure you do actually pull up those spent summer crops, since garden debris is a great hiding place for insects to lay eggs and diseases to hibernate.  The only exception would be legumes like peas and beans, which could be tilled under.  Legumes enrich the soil with nitrogen.  Be sure to keep the area weeded over the winter.

2:  Top dress your garden with a couple of different kinds of compost to a depth of three or so inches.  You don’t even need to turn it under.  Every time it rains or snows over the winter, it will help leech those nutrients further down into the soil. 

For those of us for whom fall is just the beginning of another gardening season, right now is the time to sow seeds for many of our fall crops—broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc.  I start my seeds in little pots outside—keeping them in an area where they get good dappled sun, but no beating sun.  On extra hot days, I’ll pull them over into mostly shade.  Cool-season crops don’t like broiling hot summer sun. 

Come Labor Day weekend, I’ll begin looking for spots to plant the seedlings.  By then I usually have some bean plants ready to go or a couple of squash plants that have given into powdery mildew. Some of the seedlings I’ll transplant into bigger pots, buying time until I’m ready to pull up the peppers or cucumbers.  And, of course, I always wait to direct sow root crops like carrots, radishes, beets, turnips, or parsnips since root crops don’t transplant well.

Remember, the back of the seed packet is the single best source of information as to exactly when to plant your seeds, how far apart, how deep, and even if sowing inside or direct-sowing outside is best.  In the case of Botanical Interest seed packets, the whole inside of the seed packet goes into even more detail.
Posted: 7/28/2015 by Bonnie Pega | with 3 comment(s)
Filed under: Bonnie's, Fall, Garden, Planting
Bruce, we have fresh 2016 dated seed in for fall planting--three different varieties of kale, as a matter of fact--Red Winter, Dwarf Blue Curled, and Lacinato (Italian) kale.
8/1/2015 11:11:04 AM

Try Southern States or Tractor Supply
7/30/2015 1:11:44 PM

Bruce Byers
I would like to plant kale but cannot find seeds anywhere (haven't tried ordering on-line. Have you any ideas where I might buy packets of kale?
7/29/2015 3:27:16 PM

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