Issue 37 • Seasonal tips and featured varieties coming to a retailer near you • July 28, 2011
So Of Course it’s Time to Think Fall & Winter
Now that the sun has come out and we can finally start enjoying a little summer weather, we need to look forward to the fall and winter garden! Many vegetables, like salad and cooking greens, broccoli and cabbages, and root crops are particularly suited to winter gardening in the Northwest, as they prefer to grow and mature in cool wet weather for harvest throughout late fall and/or winter. Others, like peas, onions, and some overwintering brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale) will start growing in autumn, do little during the coldest months, then take off again for a spring harvest.
One key to keeping a successful garden going throughout the winter is picking the best location. Ideally, your winter garden will be located in the warmest, sunniest, most protected and well-drained site you can find. A south slope can help catch more light and sun; raised beds will assist with drainage, and a protected location will keep the worst of the wind and frost off your plants. Remember you’ll have to venture out into the cold and rain to harvest or tend to your vegetables, so proximity to the house and access from (relatively) dry walking paths are also important to consider!
Space winter vegetables a little farther apart than usual, so that they’ll have good air circulation once the weather gets wet. Until the damper months do arrive, however, these cool season crops may need some extra babying to get them through hot dry spells; water them often to keep their roots moist and cool until they get well established.
We have started shipping a wide variety of fall and winter vegetable starts. Look for lettuce, kale, spinach, and plenty of other greens – as well as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, and more. Most fall and winter vegetables need to be set out between mid-July and mid-September, so now’s a good time to get out in that sunshine and invest a little effort so you’ll have fresh homegrown produce when the cool, dark, wet months return!
See our Fall and Winter Gardening Guide for the specific planting and harvest dates of many of the varieties we’re offering right now.
There is also a helpful 8-page guide on Fall & Winter Gardening from the Extension Service available for free download at the OSU website.
Previous issues of Garden News are in the Log House Library.