Fall & Winter Growing Guides

Oriental Greens

Seed DepthSeed SpacingSoil Temp for Germ.Days to Germ.Thin Plants To See individual sections for seed counts.

Once cool season gardeners try Oriental greens, they find they've uncovered a treasure of tasty vegetables that are well suited to our region. Two qualities become apparent shortly after you plant these vegetables. First, they are rapid growers and second, most work well as cut and come again greens. Easy to grow, Oriental greens and vegetables are a terrific addition to any garden and will brighten your winter cuisine.

CULTURE: As the days begin to cool and shorten, most Oriental greens are right at home. Mid-July and August plantings make for great fall harvests. Plant in rows 20–30 inches apart. Sow 1 seed per inch and 1/4 inch deep, then thin to 6–18 inches apart after there are at least two sets of true leaves. Optimum soil temperature for germination: 40–75°F. Days to emergence: 2–15 days. Good nutrition is needed for their rapid growth. One half cup of our complete fertilizer per 10 row feet followed with a fine band of blood meal thoroughly dug in under the seed row will provide nitrogen and other nutrients. When winter weather sets in, protect plants with row covers or cloches.

INSECTS: The best defense against flea beetles is to sow thickly, fertilize well and delay thinning until a good percentage of the seedlings outgrow the beetles. Row covers used at planting can also be helpful to reduce insect damage.

HARVEST: Leaves and stalks may be cut as desired without removing the entire plant. When flowering begins, eat the unopened flowers and the succulent stalks below them.

SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 80%. Days to maturity are calculated from date of direct seeding. Usual seed life: 3 years.


Brassica spp.

CULTURE: Certain very cold-hardy mustards sown in August will stand all winter down to zone 6. All mustards will grow in winter cloches and cold frames and can thrive down to zone 5.

Chinese Cabbage

Brassica rapa, Pekinensis Group
Sow mid-July to early-August. Set outdoors in August and cover with Reemay. Chinese cabbage is a great autumn crop and in milder areas, a winter crop. Big, heavy hearts formed in autumn can stand until heavy frosts, and then be stored indoors.

Pac Choi

Brassica rapa, Chinensis Group
Sow mid-September and transplant out the middle of October. This will allow enough time for the plants to be well established before winter sets in. Light harvests are possible November-February, and then by spring big stems and leaves can be picked.