Weekend Tip: Fall Vegetables

(Willamette Valley Zone 8b)

Itty bitty broccoli plants getting started for fall.

Feels weird to think about fall in the middle of another heatwave, but it’s time!  If you’re like me, your beds are a huge tangle of feral vegetables and every inch has something growing or shading it.  So how are we supposed to sow?  Why in pots of course!  You can get your new babies going inside where you can keep better control of temperature and moisture levels that are ideal for good germination. 

What makes  a good fall crop?

Almost any of your cool season crops–just select for the fastest time to maturity as listed on the seed packet. I selected a hybrid mini-broccoli for its short 45 days to maturity as opposed to 80 days for my standard broccoli. I also started: Outredgeous Lettuce, and spinach. I can never get enough salad greens.

Excellent fall crops to start indoors:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnips

There are other fall crops to sow directly that will overwinter like garlic and onions, but it’s a little early for those.  Besides, who has the room yet? Not me. 

P.S. If you had a crop failure (AKA – opportunity!), you can start root crops like carrots and beets. Carrot seeds need very moist soil, so place a board over the seeds to protect the soil from drying. Then check daily and remove it when the seeds begin to germinate.

Further Reading:

Fall and Winter Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest – OSU Extension Service

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