Get a Second Harvest
out of your Vegetable Garden
A second harvest of winter vegetables comes with wise vegetable
planning and planting for your vegetable garden. During the month of
September, if you live in
the northern hemisphere, your vegetable garden has started to peak and
you are busy canning
and planning for vegetable storage for those lean winter months.
However, if you plant again in September with cold loving, hardy
plants, even in
frost zones, you can get an extended harvest out of your vegetable
The best thing about vegetable planting during this time is that the
cooler weather means that there are fewer garden pests attacking your
plants and diseases either slow down or disappear completely during the
colder months. Harvesting your second harvest is then easier than the
Don’t think that it is too cold in your area.
Check the moon
planting calendar for optimal planting times,
reach for those
and start planting kale ,
cabbage , chard , rocket , claytonia , mache ,
minutina , mizuna , endive , spinach , carrots , turnips , rutabagas and planting broccoli
so that you can harvest your vegetables well into November.
Your carrots may not reach their full size when you have to pull them,
but there is nothing wrong with tasty, young carrots. These crops are
able to withstand a fair amount of cold and frost. If you want to leave
the ground over the winter then add about 6-8 inches of straw over
the top of the carrots to protect them from the
Mid –September frosts may be common in your area, but if you are able
to create a micro climate on your property it is still possible to
harvest broccoli, chard, cabbage, rocket and other cold-weather
another gem for a
winter second harvest crop. If you leave the stump of the radicchio
in the soil over winter, come spring
time it will re-sprout and give you perfect heads in the
the same thing.
Plant it in the fall and it will produce
some lovely leaves before the winter weather gets to it. Mulch it well
and it will start growing again when the weather warms up in the spring.
Endives, spinach, radicchio and many Asian
greens also grow well in the
cold. Chard ,
lettuce , leeks and parsley can also
take the cold.
Watering for your Second Harvest
At this time deep watering is really important for growing your winter
vegetables – 2 inches twice a week,
and mulching around your plants will keep the moisture in and retain
the heat in the soil for longer. In October stop watering and you
should be able to harvest right through the snow.
Seeds and Seedlings for your Second Harvest
You may not find space among your vegetables to plant your seeds for
your second harvest.
However, if you find a small area that is suitable to raise your
seedlings for transplanting later on, use this until you have managed
to clear some beds for your next planting season.
You really need to plant out your seedlings that have been planted in
July for optimal growth. When days are shorter and the vegetables don’t
get a lot of sun, they start to slow down in their growth. By October,
your plants are not going to grow much more. If you haven’t started
own seedlings in July, then try and source them from a good nursery.
Make sure that you have purchased frost or cold-hardy varieties.
Good Cold Crops for your Second Harvest for Winter Vegetables
Good cold winter vegetables grow better than you imagined. Kale is
very good, even when exposed to frost and is easy to grow under cold
conditions, even when the snow comes and temperatures plummet to zero
and below. Collards are also hardy. In areas where the weather is
milder broccoli can last throughout the winter.
Root crops will also do well for a second harvest, carrots , parsnips , beetroot
and other root crops are protected from the cold by the soil they are
growing in. However, mulching is really important to keep the roots
warm. A layer of 8 inches of straw will protect them. If you want to
get really fancy, you can protect your plants with a small plastic
tunnel of metal hoops and plastic covering the beds.
It is important to still make sure that your plants are well-manured
and fed during this period of second harvest. It is also important to
be vigilant so that
when you have a freeze/thaw and the plants are lifted out of the soil
you are able to resettle them back into the soil. Look after your fall
garden well and enjoy extending your harvest.
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