Cold Crops

Cabbage planted in a garden

Plant cold crops in the late summer to early fall and they will produce throughout fall and winter. Leafy fall crops taste better in the fall as the cooler temperatures release simple sugars in the plant making them sweeter. Also, once temperatures get cooler there are fewer pests to deal with.

White Cabbage butterfly moth

The Cabbage White butterfly has been prevalent this season and it is best to treat your plants with an insecticide that gets caterpillars. Just spray the leaves and small stems. Plants to treat to prevent an infestation are cabbage, kale, collards, broccoli, spinach, and any others that you spot the little green

Green Caterpillar face

looper caterpillar eating. BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) works well in getting the green looper and is organic.

Fall cold crops are best if planted out of winter winds and in part to full sun. Transplants work well or you can plant seeds in early August directly in the soil but, understand soil temperature is the indicator of germination and they prefer cooler soil to do so. Cold crops that prefer cooler soil may not emerge for a time. Depending on how long summer heat and soil dryness persists, a later planting may be desirable when nights cools down and dew is abundant to hold soil moisture.

Planting cole crop vegetable  broccoli or cauliflower

3 tips for fall planting:

  1. With fall crops being root crops make sure that your soil is mixed nicely to the depth of six inches. 
  1. Apply a fertilizer lower in Nitrogen higher in Phosphorous and Potassium to root crops and one higher in Nitrogen and slightly lower in Phosphorous and Potassium on leafy crops. Keep in mind micro-nutrients should in fall fertilizers. 
  1. Plant fast growers like lettuce weekly so you have it available for longer harvest. Stagger turnip plantings as they will grow for most of the winter.


Planting information:

Crop Planting When Harvest
Broccoli 15" apart / transplant late July-Early Sept 8 heads
Brussels Sprouts 18" apart / transplant late July-Early Sept 5 bs
Cabbage 18" apart / transplant late July-Early Sept 7 heads
Chinese cabbage 18" apart / transplant late July-Early Sept 10 heads
Carrots 3" apart / seed/ transplant July - mid-Aug 10 lbs.
Cauliflower 24" apart / transplant July - mid-Aug 5 heads
hard 6" apart / seeds/ transplant Aug-September 20 plants
Collards 18" apart / transplant / seed July - mid-Sept 10 lbs.
Kale 15" apart / seeds/ transplant July - mid-Sept 40 lb
Leeks 3" apart / transplant August 15 heads
Lettuce/Leaf 8" apart / seeds / transplant Aug - Sept 15 heads
Lettuce/Head 6" apart / seeds/ transplant Aug - Sept 20 heads
Mustard 12" apart / seeds / transplant Aug - early Sept 10 bs
Radish 1" apart / seeds / transplant Aug - Sept 60 roots
Rhubard 36" apart / crowns Perennial 20 stalks
Rutabagas 4" apart / seed / transplant July- early Sept 15 lbs
Spinach 4" apart / seed / transplant September 7 lbs
Turnips 4" apart / seed / transplant Sept - Oct 15 lbs


Lettuce and spinach planted in garden


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