Four Season Gardening in North Carolina
Timing is everything!
Just as our summer vegetable harvest is hitting full stride, we are preparing beds for my favorite gardening time of the year - fall and winter. We can plant a variety of vegetables that thrive in autumn's cooler temperature and that we can continue to harvest through winter. Fall and winter vegetables such as carrots, kale and collards actually taste better after they have been kissed with cold weather. The key to a successful second season harvest is to plant in the next few weeks so your vegetable plants can get established before temperatures drop and daylight shortens.
If you are starting fall vegetable from seeds, use the earliest dates in the chart below. Seed starting in the late summer can be a challenge for cool weather plants. Sow your seeds in a cool, shady spot and keep them constantly moist. If you are investing in fall transplants, plant using the later dates in the chart below. Look for planting space in existing beds where summer crops are winding down and tuck your seedlings in-between. The summer crops can provide cooling shade for your new fall crop.