african american gardening

Last week, I shared with you "How to Grow Your Own Food Anywhere". Now that you know the basics of getting your home garden started, you can choose which fruits and vegetables to plant based on the seasons in the growing guide below. If you start this month, you can have your first harvest this fall!  
 
Fall/Cool-Season Crop Suggestions
 
(Plants are listed in descending order of cold tolerance. The following plants must be planted in August and 
 
September for a fall harvest).
 
Collards, kale, swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, radicchio, lettuce, mustards, carrots, beets, turnips, and turnip greens. 
 
Spring /Cool-Season Crop Suggestions 
 
(Plant just before or just after the last hard frost for your area. Plants are listed in 
 
descending order of cold tolerance.)
 
Potatoes, collards, kale, cabbage, broccoli, mustard, turnips, turnip greens, spinach, english peas, onions, swiss chard, lettuce, and carrots.
 
Summer/Warm-Season Crop Suggestions
 
(Safely plant a couple of weeks after the last hard frost date for your area).
 
Beans (most varieties), cucumbers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, okra, summer squash, winter squash, and peppers. 
 
As you plant, keep in mind these tips: 
 
1. Weather varies from year-to-year, and from season to season; what you plant this month in 2014 may not be what you can plant in August 2015.
 
2. The average first and last frost dates for your location may be the best guide for when to plant locally. Unless your plants are ‘frost tolerant’, plant them outside only after the last frost of winter, and gather your harvests before the first frosts of fall. These dates vary, so pay attention to weather reports. Your county ag-specialists will be very familiar with these dates for your region.
 
3. If you decide to plant outside the frost – date guidelines, be prepared to protect your plants with row-cover fabrics, cloches, etc.
 
4. Cool-season plants generally do best in cool weather, and suffer in the heat. Warm-season plants generally require warmer soil temperatures for seed 
germination. Planting too soon (or too late), when the soil is cold and wet will result in poor results.
 
For more help getting started, check out these great sources for seeds, seed-starting supplies, transplants, and more:
 
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
www.SouthernExposure.com
(540) 894-9480
 
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
www.johnyseeds.com
(1-877) 564-6697
 
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
www.rareseeds.com
(417) 924-8917
 
The Cook’s Garden
www.cooksgarden.com
(1-800) 457-9703
 
Seed Savers Exchange
www.seedsavers.org
(563) 382-5990

C. Bernard Obie is the steward of Abanitu Organics farm in Roxboro, NC.