I wanted to start planning now for fall planting of over winter crops. I
really have no idea what to plant. Garlic? Potatoes?, Onions?
Can you please share with me your success and failures with overwintering?
I'm in Southern New Jersey, zone 6b.
Garlic will overwinter.
I doubt garlic is the only one, but my personal experience is more
with perennials (e.g. rhubarb, rosemary, mint, oregano, sage, apple,
blueberry, strawberry, etc), than with fall planting of crops to dig
up next summer. Fall planting works well with most perennials
(although I would aim for early fall, as soon as the summer heat has
abated, because the point is to get some growth before it gets cold
and days get short).
The onion family is your best bet. Garlic, chives and shallots are meant
to be planted in fall so they overwinter quite well here just north of
NYC (5b). Leeks, after a full growing season, may be totally surrounded
and covered with autumn leaves and burlap on top for protection from
snow and ice and thus may be harvested all winter long.
Potatoes will rot in cold wet ground. Plant them in spring.
Asparagus is meant to stay in one place for decades but you plant fresh
crowns in spring.
Potatoes may indeed rot in cold, wet ground, but imagine my surprise
this spring when a few "volunteer" potatoes showed up in last years
potatoe row! Obviously I hadn't quite gotten them all.
My suggestion would be for you to try it out and see what happens!
a) the worlds worst draining soil - at least 90% clay (proven by the
fact that I can kill with the dried clods laying about)
despite MASSIVE amounts of green manures. compost, regular ol' manure,
rye grass (you get the picture)
b) zone 4b-5a (is there such a thing? right on the border, as it
On the other hand, my attempt at overwintering spinach (supposedly a
no-fail cropper) under protection failed miserably; only one plant out
of a couple short rows actually made it into spring. Seeds sown in
the fall to germinate in spring.
Good luck to ya!
Try using pelletized GYPSUM to break up the clay. It's a good source of
calcium, too, which is often overlooked as a nutrient for healthy plants.
The beauty of gypsum is that it won't raise or lower the pH of the soil; use
as much as you need. . .which may be a lot, from what you say. You should be
able to find pelletized gypsum in 50-lb bags for about $5 or $6 at a garden
center (I don't think the big-box stores carry it). Meantime, don't give up
with adding grass clippings, manure, etc., since you can't go wrong with
such additives in the long run.
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