Summer solstice and winter garden planning; What and when to start planting for winter.
“This year, June 20 is the longest day in Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, and it marks the official beginning of summer. In the garden, it’s a time of squash, green beans, cucumbers, and the tomatoes are almost ready.”
As gardeners and growers; whether you are a newbie or are well seasoned with dirt permanently under your nails, this year has been one for the books. However, today marks the day of summer, with the most amount of light to dust off your seeds, planners, and start thinking about winter planting.
I know this might seem strange considering we had such a cold late and not that promising spring, but for most growers summer solstice is the start of winter garden planning. Luckily for those of us in Victoria and along the pacific coast, this means if you start planning and seeding now you can have your brassicas, carrots, beets, kale, and lettuce producing up until you start hearing Christmas music play in the superstores. Woohoo!
Why winter? Its only the beginning of summer!
You’ve probably heard grandmas old saying: “Collards taste sweeter after a frost.” Well she was right! Under cold conditions, collards and its relatives concentrate natural sugars in their sap as a kind of natural antifreeze, which adds a sweet taste to the dinner plate.
The trick, is to have healthy seedlings ready when we need to set them out in the garden. Which is often mid-August for most cool-season crops and as early as late July for Brussels sprouts.
Brussels sprouts case study
We can get a great winter harvest if we start seeds indoors right now, in mid-June, then transplant seedlings into the garden in a few weeks. With luck, they’ll grow beautifully in the cool of autumn and grace our tables for Thanksgiving and the December holiday season. This also works for other vegetables that prefer cool weather, including lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and collard greens.
Solstice Summer planting schedule: What can I still plant for summer harvest?
Annual Flowers: Even if you already planted any of these annuals once this year, plant them again this summer. That way, they’ll keep your garden looking beautiful for another few months.
- Marigolds, sunflowers, impatiens and beautiful columbine
Herbs: Starting a herb garden, or container garden, can be done at the beginning of summer if you choose herbs that thrive in the heat. Great choices for the summer season include;
- Basil, parsley, chives, sage and thyme
Vegetables: If you’re interested in planting vegetables over the summer, you still have plenty of options when June and July roll around. Veggies that love the summer sun include;
- Corn, eggplant, squash, zucchini, peas, carrots and bell peppers.
Perennials: Late summer and fall are when many people start planting their perennials for the following spring season.
- Grains, garlic, perennial flowers, bulb flowers, etc.
Solstice Winter planting schedule: What can I start to plant for winter harvest?
Winter vegetables: Winter planting takes time and a lot of planning, so I would advise looking at the planting dates schedule bellow, and make sure you’re on top of the game! Here’s an exciting list of all the awesome plants that will provide you a solid winter harvest, are you ready!?
- Beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chives, collard, winter cress, fava bean, fennel, garlic, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, mustard, onion, parsley, parsnip, radish, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnip!
Stay tuned for more information on winter gardening. I wish you the best of luck with your solstice planning, planting and partying!
Until next time, happy solstice growing!
If you have any questions, or comments please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org