Plant Those Cool-Season Crops!

Now is the best time to get out in your garden and plant cool-season vegetable crops. A cool-season crop is defined as a vegetable that grows best with temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees F. Cool-season crops can tolerate light to moderate frosts, but are intolerant of high summer temperatures. Listed below are common cool-season crops and their recommended spacing between plants and rows. Direct seeding of most cool-season crops can be done with the exceptions of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Chinese cabbage which would be better started by transplants.

Vegetable Inches Between Plants Inches Between Rows
Broccoli 18-24 24-30
Cabbage 18-24 20-28
Cauliflower 18-24 24-30
Chinese Cabbage 12-18 20-24
Kale 4 12-18
Kohlrabi 4-6 15-24
Lettuce -- 6-15
Mustard Greens 4 12-18
Peas 1-2 6-12
Radish 1-1.5 6-12
Rutabagas 8-10 18-24
Spinach 3 12-18
Turnips 2-3 18-24

Other vegetables that handle warmer temperatures, but can be planted at this time are:

Vegetable Inches Between Plants Inches Between Rows
Beets 2-3 12-18
Carrots 2-3 12-18
Chard 6-8 15-18
Parsley 4 12-18
Parsnips 3 18-24

Some of the crops listed above, can be planted again later in the season to obtain an additional harvest. Those vegetables and the time of planting include the following.

Cabbage late June - early July
Cauliflower mid to late July
Kale mid-July
Kohlrabi early to mid-July
Lettuce August
Radish mid-August - September

This article originally appeared in the April 23, 1999 issue, p. 47.

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