Campus News

Plant cool-season vegetables now

Many gardeners gave up on planting a fall vegetable garden last year due to the exceptional drought conditions. However, there is a second window of opportunity in late winter to plant a number of cool-season vegetables.

Cool-season vegetables include beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, collards, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, onions, English peas, Irish potatoes, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips. Most cool-season vegetables, if planted now, will be ready to harvest around early April or May. Cool-season vegetables are generally very fast growing and are easily planted by direct seeding into the soil. There is no reason to purchase or grow transplants this time of year, since the soil moisture and weather conditions are ideal for seed germination.

Many cool-season vegetables grow close to the ground and have direct contact with the soil, so avoid using fertilizer sources such as animal manure that could increase the chance of contamination by foodborne pathogens.

As with all vegetables, select a garden site that receives at least eight to 10 hours of sunlight a day. Select a location that is conveniently located near your home and a water supply. The soil should have a good texture and be well drained. Adding a mulch of wheat straw, leaves, compost or pine straw will help conserve soil moisture, control weeds and reduce cultivation.

Source: UGA Cooperative Extension