When do you all start them?
Fall Crops in Zone 7
Depends on what you are planting. I plant something every month, but now too often in January. Transplanting Brassicas are already in their plant beds getting ready for tarnsplanting last of August into September. Spring crop of Brassicas go into cold frame in January. ( broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) Turnips are direct sown in late August, September early october. ditto with mustards. Spinach, kale direct sown in September. I of course am still planting summer crops ( up til the middle of August) Carrots , radishes direct sown September. English peas ( smooth seeded) November- December
This gives me a good idea for scheduling purposes
BB, a good thing to have on hand is a "days to first frost" chart. I made one years ago, based on our first frost date, and have it taped near my desk/reference books. That way it is very easy to schedule your sowing. If, for example, you know you need to sow your brocoli seeds in a range from 14-17 weeks before the first frost or collards in a range of 8-10 weeks, you can check your chart. The chart being similar to:
Weeks before First Frost/Freeze
One week …………..Oct 24
Two weeks………….Oct 17
Three weeks………..Oct 10
Four weeks………….Oct 3
Five weeks………….Sept 26
Six weeks…………...Sept 19
Seven weeks……….Sept 12
and on back as far as you like. (Mine is geared around October 30th) It really makes things convenient. I also have a chart for the Last Frost dates for my late Winter/Spring sowing.
F-dill, you're ahead of me already! I better get busy on some of my Fall sowing!
My first and last frost dates are very similar to yours. But my problem is I don't know how long before that I need to have sown the seeds. Do you have a chart or list on that?
I take my "guidance" on sowing dates from one of my Rodale books. However, since it is gonna be around 100º here today I may be confined to the air-conditioning for while. That being so I'll quickly type up a list for you (or perhaps can find a guide on the 'Net) and be back in touch.
Off to pull up a few spuds for supper before it gets any hotter out there!
I like your chart, horsehoe. I'm going to make one of my own.
Looks like I have 89 days (a little more than 12 weeks) until frost. So do I just look at the "Days to Maturity" info on the seed packet and make sure that it's fewer than 89 days? Or is it more complicated than that?
With transplants, the nursery says their cool weather crops will be in within a few weeks, so I guess I'll just plant them whenever they come in. Any more advice you can give would be great because I'd really like to get this right this time. But I'm in Zone B, so it's going to be a little different for me than it is for you guys.
Shoe, at 100 degrees, we old folks need to sit by the fire to keep warm. Now if we could get a little rain I would be more enthusiastic about planting. Of course fall crops to me means frostproof plants so I never worry about the frost dates. Of course I plant summer crops until the last minute but they usually run of daylight hours before frost. Squash, beans etc will be planted for September - October harvest. Our first average frost date is November 15 but it varys considerably from year to year.
Great info Everyone
It's a scorcher here too. Putting my $600 water bill payment in the mail only made me hotter. :-(
Hah! Farmerdill, I hear ya on the 100 degrees! I already am to the point of making sure I have long pants on and sometimes a light sweater just to go in an air-conditioned store these days! (Especially if I have to buy something in the milk aisle at the grocery store!)
As for the frost proof plants, I do the same, F-dill, but I have to get them up to size so they'll be more hardier than little seedlings. That plus the fact we are losing our daylight hours and they could use the little boost by starting them in cells packs or the like.
Indy, the DTM (days to maturity) usually refer to the transplant date on many crops and I'd include most of the Fall/Winter crops in that list. For example, if you want to plant collards from seed you'd sow them in your pots/cold-frame or the like about 8-10 weeks before your frost/freeze date. They are normally ready to set out in 6-8 weeks from "declaring" (germinating/showing themselves). Of course you can always direct sow them also but I think you might have better success starting some in pots/cell packs so you can baby them along (during the extreme heat of August they will benefit from a bit of shade and you can also keep them from drying out so quickly).
There is also a "nine day factor" that folks tend to go buy when figuring up sowing times. This is due to the amount of daylight becoming shorter; in other words you might want to add nine days to your DTM date.
When I get the list ready (that I promised Karen above) I'll try to include weeks to set out after sowing, etc.
Down to only 93º now so am going out to check on things. Be back later!
PS..FarmerDill, off topic..My Dixie butterpeas are sending out vines? Do you know if they are half-runners or something? (Wyatt-Quarles seed source)
Edited to faint, pass out, and holler "oh m'goodness" at BB's water bill! Hope you can drill a well on your property one day as it'll certainly pay for itself.
This message was edited Jul 22, 2008 4:34 PM
Shoe, Dixie Butterpeas, both the white and speckled version have small compact plants. Sometimes the flower spikes will stick up a foot or so, but less than Cangreen.
I do the same for the brassicas (broccoli, cabbage ,cauliflower, collards) except that I start in shaded beds 6-8 weeks before my projected transplant time, which is why I have already started mine for September planting.
This message was edited Jul 22, 2008 5:00 PM
Thanks for clearing that up. That's a big difference. I'll skip the seeds this season and buy transplants.
I just sewed beets,carrots,radishes,broccoli and cauliflower. Hub's just broke up some more space for me so I can sew more beets,collards,swiss chard and cabbages.I'll toss black plastic over empty spaces to keep grass and weeds from coming back up then next month sew kale,mustard,spinach and turnips.If somethings aren't ready before first hard frost,I make low poly tunnels from my tomato baskets and greenhouse film remnants.
Have to get out there at the very first sign of light so I can get as much done as possible before heat gets really bad.
Thankfully I'm on a well so...no water bill but it does bump up electric bill a bit water veggie gardens,greenhouse,nursery area and flowerbed. I don't worry to much about the lawn...if it gets a bit of water when I water flowerbeds...lucky grass.
Here is a fairly decent chart with Fall planting dates, and gives various first frost dates so you can select your area. (At the bottom of the page is also a link to Spring planting dates.)
I may still make a chart to share as the above chart doesn't show sowing dates for those of you who want to start certain things from seed (like broccoli for example; they only give a planting date for broccoli plants, not from seed).
Hope this tides you over until I spend a bit more time making a more detailed chart. (I'd like to show seed sowing dates for transplanting, number of weeks to sow/number of weeks til set-out date, average days to maturity/harvest begins, etc.)
Market day today so will be a bit tied up getting things ready and then off to sell.
Happy Gardening Everyone!
Shoe wrote;"I may still make a chart to share"
Shoe, may I say please, oh please, pretty please? I need all the help I can get..
BB, It took me a while to get back up off the floor. That's unbelievable! I am going to go out and thank my well for being so wonderful.
That kind of expense probably really ups the cost of the $64 tomato, huh??
I'm going down there tomorrow. I'm not even on a sewer. And it's not like I water everyday.
Here is a good chart I found that is adaptable for your particular zone; you simply put your first frost date into the column with 00, and then work backwards and forwards from there for your dates.
I'm using it for my stuff this year; but I'm also trying 4 season harvest this year which isn't really covered here. I'm importing dates from Eliot Coleman's book into the planting chart on my own for winter stuff.
This cuts and pastes into Excel very easily, so it would probably work well for any spreadsheet program you might have. You could also print it out and make a hand written copy as well.
Not trying to put Shoe off from making one for us, just maybe this one will do and save him some time ;)
Hi all, I guess today I am a real dummy: The heirloomseeds site says "collard, plants" - plant Aug. 10, if first frost date is Oct. 30. I thought we were talking about starting plants from seeds.
So here is my question then: Am I too late (again!) to start my collards from seeds? I just happen to have a few seeds a friend gave me. Last year I got plants, and they did just great, but it would be nice to not let the seeds go to waste.
Additional question: how about Florence fennel?
You can still plant collard seeds. Biggest problem is finding a cool damp spot for them to germinate. You may not have the biggest plants for New Years dinner, but you should have collards. The plants will keep growing til they bolt in early March. Frost dates are meaningless to collards and thier kin. I have only two benchmarks, Are conditions good for germination and at what approximate date do I wish to begin harvest. I like to have some plants ready by Thanksgiving.
Don't know anything about fennel.
Clementine, nope...you're not a "real dummy"! And yes, the heirloom chart does only show set-out times for plants hence the reason I want to make a more detailed chart as mentioned above.
I'd go ahead and start your collard seeds, today(!) if possible. (And remember, as a safe backup you'll be seeing Bonnie Plants seedlings at your local garden centers around the end of August/first of Sept, too.)
For bulb fennel/Florence fennel you might want to get going on that as well. Hopefully you have a shorter maturity variety as that will give you the best results so you can get a decent sized bulb.
Thank you both, Farmerdill and Shoe. Ok, I am on my way to start my seeds. Even though it does not look like it today, I will find a good place for them to germinate. As I said, this is the first time for me to try to raise them from seeds, next year I will do better.
Fennel is 80 day, so we'll see, esp. since I am not going to be here most of October.
I sewed collards last weekend...they're up already. I do have them in a partly shadey area where I have easy access to water.On the other hand,my carrots are a no-show as of yet.
The problem I have with knowing when to plant seeds is when the seed package doesn't give a number of days to maturity from seeds -- just a number of days to maturity from planting out time. Personally, I think it's stupid of them to put that on a seed package, but many do.
I'm sorry I haven't taken the time to come up with a chart yet. Hope ya'll bear with me.
Karen, I'll try to include "days to germination" for you. (I thought for sure I could find a chart already created on line but so far no go.) Seed germination is highly dependent on soil temps so I wonder if that is why seed packets don't contain that info. You'd think it would be easy to state "germination in 3 days at 70-75º", that would give everyone a great guideline to go by.
Gonna be another scorcher here today so I better get back out there before it gets to be too much for me. (Picking cowpeas today! Yay!) :>)
I couldn't find that info on line either. Most of my seeds have germinated in a 3-7 day time frame, but then how long does it take for them to get to transplant size? Three weeks? Six weeks? Eight weeks? Days to maturity from planting the seeds would be great as I would think that even with different soil temps the time frame would only vary abut a week or so, either way. But when it gives a "maturity from planting out" time frame, I could be off by several weeks.
Park Seed has an online hand book that lists germination, days to maturity, spacing, etc. It's a good general guide.
Hello, I am back from wherever I was. I wanted to report that my collards germinated in three days. I made two six packs with two seeds each right after Shoe told me. They have only two leaves so far, but now it is getting a bit cooler, maybe that'll spur them on.
Now I have to clear the spot in the garden and we'll be all set.
Good luck to all!