Fall Vegetable Planting Begins Now

Posted on: September 15, 2015 | Written By: Doug Oster | Comments

 

Lettuce and other cool weather crops will thrive now and can be harvested for months.

Lettuce and other cool weather crops will thrive now and can be harvested for months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Endive loves cold weather and I've filled up some containers with the plant.

Endive loves cold weather and I’ve filled up some containers with the plant.

While drought and heat shut down the garden for the end of the summer, rain and cooler temperatures have opened the door for fall planting.

It might be my favorite time of the year to put plants in the ground. I found lots of fresh greens at Best Feeds in Ross. Lettuce, endive, kale, Swiss chard, leeks and more can all be planted right now.

These plants don’t care about frost and with a little protection, can be harvested much of the winter too. I use floating row covers, plastic skylights and cold frames to keep the plants warm as winter looms. A floating row cover is a spun bound translucent fabric which is so light, the plants themselves can hold it up. The clear plastic skylights were a gift from a reader. He says roofing companies always have them after re-doing a roof from the 1970’s. A cold frame is just a small, unheated greenhouse in the garden. I’ve built two and hope to add more. I’ve planted them with greens and will open the top when sun comes out to keep the heat from frying the plants.

This is a cold frame filled with tatsoi and other cool weather crops. Check out the snow on top of the open lid.

This is a cold frame filled with tatsoi and other cool weather crops. Check out the snow on top of the open lid.

It’s great to get crops in the ground now. It lets the plants become established while it’s still reasonably warm.  There will be a few hot days here and there, but the cool nights will make these plants happy.

Look for plants at your favorite local nursery and don’t be afraid to throw a few seeds down either, they should have enough time to get growing before the end of the season.

 

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Doug Oster is manager and editor of Everybody Gardens with a passion for gardening and a love of sharing is experiences with other gardeners. You will also find Doug’s gardening contributions in the Tribune-Review each week. He’s an Emmy Award winning producer, television host and writer. Oster is co-host of The Organic Gardeners Radio show every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh. Oster’s Outstanding Documentary Emmy was awarded for Gardens of Pennsylvania, a one hour special he conceived and produced for the PBS affiliate WQED. Doug appears every Thursday morning on KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today live at 9 a.m. “Gardening is fun, he says, enjoy every day spent outside tending vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees.”