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Horticulture and Home Pest News
Horticulture & Home Pest News is filled with articles on current horticulture, plant care, pest management, and common household pests written by Iowa State University Extension specialists in the Departments of Entomology, Horticulture and Plant Pathology.

Plant Those Cool-Season Crops!

This article was published originally on 4/23/1999

Now is the best time to get out in your garden and plant cool-season vegetable crops. A cool-season crop is defined as a vegetable that grows best with temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees F. Cool-season crops can tolerate light to moderate frosts, but are intolerant of high summer temperatures. Listed below are common cool-season crops and their recommended spacing between plants and rows. Direct seeding of most cool-season crops can be done with the exceptions of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Chinese cabbage which would be better started by transplants.

Vegetable Inches Between Plants Inches Between Rows
Broccoli 18-24 24-30
Cabbage 18-24 20-28
Cauliflower 18-24 24-30
Chinese Cabbage 12-18 20-24
Kale 4 12-18
Kohlrabi 4-6 15-24
Lettuce -- 6-15
Mustard Greens 4 12-18
Peas 1-2 6-12
Radish 1-1.5 6-12
Rutabagas 8-10 18-24
Spinach 3 12-18
Turnips 2-3 18-24

Other vegetables that handle warmer temperatures, but can be planted at this time are:

Vegetable Inches Between Plants Inches Between Rows
Beets 2-3 12-18
Carrots 2-3 12-18
Chard 6-8 15-18
Parsley 4 12-18
Parsnips 3 18-24

Some of the crops listed above, can be planted again later in the season to obtain an additional harvest. Those vegetables and the time of planting include the following.

Cabbage late June - early July
Cauliflower mid to late July
Kale mid-July
Kohlrabi early to mid-July
Lettuce August
Radish mid-August - September



This article originally appeared in the April 23, 1999 issue, p. 47.

Year of Publication: 
1999
Issue: 
IC-481(9) -- April 23, 1999