I’m in zone 7b/8a and the queen of time mismanagement. We’re 9 weeks out from the first frost date (supposed to be Nov. 16). Is it too late to start seeds? I have Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower seeds. I’ve never tried a fall garden and was wanting to this year.
Sooner the better. I in USDA zone 7a have till the end of this week. Maybe. Early freezes have stunted my seedlings and they stayed 1 inch tall all winter, no harvest. In the spring, they went to seed very fast.
Emily Smith wrote:I’m in zone 7b/8a and the queen of time mismanagement. We’re 9 weeks out from the first frost date (supposed to be Nov. 16). Is it too late to start seeds? I have Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower seeds. I’ve never tried a fall garden and was wanting to this year.
I am in 8a and I just got my seeds started last week. I like to grow collards, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, garlic, onions and peas during the fall. My collards are cold tolerant down to about 10 F or so and they usually grow over winter just fine.
Softneck Garlic would probably be perfect to plant right now anyways, so there is no worries there.
You still have a few months to start your onions from seeds too.
I collect old sheets and blankets for everything else. I picked up an old greenhouse from a friend that he got rid of because it was missing pieces. I use the pipes and connections to frame out my row covers, and since it so seldomly gets below 25F, I only end up using it a few times a year.
Winter is my favorite time to grow and garden! The pests are non existent, the ground needs less water, and the things that grow in the winter are by far my favorite to eat; the only drawback is the limited light and lower angle of the sun mean that only a reduced portion of my garden continues to produce well.
So to answer your question, no it is not too late!
I'm in 8a, and hope to get some seeds planted in the next few days. I should have done it sooner but procrastinated getting old stuff chopped out to make room for the fall stuff.
I think you'll be okay. Last winter my kale, collards and chard grew all winter and I harvested every few weeks. Peas grew during the winter but didn't produce pods until early spring, but it was nice because I had time to shell and prep/preserve since nothing else was ripe yet. My brussels did the same Carrots, plus parsley and other herbs continued to grow all winter, but bolted this summer (instead of waiting until the second year). Lettuce will grow until it freezes, but can be picked at any age, so you can still get a yield, even if it's not fully mature.
This fall I'm definitely planning to get peas planted, plus more brassicas, chard, and spinach. Even if the broccoli and brussels wait until spring to produce, I still harvest the leaves during winter and cook like collards, kale, etc.
So I definitely encourage you to give it a go! If nothing else, you'll have some roots in the ground and will be building soil!
I really doubt sprouts are worth it now, they take months to grow not a fast crop at all. we plant them in June to harvest in December. with the others it's going to depend what varieties you have some are cold hardy some are not. lettuce will give you some sort of crop in 9 weeks.
But so much depends on climate, how cold are your nights, how warm are the days and how much light are you getting? where I am in 7b there's no point planting anything past early September. the nights are already down to single digits (C) and we lose the magical 10 hours of light in 10 days now.
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