Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Cool-season Edible Gardening Tips

By Ashley O’Connor

Kathy Jentz, editor and publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine,
gave a talk on cool-season edible gardening for the Mid-Atlantic region on Friday, September 28, at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, DC.

Included in her speech were the following tips:
  • Test your soil before you go out and purchase amendments and other materials
  • Clay holds a lot of nutrients, but it has poor drainage, this will effect the plants you choose
  • You don’t need fertilizer for the fall season!
  • For insulation, you can use cover clothes, cold frames, greenhouses, or hotbeds… just make sure you have proper ventilation
  • When trying to choose between direct sown or seedlings; consider cost, timing, and convenience
Below are some of the recommended edibles to try:
~ Herbs -- cilantro, parsley, sage, thyme and lavender
Note that sage, thyme and lavender need good drainage

~ Perennial edibles -- asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, rhubarb
 Warning: Jerusalem artichoke “will take over if you let it”

~ Root vegetables -- carrots, radish, potatoes, turnips, and beets
 These need to be direct-sown because they don’t like being moved
 Be patient with carrots, they are slow growers

~ Salad Greens -- kale, swiss chard, spinach, arugula
 Brassicas -- broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage

About the Author:
Ashley O’Connor, a senior multi-platform journalist at the University of Maryland. This autumn, she is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener.

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