Kenwood Press


Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

email print
Over the Garden Fence: 08/01/2017

Planting the fall vegetable garden



August is the time to plan and plant the fall vegetable garden here in the Sonoma Valley. The fall garden will include those cool-weather crops - roots and leafy crops - that struggle in summer heat.

The key to planting vegetables for fall harvest is timing. Plant your autumn vegetable garden so that the crops reach maturity and harvest just before or within a week or two after the first frost in fall. On average the first fall frost here will come between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15.

To know when to plant each crop, know the number of days to maturity, then count backwards that number of days from when you plan to harvest to determine the planting date.

If a crop takes 90 days to reach maturity and you plant on Aug. 15, then you can expect to harvest on or about Nov. 15. The weather will be cool then and cool-weather crops will be very happy. Don't worry about the first frost or two; most cool-season crops can withstand a light frost - including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, chards, collards, kohlrabi, radishes, and even lettuce and spinach.

Here's a guide for the number of days from sowing to harvest for the most popular autumn harvest crops (these numbers may vary slightly by variety):

Beets: count back 74 days: 5 days to germination + 55 days to maturity + 14 days factoring for short days. Direct sow beets in the garden. Beets can survive a heavy frost.

Broccoli: count back 95 days: 5 days to germination + 21 days to transplant size +55 days to maturity + 14 days factoring for short days. Start broccoli indoors then transplant to the garden. Broccoli can withstand light but not heavy frost without protection.

Brussels sprouts: count back 120 days: 5 days to germination + 21 days to transplant size + 80 days to maturity + 14 days factoring for short days. Start Brussels sprouts indoors then transplant to the garden. Brussels sprouts can withstand light but not heavy frost without protection.

Cabbage: count back 99 days: 4 days to germination + 21 days to transplant size + 60 days to maturity + 14 days factoring for short days. Start cabbage indoors then transplant to the garden. Cabbage can withstand light but not heavy frost without protection.

Carrots: count back 85 days: 6 days to germination + 65 days to maturity + 14 days factoring for short days. Direct sow carrots. Carrots can withstand light but not heavy frost without protection.

Cauliflower: count back 90 days: 5 days to germination + 21 days to transplant size + 50 days to maturity + 14 days factoring for short days. Start cauliflower indoors then transplant to the garden. Cauliflower can survive heavy frost.

Chard: count back 69 days: 6 days to germination + 50 days to maturity +14 days factoring for short days. Direct seed chard. Chard can survive heavy frost.

Leaf Lettuce: count back 76 days: 3 days to germination + 14 days to reach transplant size + 45 to maturity + 14 days factoring for short days. Start lettuce indoors for best results then transplant to the garden. Lettuce can survive a light frost but not heavy frost without protection.

Peas: count back 70 days: 6 days to germination + 50 to maturity+ 14 days factoring for short days. Direct seed peas. Peas can survive heavy frost.

Spinach: count back 64 days: 5 days to germination + 45 days to maturity+ 14 days factoring for short days. Direct seed spinach. Spinach can withstand light but should be protected from heavy frost.

Steve Albert is the author of The Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide available at Amazon.com. He teaches in the landscape design program at the U.C. Berkeley Extension. He lives in Oakmont.

Email: author@kenwoodpress.com

Recently Published:

07/01/2017 - Summer harvest tips
06/01/2017 - Vegetable watering tips
04/01/2017 - Best herbs for container growing
03/01/2017 - When to plant peppers, melons, and eggplants
02/01/2017 - Plan your seed sowing in February
12/01/2016 - Dormant spraying fruit trees in winter
11/01/2016 - November garden roundup
09/01/2016 - Get your veggie garden ready for winter
08/01/2016 - Planting the second-season veggie garden
07/01/2016 - Hot weather watering tips
06/01/2016 - Feeding your summer vegetables
05/01/2016 - Peppers demand pampering
04/01/2016 - Growing blueberries in the Sonoma Valley
03/01/2016 - No-dig your way to success
08/01/2014 - Planting the late summer and fall vegetable garden

Community Calendar

Search for music director topic at SIR #53
08/23/2017
more...
Funky Fridays
08/25/2017
more...
Funky 50th party for parks
08/25/2017
more...
Nature hike
08/26/2017
more...
Renowned speaker Harte at Quarryhill BG
08/26/2017
more...
Peek into M.F.K. Fisher’s ‘Last House’
08/26/2017
more...
Take a ‘Forest Bathing’ hike at Sugarloaf
08/26/2017
more...
Sonoma Salutes Sugarloaf
08/27/2017
more...
Funky Fridays
09/01/2017
more...
New exhibit by Fred Parker
09/01/2017
more...
Rotary Club of Glen Ellen-Kenwood meeting
09/02/2017
more...