Very early potato plants in cold frame

This is a sample garden schedule for Zone 6b (about -5 F.), with the average last spring frost May 10th-15th, and the average first fall frost October 10th-15th. The schedule could vary widely, as different crop varieties have different days to maturity.

The two year-round gardening books that I recommend include details and/or charts that will help you to plan a garden schedule for your own location. See Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long and The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year, No Matter Where You Live.

I don’t recommend that you try to grow ALL of these different crops, especially if you are a beginner gardener. It would be a bit overwhelming for most people.  I currently only grow perhaps 1/3 – 1/2 of them.

JANUARY

Plant: nothing

Harvest from cold frames: arugula, carrots, green onions, claytonia, spinach, mache, endive, escarole, kale, leeks, sorrel, tatsoi

Stored: cabbages, potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, radish, rutabaga, apples, some varieties winter squash, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes

FEBRUARY

Plant:

Feb. 15 – onions or leeks, either indoors or in cold frame

Harvest from cold frames:  arugula, carrots, green onions, claytonia, spinach, mache, endive, escarole, kale, leeks, sorrel, tatsoi

Stored:  cabbages, potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, radish, rutabaga, apples, butternut squash, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes

MARCH

Plant:

March 1 – (indoors) early tomatoes, early spring broccoli

March 15 – (indoors) peppers; (under cold frames/row covers) early peas, onions, early spring spinach, carrots, beets, Japanese turnips, mini cabbage, late spring broccoli, lettuce, arugula, mache, claytonia, Swiss chard, mizuna, radish, kale, mustard, leeks, kohlrabi

Harvest from cold frames: arugula, carrots, green onions, Swiss chard, chicory, claytonia, spinach, mache, kale, leeks, sorrel, tatsoi, lettuce

Stored: cabbages, potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, radish, rutabaga, butternut squash, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes

APRIL

Plant:

April 1 – (indoors) – main tomato crop, eggplant; (under cold frames) – mini cabbage, carrots, beets, Japanese turnips, spinach, Swiss chard, early potatoes, transplant early spring broccoli, lettuce, arugula, green onions, radish, mustard

April 15 – (in water cloches) transplant early tomatoes and plant early watermelon (outdoors) late peas, mini cabbage, carrots, beets, Japanese turnips, late spinach, lettuce, arugula, radish, mustard, asian greens, kohlrabi

Harvest in cold frames or outdoors: arugula, green onions, Swiss chard, chicory, claytonia, lettuce, spinach, mache, mizuna, kale, leeks, radish, sorrel, tatsoi, Japanese turnips, asparagus, rhubarb, mustard

Stored: cabbages, potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, radish, rutabaga, butternut squash, onions, sweet potatoes

MAY

Plant:

May 1 – (under cold frames/row covers) early summer squash, early bush beans;  (outdoors) mini cabbage, carrots, beets, Japanese turnips, lettuce, main potato crop, green onions, radish, mustard, asian greens

May 15 – (transplant outdoors) main tomatoes; (plant outdoors) mini cabbage, carrots, beets, watermelon, Japanese turnips, early cucumbers, lettuce, radish, mustard, asian greens

Harvest outdoors: arugula, green onions, Swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, mizuna, kale, radish, Japanese turnips, broccoli, peas, asparagus, rhubarb, mustard, asian greens, kohlrabi

Stored: Butternut squash, carrots

JUNE

Plant:

June 1 – watermelon, sweet potatoes, mini cabbage, carrots, beets, Japanese turnips, green onions, main crop of bush beans (for preserving), transplant peppers and eggplants, asian greens, Brussel sprouts

June 15 – watermelon, mini cabbage, carrots, beets, Japanese turnips, fall storage cabbage

Harvest: strawberries, rhubarb, carrots, beets, Japanese turnips, broccoli, peas, mini cabbage, cucumbers, Swiss chard, summer squash, lettuce, green onions, beans, radish, mustard, asian greens, kohlrabi

JULY

Plant:

July 1 – bush beans, short-season watermelon, carrots, Japanese turnips, mini cabbage, beets, fall broccoli, late cucumbers, late summer squash, green onions

July 15 – mini cabbage, carrots, beets, Japanese turnips, fall peas, fall broccoli – early and late, radicchio

Harvest: strawberries, gooseberries, blueberries, early apples, early watermelon, early potatoes, carrots, beets, Japanese turnips, mini cabbage, early tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, Swiss chard, summer squash, green onions, beans, summer-harvested asparagus, asian greens

AUGUST

Plant:

August 1 – bush beans, fall Swiss chard, mini cabbage, main crops for winter carrots, beets, green onions, Chinese cabbage, kale, escarole, endive

August 15 – lettuce, spinach for fall harvest, main crop for winter turnips

Harvest:  strawberries, blueberries, early apples, early pears, onions, watermelon, mid-season potatoes, carrots, beets, Japanese turnips, mini cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumber, onions, Swiss chard, summer squash, green onions, beans, summer-harvested asparagus

Stored: garlic

SEPTEMBER

Plant:

September 1 – radish, main crops for winter harvest – spinach, lettuce, mache, claytonia, mizuna, asian greens, mustard, kohlrabi, baby kale

September 15 – lettuce, radish

Harvest: strawberries, apples, pears, grapes, winter squashes, watermelon, late potatoes, carrots, beets, Japanese turnips, peas, mini cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, Swiss chard, summer squash, lettuce, green onions, beans, leeks

Stored:  garlic, onions

OCTOBER

Plant:

October 1 – lettuce and spinach to overwinter as baby plants and mature in spring

Harvest: strawberries, apples, arugula, carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, celeriac, celery, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, green onions, Swiss chard, chicory, claytonia, lettuce, spinach, mache, mizuna, endive, escarole, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, radicchio, radish, sorrel, tatsoi, peas, late potatoes, sweet potatoes, watermelon, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, summer squash, beans, asian greens

Stored: garlic, onions, apples, pears, grapes, winter squashes, green tomatoes

Fruit and vegetables available in October

Here is a photo of my fresh produce available in mid-October 2011, after many people have already put their gardens to bed for the winter. I’m still working on establishing my gardens and storage facilities at my new home, while trying to adapt to my new disabilities, so I don’t have as many crops available as I eventually will over the next couple of years.

NOVEMBER

Plant:

November 1 – garlic

Harvest from cold frames / under row covers: arugula, carrots, beets, turnips, celeriac, celery, cabbage, Chinese cabbage,  Brussel sprouts, broccoli, green onions, Swiss chard, chicory, claytonia, lettuce, spinach, mache, mizuna, endive, escarole, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, radicchio, radish, sorrel, tatsoi, asian greens

Stored: cabbages, potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, radish, rutabaga, apples, celery, pears, Chinese cabbage, most winter squashes, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, green tomatoes

DECEMBER

Plant: nothing

Harvest from cold frames / under row covers: arugula, carrots, beets, turnips, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, green onions, Swiss chard, chicory, claytonia, lettuce, spinach, mache, mizuna, endive, escarole, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, radicchio, radish, sorrel, tatsoi, asian greens

Stored: cabbages, potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, radish, rutabaga, apples, celery, pears, Chinese cabbage, most winter squashes, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes

If, instead of cold frames, I choose to protect crops with row covers under a large hoop tunnel (an unheated greenhouse), I can keep harvesting most of the crops listed in December throughout the rest of winter. The two year-round gardening books that I review on Recommended Books go into greater detail about what is possible.

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