My garden work is starting to wind down for the season, most everything is growing and now I’m just harvesting and getting some trees/shrubs in here and there and doing improvement projects as time allows. I’m looking towards fall already.
I already got lots of great advice on prepping my beds for and planting my garlic (thanks all) and now I’m wondering about tossing some seeds out for next season. Does anyone growing in zones 3 or 4 have experience with successful fall sowing? I assume my Apple and cherry seeds will be fine (even better) for the stratification, but can I sow any of my annual veggie seeds this fall?
Do any vegetable seeds withstand such temperatures? I mean some must, people in these zones get volunteers right? I’m thinking the best thing I can do to reduce the spring insanity is to get some seeds in during fall and reduce the burden. I also have lily and foxglove and hyacinth seeds, all of which I’ll be seeding in fall to see how they do. Anything I sow in advance would need to survive -20F, mice and vole pressure, and not come up too early in spring (we have a long period of freeze/thaw cycles Mar-Apr). Am I dreaming to think I can do this?
Winter peas, winter rye, and winter wheat are all good fall crops. You've already mentioned garlic, but I would add potato onions as well. Short-season crops like radishes would grow fast enough to be harvested before the ground freezes. Perennials like strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus do well when planted in the fall.
As long as there's good snow cover, I've had little pea plants overwinter with stretches of -15C. If you plant enough seeds for the rodents, you'll have some come up in the spring too. You'll also get bonus patches where the rodents stashed seeds and forgot about them.
For stuff to plant in the fall and have come up in the spring, I've had success with pretty much any spring crop - all the leafy greens like mustard, lettuce, spinach, chicory, kale, etc. Radishes, turnips, beets, poppies, alliums, parsley.
Mache/lamb's lettuce/corn salad is a great green to start late in the year. I have it naturalizing at my place now, which I love.
Sunflowers come up all over the place where birds and rodents hide seeds.
The only thing with the leafy greens is that a lot of them bolt early when fall/winter seeded. So I always plant some later in the spring anyway.
When all four tires fall off your canoe, how many tiny ads does it take to build a doghouse?
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