Tag Archives: temperature

Fall and winter gardens

by Sharon Dent

Fall is approaching and it will soon be planting time for fall and winter gardens. Greens of all types are nutritious and versatile and great candidates for your garden. I plant greens in my flower beds. A border of spinach in a winter flower bed adds unexpected green during brown months.



Greens can be used in salads, steamed, sauteed and in a wide range of recipes. One of my favorites is ham stuffed with spinach. Another is a kale and peach smoothie.

Cauliflower likes growing in cool temperatures and moist atmospheres. Plant in late summer for a late fall harvest. Cauliflower needs magnesium and without providing it, expect your heads to be stunted. Watch the acidity of the soil too; cauliflower needs to grow in neutral to slightly alkaline soil.

Among the easy-to-grow greens are kale, Swiss chard, spinach, collards, mustard, tender greens, and turnip greens. My family eats the leaves from the cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts plants too. Also delicious are arugula, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, and a wide range of lettuces.

Bok choy
Bok Choy is a favorite that likes a cool growing season but a sunny growing site. For baby bok choy, harvest from the time of planting might be 45 days, but it will take 60 days for a fully mature plant. So in Hot Springs, it is best to plant seeds in mid-August.

Greens are best suited for cool weather growing. They like consistent moisture, and insufficient water will inhibit growth. Cabbage worms and slugs sometimes attack your crops. Pluck them off, or use Bt (bacillus thuringiensis) to get rid of the pests.

Plant cabbage from mid-August to mid-September. I use plants rather that seeds.

Keep the growing areas free of competing weeds.  Applying mulch helps discourage weeds and preserve moisture in the soil.

Carrots must be grown in deep, sandy loam, or the carrots will be deformed.
It is ideal to plant when night temperatures are 55 degrees and daytime temperatures are 75 degrees.
Beets like to be planted in late August to early September. It takes 60-70 days for them to mature. They must be planted in loose, sandy loam which means lots of soil amendment in Hot Springs, and it needs to be 18 inches deep or more. Beets can survive frost and light freezing temperatures.  Detroit Reds are my favorite and I especially like eating the tops as greens. Remember when planting that it is best to plant seeds as beets do not transplant easily.

Let me know your favorite greens and recipes for using them.