UNITED STATES—Warm season vegetables will be productive until autumn. Several will produce until frost. Those that grew slowly during mild weather through last spring are performing well now. Summer does not end until later in September. Summery weather may not end until a bit later. Several climates never get frost. Yet, cool season vegetables are now seasonable.
This does not require productive warm season vegetables to relinquish their space. Most should stay until they finish. It only means that it is likely too late to grow any more warm season vegetables. Also, it is time to start growing any cool season vegetables that grow from seed. Transitioning between seasons begins prior to the actual change of seasons.
It is most efficient to sow seed for most vegetables directly into the garden. However, it is more practical to plug seedlings of some big vegetables somewhat later. Because only a few cabbages are adequate, there is no need to sow many of their seed. Instead, two six packs of seedlings may be sufficient. They are not very much more expensive than seed.
For some vegetables, seedlings are more practical than seed.
This applies to broccoli, cauliflower and many other large cool season vegetables. Their plugs or seedlings are available from nurseries while seasonable. Alternatively, they are easy to grow in cell packs or flats, from seed, in a home garden. This technique is useful for quantities that are expensive in cell packs. Also, more varieties are available as seed.
Of course, it is not much more effort to sow their seed directly into a garden. The problem with doing so is that warm season vegetables are not yet done. Sowing seed below and between them is an option, but interferes with later cultivation. Any relinquished space is necessary for smaller cool season vegetables. These really should grow only from seed.
Baby lettuces and small greens must be too numerous for plugging. Therefore, they must grow from seed. Peas are both too numerous and too sensitive to transplant for plugging. Transplanting damages cool season vegetables that are roots. Therefore, it is necessary to sow seed for beet, carrot, radish, turnip, and parsnip directly. Some can wait a bit later. Most cool season vegetables comply with phasing.
Many popular salad greens are somewhat discriminating about the seasons here. Some dislike even a minor chill during winter. Several more dislike arid warmth during summer. Frisee is a sub variety of curly endive, Cichorium endivia var. crispum, that dislikes both. It prefers weather from late summer through autumn, and from late winter through spring.
Frisee is related to chicory, which includes radicchio, puntarelle and Belgian endive. It is less closely related to dandelion. Because it is relatively unfamiliar locally, some know it as chicory or curly endive. It is typically a component of fresh green salads. Alternatively, it sautees nicely, or mixes with other cooked greens. Frisee is apparently quite versatile.
Frisee may be unavailable as seedlings in cell packs from nurseries. Because individual plants are small, it is most practical to grow them from seed anyway. Seed germinates in about a week. Seedlings mature in about a month and a half. Mature frisee is only a foot wide. It requires full sun exposure with frequent watering. Phasing prolongs productivity.
Tony Tomeo can be contacted at tonytomeo.com.