(News article for August 27, 2022)
The time between mid-August and mid-September is one in which many types of vegetables can be planted. A late planting of some warm-season vegetables that mature quickly – including cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, and bush snap beans – can be made, and plantings of many cool-season crops can begin.
Many of our “root” vegetables are cool-season crops. (Sweetpotato is an exception.)
While white (“Irish”) potatoes are commonly planted as a spring crop between mid-January and the end of February, seed pieces can also be planted from August to mid-September. Variety selection will depend in part on what you can find locally, but some to consider are Red LaSoda, La Rouge, LaChipper, Kennebec, and Yukon Gold.
Cut seed potatoes into pieces about the size of an egg a few days to one week before planting. Pieces need to have at least one “eye” and may have more. Leave them in a dark, cool, and well-ventilated place until you get ready to plant.
Beet seed can be planted beginning in mid-August. While planting can continue throughout most of the winter, it will take longer for them to grow when planted during cold weather. Suggested varieties include Detroit Dark Red, Red Ace, and Ruby Queen.
Carrots are also quite cold-tolerant, and seed can be planted mid-August through February. Varieties to consider include Sugar Snax, Maverick, Enterprise, or Danvers 126 (orange); Yellow Bunch; and Deep Purple.
Turnips seed can be planted for roots and greens from mid-July through November and late January through early May. Suggested varieties for root production include Purple Top White Globe, Royal Crown, Tokyo Cross, and White Lady.
Radishes are a source of quick gratification for gardeners. They are generally ready to be harvested about three to four weeks after planting. Seed can be planted through the end of October and mid-January through March.
All of the mentioned root vegetables, except for radishes and turnips, are in different plant families from each other. So, if you’re practicing crop rotation by family to reduce the chances of having disease problems, it’s still possible to have at least one root vegetable in a given area each year.
For all of these, prepare the soil well prior to planting so that the roots (or tubers, in the case of white potatoes) can develop without impediments. Make sure the planting bed is well-drained.
Let me know if you have questions.
Contact Mary Helen Ferguson.
Radishes can be a source of quick gratification for gardeners. (Photo by P. Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service)
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture