Sometimes you get the gardening itch and you just have scratch it! As we move into the colder months, though, there are certain crops that thrive and others that don’t. It’s important to keep in mind that certain climates will make it easier/more difficult to grow the crops that are detailed in this article. For the most part, all of these crops do germinate during the cold and start growing quickly in February. One more thing to keep in mind is that anything you plant now will be ready to harvest in the beginning of spring.
Shallots are great to plant in October. Once you have your soil ready to go, it is best to cover your soil with a hearty layer of mulch. This will help to insulate the ground during the colder months. You should plan to harvest shallots in the middle of spring.
This is actually a salad green, but it isn’t widely known. One of the coolest things, literally, is that this green thrives in colder weather. Mache will grow even when there is less than 10 hours of daylight hitting the garden. For a high survival rate of your mache, try to make a cold frame or hoop house to shield it from the colder winds.
While the germination period varies, planting spinach in October will show sprouts in about a month’s time. You’ll see a few leaves before the real cold sets in. When the sun starts to be more present in February, the plant will take off. Much like mache, the survival rate will be better with a cold frame around the planting area.
When you plant your garlic in the fall, you will get healthier, stronger bulbs in the late spring. A lot of people plant in the spring and harvest in the late summer or early fall. Garlic actually does well in the cold, but if you don’t plant it before October is over, wait until the spring to plant it.
When planted in the fall, kale leaves will most likely be ready to eat in the spring. Much like spinach, the leaves will really start growing when the February sun starts to become more prominent. As always with leafy greens, a cold frame only benefits their growth.
If you want to plant other vegetables during the fall, you can plant lettuce, arugula, endives, dandelion, beets, turnips, parsnips, or radishes to yield a healthy spring harvest. Best of luck in your gardening efforts!