High Desert fall and winter gardening

Fall planting

From the Ed Hume Seeds Fall & Winter Vegetable Planting Guide.  I haven’t ordered any seeds from them yet, but their temperatures are compatible to ours:

When it comes to vegetable and flower gardening, the climatic patterns of the lower elevation areas west of the Cascade Mountains in Washington, Oregon, Northwestern California, and British Columbia are quite suitable for Fall & Winter gardening. Winter low temperatures range from 35oF. to 45oF. with occasional cold continental arctic air outbreaks lowering it to +20oF. to 0oF. or so. The garden soil can freeze 3 or 4 inches deep for short periods, but the usual winters are not severe enough to damage carefully mulched winter vegetable plants.

Our place in Unit 7 seemed a bit colder last winter (down to 9 degrees Thanksgiving, again in December and 4 degrees in January.  It was freezing night after night for extended periods and ALL the many African Sumacs and California pepper trees we planted in 2010 froze. Only some of the Sumacs planted in spring came back from the ground.

But we had our little plastic covered carport / greenhouse, the adobe addition and 3 raised attached beds that gave us loads of salads and herbs and we even overwintered tomatoes and eggplants.

Here’s the Ed Hume Seeds listing of fall and winter crops:

Late maturing crops – Approximate maturity 90 days. Plant by mid July for fall harvest, later for spring harvest.

ROOTCROPS

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Parsnip
  • Rutabaga
  • Globe Onions

LEAFCROPS

  • Brussells Sprouts
  • Cabbages
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Fava Bean

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Mid-season crops – Approximate maturity 60 days (supposedly, ours are taking much longer!). Plant by mid Septemebt.

ROOTCROPS

  • Early Carrots
  • Leek
  • Turnip
  • Kohlrabi

LEAFCROPS

  • Early Cabbages
  • Winter Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Perennial Flowers
  • Perennial Herbs
  • Swiss Chard

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Early maturing crops – Approximate maturity 30 days.

ROOTCROPS

  • Chives
  • Bunching Onions
  • Radishes

LEAFCROPS

  • Broccoli
  • Cover Crops
  • Leaf Lettuces
  • Mustard
  • Spinach
  • Lawn seed

We’ve been growing beets, onions, garlic, chives, kohlrabi, several varieties of radishes, lettuce, chards, spinach and mustards.  We grow herbs year-round and the culinary sage not only survived the harsh winter completely unprotected, but it also surprised us with stunning flowers.  The thyme and oregano are also doing fantastic without any protection.

We grow about 7 varieties of basils and they are in our adobe greenhouse through the winter as they can’t take any freeze.  We actually dug up huge basils from the beds in fall and put them into pots and quite a few are STILL alive and now have dark stems.

Strangely, we have been harvesting broccoli in AUGUST in the greenhouse with daily high temps of around 120 degrees.  I suppose we planted it at the wrong time (spring) and we also have cabbage growing.

We already have lots of fall veggie seeds, but will definitely order more.   Bulk seeds are much cheaper and we’ll gladly split orders with other local gardeners.

We just started our first flat of beets in late August and this week we’re starting fall veggies.  Please let us know if you are interested in seedlings or seeds.

And of course join the Gardening Club!