Plant these fall and winter vegetables today for a delicious harvest in as little as three weeks!
“Root veggies like carrots, beets, and winter radishes are warriors of a garden, surviving and thriving in freezing temperatures,” says gardening expert Andrea Bellamy, author of Small-Space Vegetable Gardens ($15.49, Amazon) and founder of the gardening blog Heavy Petal.
“Sow seeds directly into soil now for a delicious fall and winter harvest!” The veggies like full sun, and their seeds need to be planted into loose soil in a bed that’s at least 12” deep so roots can develop fully, she says.
Water soil before sowing seeds and plant carrot seeds more shallowly into soil than the others. Give consistent watering, especially at the germination and young seedling stage. Harvest in about seven weeks.
Mixed Salad Greens
“The cooler days of late summer are perfect for establishing leafy greens that can be harvested and enjoyed throughout the fall,” says Bellamy.
She suggests growing lettuce (like red and green leaf lettuce) from “starts,” which are baby lettuce plants that have already sprouted and can be purchased at the nursery.
To do: Nestle roots 4″ apart into fertilized soil in a spot that gets full sun to light shade and water regularly. Begin harvesting in as little as three weeks when leaves are about 4″ long.
Cold-Hardy, Crispy Kale
“Kale is one of my favorite home garden crops because it’s super productive, and it’s winter-hardy to around 15 degrees,” says Bellamy. “Late summer is a good time to plant kale ‘starts’ (seedlings that can be purchased at the nursery), which will establish in your garden quickly.”
To do: Dig small holes in soil, spacing them 18″ apart in a spot that gets part to full sun. Sprinkle holes with a complete organic fertilizer, then nestle roots of a kale start into each; water regularly. Kale can be harvested at its “baby leaf” stage when leaves are about 5” long and have a more mild flavor profile and tender texture, making them perfect for salads.
Plants will reach maturity in five to six weeks. Bellamy suggests harvesting the oldest, bottom leaves off mature plants, which encourages the center stem to produce new leaves.
“I love the flavor of garden-fresh beans,” says Bellamy. She recommends growing a variety of bush beans, which mature quickly, can be grown in small spaces and don’t require a trellis for support. “Bush beans are packed with flavor and can be enjoyed in just a few weeks,” she says. “Plus, they’ll mature all at once for a bountiful harvest that’s perfect for preserving purposes.”
She recommends sowing seeds of bush bean varieties (like “Speedy”) into sun-warmed soil in a raised bed that allows for ample drainage. Grow in full sun; be careful not to overwater. Harvest in as little as six to seven weeks.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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