Do you go to winter farmers’ markets and wonder how the farmers do it with all that beautiful produce this time of year? Here is a list of some veggies you can be harvesting and eating right now, and up until a deep freeze and snow storm, out of your garden. I have included tips on when you should have planted them in order to make that happen in a Vermont (zone 4) garden. Cold hardy crops should be sized up by the middle of October as they do not really grow actively after that point, but they do hold very well at the mature stage during the colder and shorter days. Your garden, at this time of year, is essentially a living walk-in cooler for you to glean from as you like.
Brussels sprouts - plant in late June, for a fall and early winter harvest. The cold actually makes them taste sweeter.
Kale - plant up to mid-August for eating all fall and early winter. You can transplant seedings, or seed directly into the garden to cut for “braising greens” or baby kale.
Collards - Slower growing, so should be planted by mid-July or so. Very cold hardy.
Cabbage – Transplant in mid-August for fall harvest.
Broccoli – Transplant mid-August to early September for a fall harvest.
Kohlrabi – direct seed in mid-August or transplant in early September.
Celery – transplant in mid-July to early August. Keep well watered in the summer months because they do not like to get too hot or too dry.
Celeriac – transplant in late June (like brussels sprouts). Great for Thanksgiving.
Carrots – direct seed through the first week of July.
Beets – direct seed through the middle of August or transplant as late as the first week of September
Arugula – direct seed through early september or transplant as late as first week of October.
Mustard Greens – same as arugula, but if you want large plants, transplant early to mid September.
Cold Hardy Lettuce varietes – transplant through late September. Direct seed through early September. Best varieties for cold: Green oak Tango, Merveille des 4 Saisons, Red Butter Red Cross.
Cilantro – direct seed through mid-August. Transplant through late September.
Dill – direct seed through early September, transplant through late September.
Leeks – transplant in late June
Spinach – direct seed in late August. You can also seed it in early to mid September in order to overwinter it for an early spring harvest (mulch with straw in December).
Any crops can have a slightly extended season with floating row cover laid over hoops. This will also speed them along during the cooler growing periods of late September and October; and as an added bonus will keep off any late summer insects.
And a cold frame can extend the season even more. You can see me planting mine here on our You Tube channel. I did this in early October.