Monday, October 1, 2012

Planting Advice Oct/Nov 2012

Diggin’ In The Dirt

By Tim Brown

Randolph Farmer’s Co-Op


As the summer season winds down, gardeners can begin considering their fall planting options. Among the most popular varieties that will be planted this fall are the cruciferous vegetables. Included in this group are leafy greens such as turnips, kale, mustard, collards, and radishes.

Leafy greens have gained popularity with gardeners because they are so easy to grow and harvest. An average soil ph of 6 and a general 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 fertilizer will help produce a good crop of vegetables. Not only are leafy green vegetables easy to grow, but they also provide the consumer with a bounty of vitamins and minerals. Leafy greens can be grown in an open garden area in rows or broadcast. If a garden plot is not available, leafy greens make excellent container crops.

In our area leafy green vegetables should be planted around early September. The plants tolerate the cool weather very well, even sweetening with light frost. Varieties such as kale and collards can withstand even more harsh weather.

The leafy greens boast a variety of textures. Turnip greens and mustard are generally considered the most tender plants. Kale and rape have a thicker leaf, with collards having the heaviest foliage.

The roots of radishes, rutabagas, and turnips add not only to the length of one’s fall harvest, but also the variety. Sparkler white tip and cherry belle are two common varieties of radish.

Finally, after harvest time, any remaining roots of the turnip will produce a beneficial flower that will be a welcome aid to bee population, providing the insects with a rare source of pollen during cool weather.



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