Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Spinach and Parsley Growing in Autumn

We decided to put hoops over one of our raised beds and try to expand the growing season.  More for starting plants in the spring rather than the fall, but then I realized Spinach and Parsley in addition to garlic can be planted in the fall for a harvest in the upcoming season.
The end of summer marks a new beginning for spinach and parsley, the easiest veggies to grow through winter.
Young plants that get their start in early fall are strong survivors, capable of making it through temperatures well below zero with proper protection.
You can pick a few leaves in fall, but the big payoff comes in spring, when your overwintered plants start to explode with sweet, crisp leaves weeks before other garden goodies are ready to pick.
Metal tube used to side the beds is covered with pvc bent to hoop over the bed and covered with plastic sheeting.


1.      In areas with strong winds and heavy snow, build a cold frame or low tunnel enclosed by a row cover to provide good protection.
2.      Mix in a balanced organic fertilizer to the garden bed.
3.      Sow seeds or set out seedlings.
4.      Until seeds germinate, keep the soil moist.
5.      Install the frame or tunnel over the plants when the first frost comes, but keep the top or ends open for ventilation until temperatures drop into the teens. Growth will slow as days become shorter and colder, and then resume in February in response to longer days.

To speed germination of spinach seeds, soak them overnight in water, and then let them dry at room temperature for up to five days. Parsley seeds will sprout faster if you place them in a strainer and pour one cup of very warm water over them. Allow the seeds to dry overnight on a paper towel, and then plant them.

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