Planting for fall and winter

Written by Thomas Coleman

  Collards are hardy enough to handle the winter months.

 

Collards are hardy enough to handle the winter months.

We are starting to wrap up another successful summer season on the farm. At this time of year, we are working on our fall crops. This year our focus will be on collard greens and cover crops. We began our fall planting of collards in late July through the second week of August. We have had great germination and our seedlings are already thriving. We look forward to a great crop throughout the fall and into December, with what he hope to get some great tasting collards after we get our first light frosts.

Most of our farmland is currently being planted in cover crops. These crops are planted and utilized in the time between our production crops. The purpose of our cover crops is to prevent erosion, keep weeds under control, return organic matter to the soil,  and return nitrogen to the soil. This year we are planting winter rye, field peas, ryegrass, crimson clover, and hairy vetch. Vigorous late summer growth provides winter erosion control. The peas, clover, and ryegrass will winter kill to provide organic matter and soil cover. The hairy vetch and winter rye will regrow in the spring to provide nutrients for crops to utilize.