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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
mensplace
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Default WINTER GARDENING

I was inspired by B54Red's post on starting his plants for the Fall, so I started some cuttings a week ago. Even with our temps showing a "real feel" of up to 106 some days they are doing well. He has triggered an interest in me in terms of beating the winter doldrums here in north Georgia by trying later to convert the tomato garden to winter vegetables. That raises the question of when to direct seed the planting. The extreme Georgia heat of June through September has generally led to immediate bolting with anything like lettuce, I'm not really sure if September or October would be best for seeding of hardier greens and others. Is there a best source of a northern seed company that would have be best source for vegetables that will thrive over winter. Most here don't even think in terms of winter gardening. All suggestions and ideas welcome. I can't even think in terms of growing flats and transplanting. Thanks!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
b54red
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The first fall or winter crop that I direct sow into the garden is Mustard greens. Most of the fall or winter stuff I start in trays and transplant once it gets cooler. You are right about things bolting far too early if the cool weather doesn't get here when you think it will. That is one of the more frustrating things about growing in the fall. Timing for fall growing is usually much more iffy than in the spring down here but there are a lot of things to grow during the fall and winter months like Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Spinach, Lettuce, Carrots, Rutabagas, Cabbage and Onions. I also use low tunnels made with plastic conduit and use plastic sheeting to cover when the temps get too low. This allows me to grow many more vegetables successfully without so many getting killed by a hard freeze. Even the tunnels won't help if it gets too cold but that is a risk you take growing through the winter.

Bill
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
mensplace
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I now have my seeds, but will have to research what temperatures trigger bolting. September can be tricky and sometimes even October can have a few surprises up here in NW Georgia. I do like your idea of starting the seed in flats, but read that sometimes high temps in the seedling stage can trigger later bolting. I sought out varieties that can survive cold winter temps and will use straw for insulating. Too, I like your idea for plastic rolls for cover as so many of the others are cost prohibitive. Too, I've got to determine a date to put out the seed for the fall greens as direct sowing. Many times I have put out seed like spinach, lettuce, and Chinese varieties only to have them bolt in a few weeks. My hardy varieties like kale, cabbage, collards etc. will be the ones started in seed flats, so some research, guesswork and luck will be required to have them ready for winter growing. Here, October can be just a roll of the dice. I have tried carrots here, but they always came out bitter. Thanks for your feedback and suggestions! More folks should try gardening over the winter. I used to watch them on The Victory Garden growing vegetables over winter up north. If they can, we certainly should be able to. Wish there were a dedicated thread here for fall and winter gardening!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
mensplace
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Bill,
My seeds for the first round were put into the planting soil just a couple days ago, but they REALLY fooled me. With our super hot, total humidity days they came up this morning. Looking at the various planting date calendars, it looks like my winter seed planting for those to grow throughout the winter should come in mid- August. I guess these that are sprouting now will be for fall.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
greenthumbomaha
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What did you plant? Are these the starters or are you direct sowing?

I've had poor results with fall gardening (translated - I'm a failure at it), even with a row cover or portable greenhouse. We seem to get more cloudy days in fall, and combined with shorter days the plants are leaf happy and don't head. I'm stubborn and I keep trying. Greens only for me this year.

Johnny's just sent an email with a link to their trial findings for fall carrots. You could see their suggested varieties and choose which work best in your area.

- Lisa
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
mensplace
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Here we have shorter days in the winter, which is why we grow Vidalia onions rather than longer day onions. But, our fall and winter doesn't have the constant overcast that winters up north are prone too. We generally only get one or two snow days and folks goes crazy. But, even in winter our humidity is higher. Never have been able to grow carrots.

This year I am trying several cabbages, a wide range of oriental vegetables, American and Italian Brassicas, leeks, and Yellow Granex onions. A lot of this will be nestled in or covered in straw when the real cold comes. Some seed is already sprouting for fall, but a second batch will be planted eight weeks before the first frost. Here that is normally October 20, but VERY variable.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
Ken B
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I give a talk at Monticello every fall on fall and winter gardening, based on our experience here in central Virginia (zone 7A), here's a link to the handout I give with the talk, it's got details on varieties and planting dates that work for us -- http://www.southernexposure.com/sout...de-ezp-38.html

(I actually need to update the online version, I revise this some every year and we haven't revised the online version since 2009... ah, one more thing to add to the to-do list!)
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
MuddyToes
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I planted a few white ball turnips last month on a whim. I accidentally dug one up yesterday. (I thought it was a radish ) Anyway, it was one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted. I ate some raw and threw the rest in a curry dish I was making for supper. I am going to plant more soon.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
b54red
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mensplace View Post
Bill,
My seeds for the first round were put into the planting soil just a couple days ago, but they REALLY fooled me. With our super hot, total humidity days they came up this morning. Looking at the various planting date calendars, it looks like my winter seed planting for those to grow throughout the winter should come in mid- August. I guess these that are sprouting now will be for fall.
I think you may be starting a bit early even for transplanting. I usually start some Brussels sprouts in late July because they are so slow to grow and must be kept inside in the air conditioning until cool nights arrive. I will start a few broccoli, cabbage, rutabagas, and cauliflower in late August and again in Sept. I never know what the weather will do but it doesn't work to put any of them out too early but you want some ready to go as soon as it cools down. Carrots are great to grow down here. I never know when will work out to be the best time to start them so I usually start a small patch in October, November and December. Usually one or two of those patches will get a good stand and do well over the winter and be ready to pick as soon as the spring weather gets here. Lettuce and spinach are much trickier. Lettuce tends to bolt easily so starting it too soon is a no no but it also is easily damaged by freezes so some kind of cover is needed. Spinach is hard to sprout and grow before cool weather gets here so best not to hurry it too much. I like to grow Bermuda onions because they will grow down here and keep better than Vidalia types which want to start rotting as soon as you pick them. I start my onions in flats or in the ground in October and over winter them for picking in April and May.

Bill
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
kevrow73
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I like to follow this thread from Ireland. Not sure how it relates to your part of the USA, but it's northern hemisphere and Nicky posts a calendar of what she sows with examples of types that grow well in the winter.

http://www.nickykylegardening.com/

For years, I've grown a kale called Ragged Jack (also called Red Russian) during winter months.
You only need two or three plants, they grow very big and I just pick leaves off as I need them. Young leaves can be used in salads also. Last year it did bolt, but i just cut it back near to the base and it grew back.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
mensplace
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So far I have only started seeds in flats. They are now about two inches tall and a bit spindly. Today and following days I will be putting them deep into small cups. Among them are Swiss chard, Michili Chinese Cabbage, Dutch flat cabbage, Pak Choi, Walla Walla Onion, Dwarf blue curled kale, Creole collards, and All seasons COL Cabbage. I have many more packs of seed of the finer cool season winter vegetables. I only planted a few seeds of the above; just to stay busy. It being mid July, I know it is early, but it will be at least a month before they go to the next set of larger cups. Today, the high will be a real feel of 105. In August it will get hotter. September is always an unknown. Our normal first frost is around October 20. I have never done well with carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts here no matter when I plant them. That's fine as I don't think The last three are among my favorites and I can buy carrots cheaply. at the right time to My challenge is to start my second round of seeds for the finer vegetables and winter crop between the heat and the frost.
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