Fall & Winter Quick Reference

Fall & Winter Vegetable Gardening Quick Reference

Remember Summer Plantings for Fall & Winter Harvest

This information is based on our experience growing crops in zone 7a (winter low ~0°F) here in central Virginia. Our first frost occurs around Oct. 15th. Serious winter temperatures (daytime staying below freezing & nights below 10°F) don’t start here until late Dec. or early Jan. If your area’s first fall frost is earlier or later, just adjust these dates accordingly. Cold hardiness varies with variety, the health of the garden soil (the healthier the soil, the hardier the plants), wind chill, etc. Be aware of the idiosyncracies of your garden - low areas collect cold air, south facing slopes with good air drainage stay warmest. Take notes, experiment, find (or breed!) the varieties right for you!


Recommended Varieties- Date of Last Planting - Cold Hardiness- General Advice

Even’ Star Winter Arugula (6°F) 10/10 22°F ∙ Will bolt in Jan./Feb. as days lengthen.

Beets: Lutz Green Leaf, Chioggia, Bulls Blood 9/15 20°F (roots), 16°F (leaves) ∙ For fall crop, either seed by 6/15 or wait until cool weather to try again (Beets don’t germinate or establish well in hot soil.)

Broccoli : 6/1–7/1 28°F ∙ Leaves can handle to 15°F, but heads are more tender.

Cabbage : 6/1–7/1 20–25°F ∙ If damaged by frost, harvest and peel off any damaged layers before storing.

Carrots : Danvers, Oxheart8/31 12°F

Cauliflower : 6/1–7/1 32°F ∙ Leaves handle as low as 15°F, but heads damage easily.

Chinese Cabbage : 7/31 25°F

Collards : 9/15 12°F ∙ Young collards are shorter and easier to cover, so start a fall crop!

Endive, Escarole : 25°F and lower ∙ Similar to lettuce.

Garlic : 10/15–11/15 5°F if not too much topgrowth ∙ Frost–burned plants will survive, but won’t produce as large a bulb.

Kale : 9/15 Red Russian15°F Scotch types, Squire, Vates, Siberian 12°F Even’ Star Smooth Kale 6°F

Kohlrabi : Early Purple Vienna, Gigant Winter8/15 20°F? We’re still experimenting.

Lettuce : Red Salad Bowl, Bronze Arrow, Winter Density, Rouge d’Hiver, Red Sails 25°F (large leaves), 15°F and lower (small leaves) ∙ Red lettuces are more attractive for fall planting, as cold temperatures intensify red colors, while green lettuces look yellow and sickly. Lettuce may have difficulty germinating in hot soil. Large Lettuce: 9/15 ∙ Large heads don’t handle very cold weather well. They usually rot and decline by mid–Dec. Small Lettuce to Overwinter: 10/1–/15 ∙ Plants should have 4–10 leaves before winter. Growth slows with onset of cold, then resumes, with plants reaching maturity in Feb./March.

Leeks : American Flag 7/15 10°F (probably much lower) ∙ ‘Summer’ types are much more tender ∙ don’t try to overwinter them.

Mustards: Red Giant, Southern Curled 9/15 25°F ∙ Bolt in Jan./Feb. as days lengthen. Tatsoi 10/15 ∙ Succession plantings 1–2 weeks apart. Good mustard to overwinter ∙ hardy, close to the ground, & easy to cover, but will bolt in Jan./Feb. as days lengthen. Even’ StarTender Tat, New Star Mustard, Chinese Thick–Stem Mustard Even’ Star winter–hardy varieties


Onions, Green : Evergreen Hardy White, Deep Purple8/1 25°F ∙ Purple types have more color in cold weather.

Parsley : Flat : Flat Leaf Italian7/15 20°F ∙ Best for flavor and drying, but less hardy.

Parsely : Curly : Moss Curled 7/15 15°F ∙ Prettier & hardier.

Parsnips : Harris Model, Hollow Crown5/1 0°F ∙ Very sweet in cold weather!!

Radishes : Cherry Belle11/1 20°F (roots), 16°F (leaves) Daikon Radishes, Fall Radishes Misato Rose, China Rose, Black Spanish Round, Miyashige White Daikon 8/1 9/1 20°F (roots), 16°F (leaves)

Radicchio : 25°F and lower

Rutabagas : American Purple Top Yellow, Laurentian8/15 20°F (roots), 16°F (leaves)

Salsify : Sandwich Island Mammoth6/15 0°F? We’re still experimenting.

Spinach : Long Standing Bloomsdale, Winter Bloomsdale : 9/10–9/25 10°F (large leaves), 5°F (small leaves) ∙ Wait until cool weather to seed as spinach seed doesn’t germinate/survive well in hot soil.

Swiss Chard : 9/1 25°F? (Variable) ∙ Smaller– leaved varieties are the most cold–hardy.

Turnips : Purple Top White Globe, Seven Top (greens)9/30 20°F (roots), 16°F (leaves) Ice-Bred White Egg 6°F

Cilantro : 9/15–10/1 15°F ∙ Plant earlier for fall harvests, later for overwintering crops. Younger/smaller plants overwinter best. May have problems germinating in hot soil.

Dill : Fernleaf9/15 25°F

Salad Burnet : 9/1 0°F ∙ Use small amounts of cucumber–flavored leaves in salads.

Sorrel (Broad Leaved) : 9/1 12°F (large leaves), 5°F (small leaves)