Have you ever grown any vegetables specifically for the fall and winter? If you live in zone 8 and above, there are quite a few vegetables to grow for fall and early winter harvest. You can even overwinter plants that start producing in early spring to get a harvest when we’re just planting our spring gardens.
And even if you live in areas that get colder than zone 8, there are things that you can grow, although you’ll need to employ cloches and other types of covering. Eliot Colman has a number of books that show how he grows his own vegetables all year around- in Maine of all places.
I plant things every year for the fall and winter garden, but I have to admit that I view it as a bit of a gamble because sometimes I get a good harvest and sometimes I don’t. It depends on when I get the plants and seeds in the ground, what the weather’s doing, and, frankly, if I get myself out to the garden when I’m feeling “gardened out” for the season.
I know you’re shocked that I would ever be “gardened out” but it happens to the best of us.
I think. Doesn’t it?
Here’s what I’ve got going now in the garden for the fall and winter.
Just ignore that I was about a month earlier with everything and even started some transplants inside. Just not happening this year.
So all the transplants pictured were bought at the nursery, sad to say. *sigh* These lettuce starts are a winter butterhead variety. Their outer leaves shriveled up in the heat, but the centers started putting out new growth within a week of planting.
I plant kale every year and it’s the one plant that always does well for me. It will produce until it starts getting too cold around the end of December, and then will usually start producing again in the early spring.
I seeded a few rows of a winter lettuce mix also, but nothing has sprouted yet.
This is the same bed where I planted broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower in the spring. I pulled up the cauliflower that all sprouted early, harvested all the cabbage and have replanted with fall broccoli and overwintering cauliflower. I kept the broccoli plants (in the background) because they keep giving me some good side shoots.
These brussels sprouts are pretty small and probably won’t produce anything until late fall. But they get sweeter after a frost and that’s about when we get frosts here, so it works out for us to be able to eat roasted sprouts for Thanksgiving.
What- you’re having problems seeing any spinach? That’s because there’s not a sprout yet- it’s notoriously hard to get started in the summer. I just keep trying. Same with the beets and parsnips- nothing’s come up yet and it’s too late to try any more parsnips. I really needed to start earlier…
The row of turnips (not pictured) I sowed at the same time as the spinach has come up like gangbusters.
Figures. I just tolerate turnips, but adore spinach.
On a final note, we came back from a weekend away to see one of the pepper plants looking like this. It’s planted with 11 other peppers and none had any damage, so my first thought that some type of animal caused it was discounted.
When I looked closer, the plant is fine, it’s just two of the biggest stems that have been broken off. I think the wind pushed it against the stake and tore them off- it’s the only explanation I can find.
Bummer that those tow stems were loaded with green peppers.
Are you planting anything for the fall?