Late Season Planting
Many folks forget that there are vegetable varieties you can plant and harvest late in the garden season. Many of our hardy, short season vegetables are ideal choices.
Here in Sudbury Ontario our growing season ends around September 25, so the best time to plant your fall season plants would be the first week of August or the end of July for the peas. There are lots of varieties you can plant for the fall, while this is not a complete list of the varieties, you can easily determine yourself by checking the date the growing season ends in your area and the time it takes the plant to grow.
- Spinach varieties such as Magenta Orach and Bloomsdale Spinach can be harvested as baby plants or at maturity. For baby spinach they only need 28 days of growth to harvest or 50 for a mature plant.
- Kale varieties such as Siberian Kale and Westlander Kale only take 50 days to maturity. Our other varieties like Red Russian Kale and Scarlet Kale will take a little longer but are worth the wait, Red Russian Kale turns bright purple in the fall when the night time temperatures start to drop.
- Roquette Arugula is a great variety especially if you love adding the peppery goodness to your meals every chance you get. I stagger this plant all summer in my 'breakfast garden' so I have an endless supply of breakfast greens.
- Rainbow Swiss Chard will add a pop of colour to you fall garden as well as be a constant source of the accomplished feeling because it grows so fast and its leaves are lush and vibrant.
- Shanghai Bok Choy will also do well planted as a fall crop. Lettuce varieties are another great choice for fall planting due to their cold tolerance which can typically deal with temperatures as low as -6°C.
- Our Kweik Lettuce variety is gorgeous and has superior cold tolerance. This year I had Kweik Lettuce poking through the soil on May 2nd! Other varieties like our Drunken Woman Lettuce, Rouge d'Hiver Lettuce, Jester Lettuce and Red Salad Bowl Lettuce all have different and beautiful variations of red on their leaves, weather it be speckles, red tips or the entirety of the plant being red, they will all add a beautiful touch of colour to your fall garden. Garden Party Lettuce Mix is a mixture of lettuce varieties that can give you an amazing baby lettuce mixture, this would only need about a month to harvest baby lettuce.
- Our mustard green varieties Mizuna Mustard Greens and Scarlet Frills Mustard Greens are very hardy greens and will not disappoint in both, aesthetic and production catagories.
- Root vegetables can also be planted in the late summer for a fall harvest. Some of the more cold tolerant types will still live under the snow when a thick layer of mulch is applied. Our beautiful Pink Beauty Radishes only take 26 days from seed to harvest. Planting radishes every two weeks is a great way to ensure continuous radish harvest all growing season. Flat of Egypt Beets are another root vegetable that are great to plant for the fall season, they are good to tolerate consistent temperatures of -1°C. Kuroda Carrots are one of the vegetables that can stay in the ground under the snow with a good thick layer of straw mulch to insulate them. The tops of carrots can withstand a drop in temperature up to -7.7°C and the root part can handle a much steeper drop in temperature as long as they are under straw mulch.
- Bush beans are a great variety to plant for the fall season as well, the bush beans determinant grow pattern make them ideal for planting in the fall. Bush beans are programmed to start flowering all at once when the vegetative part of the plant reaches maturity. Pole bean varieties are not ideal for fall planting due to the indeterminate nature of their growth, they are better for a continuous harvest over an extended period of time. Bush bean varieties like our Rocnor Bean and Provider Bean reach maturity in 50-55 days. Be sure to harvest your beans before a frost as they have less tolerance to frost than peas do. Fall season peas will do best when planted in July, they take a little longer than the previously mentioned varieties.
- Sugar Snap Peas will take 65 days to mature, Champions of England Peas and Banana Nano Peas will take 70 days to harvest. So if you are looking for a fall pea harvest, sow your seeds in the second or third week of July.
Whichever variety you choose to grow for a bountiful fall harvest remember that the seedlings may be more sensitive due to being planted in the middle of the summers heat. Ensure the babies are well watered and planted in the proper soil to give them the best start and harvest potential as possible.
Which late season varieties are you going to try this year? Comment below.