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Jun 27, 2014GLREA Michigan Energy Fair

Time for Fall Crops

Written by Laura Haselhuhn

Where did summer go? Well it’s too late to spend time thinking about that. It is now time to start thinking about fall crop planning if you haven’t already.  We have a newly revised Cool Season Crops Fall Schedule posted under the Resources tab.

 

As the season progresses, there are decreasing light and temperature levels.  Decreased light/temperatures causes a steady decrease in the rate of plant growth.  Follow the suggested planting dates to give the crops enough time to “size up” before the light levels get too low (<10 mol/m squared/day) for growth. 

 

Some crops take longer to size up, so they need to be planted sooner than others.  Unfortunately, it is too late now for carrots and scallions.  However there are still plenty of delicious crops to choose from for your winter market offerings.

Baby leaf salad components planted separately, for custom mixing post-harvest

Baby leaf salad mix can be seeded now through end of September perhaps into the first two weeks of October (depending on your location).  Instead of choosing the pre-mixed salad mixes, select a few varieties and plant them separately, create your own custom mix after harvest. This way you have a unique product, and you ensure that only the highest quality leaves are mixed in. If one variety in a “pre-mixed” bed doesn’t turn out as planned, you could be spending a lot of time picking out individual leaves.

 

Beets can go in now until mid September.

 

Spinach is a great crop to try if it is your first year using your hoophouse.  These can go in as transplant of direct seed.  If growing as a transplant space them 12” x 12” or 10”x10”, this way it will be easy to harvest the bigger leaves. 

 

The dates on the crop schedule will come and go quickly, don’t deprive your markets of some of the best, delicious and nutritious cool season crops.  Pull out a piece of paper, a seed catalog and print off the crop schedule & make your crop plan today,  order the seed tomorrow and get started!

 

Thanks and happy hoophouse farming,

 

Laura Haselhuhn

Hoophouse Outreach Assistant

Michigan State University

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