Fall and Winter Gardening: What to Plant in August and September in SE AL

As August comes to an end, I have decided to do some more winter gardening here in South East Alabama. Being born and raised in New York, I appreciate the 300+ growing days in Alabama.  So the question becomes, how do we go about growing a garden in the cool season? What is best to grow during the cool season in SE Alabama?

Some of the veggies listed here should have been planted a week or more ago, but all the same, I am still going to plant them now. I will just need to plan on some cold cover during the growth period.

Beans, Bush

  • 50 – 60 days to maturity.
  • Planting dates = April  and  Aug. 5-20
  • Seeds or plants per/sq. ft.  = 3⁄4 lb.  
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 36 x 2-3

Beets

  • 55 – 65 days to maturity
  •  Planting dates = February August
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 1⁄2 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 30×2

Broccoli

  • 55 – 75 days to maturity
  •  Planting dates = Aug. 1-15
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. =  1⁄2 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 36×18  

Brussels

  • 90 – 120  days to maturity
  • Planting dates = Aug. 1-Sept. 1
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 1⁄2 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 36×18

Cabbage  

  • 60 – 85 days to maturity
  • Planting dates =  Jan. 1-Feb. 15*** July 25-Aug. 10
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 1⁄2 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches =  36×12

Carrots

  • 60 – 80  days to maturity
  • Planting dates =  March July 20-Sept. 20
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 1⁄4 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 30×1-2

 Cauliflower

  • 60 – 75  days to maturity
  • Planting dates = Jan. 1-Feb. 15*** July 25-Aug.10
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 1⁄2 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 36×12

Collards

  • 60 – 80  days to maturity
  • Planting dates = July 1-Sept. 15
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 1⁄2 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 36×12-18

Kale

  • 50 – 70 days to maturity
  • Planting dates = Aug. 15-Sept. 15
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 1⁄2 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 36×10

Mustard

  • 40 – 50  days to maturity
  • Planting dates =  Feb. 1-Mar. 15 Aug. 15-Sept. 5
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. =  1⁄2 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches =  30×2

Onions (bulb)

  • 100 – 120 days to maturity
  • Planting dates =  Jan. 15- Sept. 15-Oct. 15
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. =  1⁄2 oz. or 400 plants
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches =  30×2-4

Green Onions

  • 40 – 55 days to maturity
  • Planting dates = October – February
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 1 quart
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 30×2-4

Potatoes

  • 70 – 90 days to maturity
  • Planting dates = February,  August 1-15
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 12 lbs.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 36×12

Radishes

  • 25 – 30 days to maturity
  • Planting dates =  Feb. 1-April 1,  Sept. 1-Oct. 15
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 1⁄2 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 24×1

Spinach

  • 40 – 45 days to maturity
  •  Planting dates = Feb. 15-Mar. 15 September
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 1 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches =  30×2-3

Swiss Chard

  • 60 – 70 days to maturity
  •  Planting dates = Feb.15-Mar.15,  September
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 1⁄2 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 36×15

Turnips

  • 40 – 60 days to maturity
  • Planting dates = Feb. 1-April 1, Aug. 10-Oct. 1  
  • Seeds/plants per sq. ft. = 1⁄4 oz.
  • Row/plant  spacing  in inches = 30×2

There are probably several other plants that will grow during the cool season in SE Alabama, but from my own experience, these plants listed are among the most successful and hardy for cooler temperatures.

When I plant, I start from seed for most everything, but this year I lost all of my spring and summer crops to some rabbits that got loose, and I dint bother starting over, so this winter growth is pretty important to me and my buns. The rabbit is still running, and she has a mate, so I will need to make some changes to protect my seedlings this time around. I just wasn’t prepared after my move this year. Being prepared is everything when we garden. 

Seed Starting

Most gardeners stand by using starter medium like coconut mulch or seed starting kits, or even specific seed starting potting soil to get their seeds started. This year as funds are lower, I am going back to the basics available to me. I have successfully grown great gardens from seed using a 50/50 mix of my yard soil and rabbit manure.  I have never had an issue starting seeds using what I have available free. I do however recommend that you use a seed starter formula when you can. This is just so that you are more likely to grow successfully. I, on the other hand have always tried to utilize free resources, and since it works for me, I will continue. The choice is yours, but plants were growing from seed long before we ever had access to some of the growing mediums used today. Still, there is necessary balance through the entire growth of each variety of plant. Use your best experiences and grow with those!

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