While summer is coming to an end, it doesn’t mean your gardening has to. There are many plants that should be planted now to insure they grow for the winter and fall season. Also many of the plants thrive better when exposed to the cold fall weather and frost. Some that benefit from the frost include Brussel Sprouts, Chinese Cabbage, Kale and even Turnips. But what do I mean by frost you ask? Frost is generally a light coating of ice that occurs overnight and is split into three categories of intensity. Light freeze is anywhere between temperatures 28 and 31 degrees, Moderate freeze happens between 24 and 28 degrees, and Severe freeze which occurs below 24 degrees. All of the previous plants noted should be harvested before the first frost. On Long Island, our first frost typically happens around October 15th. Here is a list of plants that can be seeded now, for a harvest in the upcoming seasons.
- Beets (sow one-half to 1-inch deep and 1-inch apart in rows 12-18 inches apart)
- Cabbage (sow one-half to 3/4-inch deep and 3-inches apart. Harvest when heads first feel solid)
- Kale (sow one-quarter to one-half inch deep and 1-inch apart in rows 24 inches apart. Harvest when leaves reach full size)
- Lettuce (sow directly into the garden one-eighth inch deep and 1-inch apart in rows 12 inches apart. Head lettuces should be harvested when head feels firm but before it bolts)
- Radishes (sow directly into the garden one-half inch deep and 1-inch apart in rows 12 inches apart. Harvest before the ground freezes)
- Spinach (sow one-half to 1-inch deep and 3-inches apart. Harvest when full sized or a few leaves as necessary)
- Swiss Chard (sow 1-inch deep and 4-inches apart in rows 18-24 inches apart. Harvest by removing the outer leaves as needed)