As the days start getting shorter and cooler it is time to start planting those fall
and winter crops. Transplants of many Brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, collards, etc…)
are available at lawn and garden centers, farmer’s markets, and even some big
box stores. These can be planted throughout the month of September. Also, direct
seeded crops such as spinach, lettuce, and root vegetables should be planted now.
Direct seeded crops can be planted underneath mature warm-weather crops such as
basil or peppers. The larger crops will begin to slow down as the weather becomes
cooler and more moist, at which point they can be cut down to allow the seedlings
underneath access to direct sunlight. Many fall-planted crops can survive into the
early winter and later with careful planting location. If possible, plant these plants
in a location that will be sheltered from the winter winds (which usually come from
the North) and is next to an object that will retain some of the days heat into the
cold night (a south-facing wall, or carefully placed stones).
In the Piedmont of North Carolina many small home gardens can provide fresh
produce year round, even in the depth of winter. For more information visit http:/
–Justin Leonard, Garden Manager/Teacher