Vegetable Gardening in Cool Weather

As trees start revealing their fall colours, your garden can do so as well.

Think about the greens that you would usually sow in the spring. Consider those that can tolerate cold weather. Because these are mainly foliage plants, seek those that enhance a dimension of colour besides leafy green when choosing varieties to plant in your garden.

Select amongst several leaf lettuces, including All-America winners such as Red Sails, Buttercrunch, Ruby, and Salad Bowl. Romaines can tolerate the cold. Some varieties include Rouge d’Hiver and Freckles. They will add good colour to your garden. Add in some Arctic King, Lollo Rossa, North Pole and Winter Marvel for an exceptional winter collection.

Sow each type of seed separately and then spread them out on bare soil. Spread them thicker than normal. Create an 18-inch wide swath in a garden bed or border the path heading from the sidewalk to your doorway. When the plants are already few inches tall, they will need to be thinned. Pull up plants at random. Because planting will be in the heat of summer, plant the seeds in a partially shadowed site or shade them with a twirled polyester cloth to keep them cooler. Spray the ground lightly during the day to freshen the seedlings. To prepare other plants for the fall harvest, sow the seeds in a partly shaded spot to prevent the soil from becoming too warm.

Select some kale varieties to ensure a variety of leaf shape, size, colour and crunch. Consider Redbor Hybrid, Winterbor, Lacinata Red Russian and Swiss chard to make a diverse garden.