Cold Weather Crops – Is It Too Soon to Plant Them?
There is a time and a season for everything. It could be your time to raise children, become obsessed with genealogy or be an empty-nester. Your stages of life might change but there are rules to be followed if you want to successfully plant your crops. Now is the time, while it’s still cold outside, to begin planting (and planning for) your cold weather crops.
These cold weather crops can be planted now and again in the late summer for fall growing. They will taste best, and last longest, if they can be grown to maturity in the cool weather. The goal is to plant them very early so they will mature before the summer heat sets in and they “bolt”, become bitter, and set seed.
Considered frost tolerant, some vegetables like brussel sprouts and collards are even better tasting once they receive a slight frost. Some crops like beet, mustard, lettuce and chard are so hardy they can be planted directly outside in cool soil.
The Sunset Western Garden Book is a standby for reliable information at my house. This page from their website on Cool Season Crops is worth a look.
Cool-season veggies grow best at temperatures averaging 15° cooler than those needed by warm season types. You can expect to plant out in the garden once your soil reaches the 45-50° range.
Many have edible leaves or roots (lettuce, spinach, carrots, and radishes); others (artichokes, broccoli, and cauliflower) are grown for their immature flowers. A few (peas, broad beans) produce edible seeds.
In warm regions, plant cool season crops from late summer to early fall for harvest in late fall, winter, or early spring.
Bonnie Plants has a great “How to Grow” page for each kind of cool weather crop.
Cold Weather Crops to Plant Right Now
|Plant Name||When to plant outside||How to plant|
|ARTICHOKE||Dec-Apr||crown or plants|
|BROCCOLI||Feb-Mar, Jul-Aug||seed or plant|
|BRUSSEL SPROUTS||Feb or July||seed|
|CABBAGE||Feb-Apr, Jul-Aug||Seed or plant|
|CELERY||Feb-Mar||Seed or plant|
|CHARD||Year round||seed or transplants|
|FENNEL||Sept-Apr||Seed or plant|
|KALE||Feb-Mar, Jul-Aug||seed or plant|
|ONION, GREEN BUNCHING||Mar-Apr||sets|
Shared with: Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural – HomeAcre Hop –
Deborah Davis says
It’s such a pleasure to be able to benefit from this timely post on cold weather crops that we can plant right now.Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information on the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Blog Hop! I appreciate it!
saundra dale says
Thank you so much for this post! yesterday I planted some peas, radishes and carrots, but some of these I didn’t know were cool weather crops. I guess I better get my gardening gloves back on today! Thanks again.
Tammi Day says
Thanks so much for the great articles! I am inspired and educated by sitting at your virtual feet.
Because of your open and friendly writing style, I feel safe explaining some confusion I had while reading this particular post. I hope you will receive it in the constructive manner it is intended. The title includes the word “now”, but the only way I could tell when it was written was from the dates on the comments. Since this is no longer new, I would love to see some kind of “originally posted” date on seasonal items.
My second confused thought was, “Digging under three feet of snow to plant arugula sounds a little extreme…” I’m guessing you don’t live in Michigan 😉 — but I can’t find a reference to your zone in this article. If you would mention it in (relevant) articles, I would be better able to translate it to my reality.
Thanks again, and I hope to keep learning as you keep teaching!