Growing Fall and Winter Veggies

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Yes you can grow veggies in the fall and winter! In fact, I prefer this time of year to be in the garden. The weeds are not as aggressive, there are fewer bugs feasting and the weather is quite pleasant and typically much less humid.

The first step toward home-grown vegetables is preparing the garden. After removing all of the spent summer plants, lightly turn over the soil while adding some good organic fertilizer­–I prefer to use rabbit manure–and a little Epsom salt. Be certain the bed or container drains well. Plant roots need oxygen. If they are constantly in soggy soil, they will rot and drown.

The following is a list of veggies you can grow on the Northshore during the fall and winter:

Root Veggies – beets, carrots, garlic, radishes, parsnips, turnips.  Plant these by directly seeding them into the ground. Plant the seed about ¼ inch deep, and thin the plants to leave a space of about 3 inches in between.

Leafy veggies – Lettuce, collard greens, swiss chard, mustard greens, spinach.These may either be direct seeded or by transplanting seedlings. Again, sow seed about ¼ inch deep, and thin to a 6 inch spacing between plants.

Cole crops – broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower. These are best started by setting out transplants, leaving a spacing of about 18 inches between them.

When purchasing transplants, look for healthy, compact seedlings.  Although you can find many seedlings at the big box stores, I prefer to patronize the locally owned feed and seed stores. I find the staff at these to be most knowledgeable and helpful.So get out in the garden, enjoy the great fall weather and grow your own healthy food!



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