Cool Weather Crops

Cool Weather Crops
Kale thriving in the cool weather season

Fall Production is awesome! Cool weather Crops – most of us feel like, when it comes to gardening, everything ends when the summer ends. In reality, we must look at the coming fall as a spring but better. In the fall certain cool weather crops do so much better and they are easier to grow.

Factors that Contribute to a Better Harvest

  • Cooler weather allows the plants to thrive with less stress. In the spring the weather gets hotter daily and you need varieties that withstand the coming heat.
  • The plants have a sweeter flavor as the cool weather sweetens the sugars they produce.
  • There are less pests around, as many of the insects have finished their life cycles or are winding down and the numbers are reduced.
  • There are less weeds.
  • Everything grows a little slower; therefore, you can take your time maintaining the area with less pressure.
  • We can rotate our crops in the garden or follow where the summer crops are dying back. This will allow us to plan for next year and get our garden ready to go for the coming year.
  • You will need less water, especially if you mulch with straw to keep soil cool.
  • Extend the season with season extenders, like protective cloth or row covers. If nothing else old bed sheets or light blankets, which can be placed overnight if you get a sudden drop of temperature.

Read the blog on vegetables that thrive in cool weather: growing lettuce and greens.

Before planting add some organic matter to the soil, like compost. Even partially decomposed compost or partially decomposed manure will do wonders to the garden. Work the manure or partially decomposed compost into the planting bed and cover it with soil. Then wait two weeks before planting your fall crop. See video on Fall into Abundance of Vegetables: Increase Microbes

When do you start your cool weather crops?

  • Depends on where you live. First, look up when the first frost date normally occurs in your region.
  • Then, secondly, count backwards around 60 to 70 days from that first frost, which is the average harvest for many crops.
  • To be specific, check the number of days to maturity for those cool weather vegetables. This will show what can be planted. As the weather cools down, plant growth slows down too.

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