Cold weather lake effect frosts in Buffalo, New York can create problems for gardeners growing their own vegetables. With a first frost showing up as early as the beginning of October, many warm or temperate climate vegetables simply cannot grow on their own without first being grown indoors. However, hardy and healthy cool climate vegetables do exist that can survive the early cooler season.
Try out these vegetable suggestions, and impress any guests you have over with some powerful flavors in your foods. Once the temperature begins to drop below 27 degrees Fahrenheit, it is recommended that you cover your plants with cloth, or pails to hold on to as much heat as possible. Here are five vegetables to grow in your garden in Buffalo.
While many vegetables tend to stunt their growth or lose their flavors due to exposure to frosts, kale, spinach and lettuce can actually end up tasting better after being exposed to the first frosts of the Fall.
Due to their relatively short growing times, these vegetables can even be planted and harvested on two separate occasions in the same year around Buffalo. Try planting your leafy greens first in early to mid March for a harvest in June. Once your first harvest is done, plant a second batch in early to mid August as the temperature begins to cool to ensure a bountiful harvest just as the first snowfall comes in October or November. The best part is that this second harvest is sure to have extra flavor due to its limited frost exposure.
Broccoli is another vegetable that is able to withstand a frost or two, but be careful about just how exposed the plants are. For two harvests in a year, plant your broccoli seeds at the beginning of March for a harvest in June, and a second time during mid July, for a bountiful harvest in late October hopefully just before any major snowfall begins.
Beets grow best during cool weather, so the Buffalo region is the perfect place to plant some of its seeds. Just like many hardy cool weather crops, beets can be planted and harvested two times a year, first in the late spring, and second in mid July. Beets tend to thrive in more sandy or loamy soils, which match the area’s already existing soils quite well. Partial shade is best for these vegetables, but too much can stunt their growth, so make sure not to plant these crops directly beneath a tree or covered area.
Carrots are best planted in cooler climates, so plant these seeds around early April, only a few weeks before the last expected frost, and then a second time at the beginning of August as the air temperatures begin to cool. Most carrots are pest and disease resistant, making them perfect for any gardening beginners. Just be sure to use very loose soil for your crops, as a harder or more compact soil can end up stunting any carrot growth you may have. Carrots also take some time to germinate, so if there doesn’t seem to be any growth about 3 weeks in, do not worry, it is completely natural for the vegetable.
Peas are on every cool climate’s list of vegetables, as these crops are notorious for thriving in the cold weather. Try planting peas twice a year, once in mid March, and a second time at the beginning of August to harvest the best results.
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