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Proctor's Garden: Plant cool-season crops now

There are two types of vegetables: cool season and warm season — and they're planted months apart.

DENVER — There are two types of vegetables: cool season and warm season. They're planted months apart in Colorado.

Our big snowstorm slowed us down. The soil has been too wet to dig. When you tromp around in wet soil, you squeeze the air out and make adobe. The soil is workable now, so get to work.

Crops that can be planted now include potatoes, radish, beets, onions, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, parsley and other leafy greens.

I actually don't need to plant spinach since my fall crop survived the winter and is prospering. Cool season vegetables can survive cold and even snow but take precautions to cover if truly cold weather returns. Many vegetables such as spinach and lettuce grow beautifully in patio pots.

Credit: diyanadimitrova - stock.adobe.com
Spinach plants.

Plant onions — either sets or young plants — right at the soil surface. Space about three inches apart. As the grow, harvest every other one as scallions and leave the rest to mature to full size.

Cabbage is easy to grow if the plants get an early start. There are many fine varieties. This year I'm growing the classic "Stonehead." It produces big, dense heads that resist cracking, which can sometimes be a problem. It matures early so I could be eating coleslaw in July.

It's important to rotate crops. Don't plant the same vegetables in the same spot year after year. They will deplete the nutrients and disease may be encouraged. For example, if you've grown beans in one bed for several seasons, switch it to onions. 

More Proctor's Garden:

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