Sunday, August 26, 2012

Planting for Fall

I finally planted some seeds for fall crops today.  Probably a bit late for some things, but we'll see how it goes.

I've only tried fall planting one other year.  That was peas, and it didn't work out so well.  I planted them sometime in September, and they suffered from frost before they were ready.  I hadn't been worried about frost, because I knew from spring planting that peas are fine in frost.  I learned from this that while pea plants are fine with frost, pea pods and their developing peas are not.  They end up frozen.  And if I wanted frozen peas, I'd go to the grocery store.

So onto this year.  I know I should have sown my seeds 2-3 weeks ago, but I didn't.  Here's what I planted today, and some notes, including when the Maryland Cooperative Extension (MdCE)* recommends planting these things**:

 - Beets (chioggia and Detroit dark red).  I've never had success with beets.  Maybe a fall planting will make a difference.  Maybe.  (MdCE says plant fall beets June 20-Aug 1.  Oops.  Well, these dates are for centeral Maryland, and I have a later frost date than they do.)
 - Lettuce (tennis ball).  MdCE says plant head lettuce Aug1-Aug 15 and leaf lettuce, romaine and butterhead lettuces July 20-Sept 1.  So I'm close with this one.
 - Bok Choi.  I've never planted this before.  I got the seeds for planting this spring, but then read that bok choi would do better as a fall crop here.  I hope that's true.  MdCE apparently doesn't expect one to plant bok choi at all, but they do say plant cabbage (transplants) July 10-Aug 20 and chinese cabbage (is that what bok choi is?) July 1-Aug 15.  So I'm probably late here, too.
 - Carrots (chartenay).  Just because I had the seeds to use up.  I'm not expecting much.  (MdCE says June 15-Aug 1, so yup, really late)
 - Leeks (musselburgh).  I don't know if leeks even work as a fall crop;  this was totally impulse planting.  MdCE only lists them as a spring crop.  Oh well.

What didn't I plant?
- Spinach.  Here's something that would have actually been on time (Aug1-Sept 5).  I wanted to plant some, too, but I couldn't find my seeds.
- Kale.  It's overwintered really well before, so I should have planted it again, but I just didn't feel like it.
- Broccoli.  Because broccoli needs to be started even earlier and set out as transplants, and I didn't do that.

* yes, I live in Va, but really close to Md, and the MdCE has far more information available, so I use them. 

If you want to reference the full Spring/Fall planting guide, you can find it as publication #HG16 from the Home and Garden Information Center here.

** No, I didn't look up the planting schedule until after I planted my seeds today. 

1 comment:

  1. I planted lettuce, radishes and kohlrabis and with the recent rain, they are all sprouting! I've had bad luck getting lettuce to go for fall before and have had a similar problem with peas. Hope you get some produce!