Edible Gardening - Vegetables


 There are lots of reasons to grow your own vegetables. Four notable benefits include:

Freshness – You can’t get any fresher than 20 feet from your door!

  • Variety – You are in control of the varieties and cultivars of the food crops you choose.
  • Quality – You are in control of the chemicals and additives that go into your vegetables.
  • Simplicity – No hectic trips to the store, and fresh veggies from every season (from Eliot Coleman’s Four Season Harvest

The best thing about gardening is, of course, yielding (and eating!) the fruits of your labor.

Spring Planting Vegetables

Typically we grow the following spring vegetables, but call us at 865-573-9591 for availability of a particular vegetable or variety because they are selling like hotcakes!

  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Lettuce
  • Melon
  • Squash
  • Sweet peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelons

As always, Stanley's vegetable selections are grown PESTICIDE FREE!

Our Favorite Cool Season Vegetable Offerings

  • Brassica Family
  • Broccoli **
  • Brussel Sprouts **
  • Cabbage **
  • Chinese Cabbage (eg. Bok Choy, Napa) **
  • Cauliflower **
  • Kale ***
  • Mizuna *
  • Mustard **


  • Endive/Escarole (Frisèe) **
  • Lettuce **
  • Spinach ***
  • Swiss Chard ***


  • Garlic ***
  • Onion ***
  • Shallot *** 

Root Crops

  • Radish **
  • Carrot *

* - Protect from light frost.

** - Protect young plants from light frost, mature plants can withstand light to moderate frost, protect from heavy frost

*** - Mature Plants can withstand moderate to heavy frost, protect young plants from light to moderate frosts.


Planting date suggestions for fall/winter crops:

(dates gathered and averaged from a variety of sources) 

Crop Name




Broccoli, transplants

through 10/15

Brussel Sprouts

through 10/15


through 10/15

Cabbage, Chinese

through 10/15


through 10/15


through 10/5

Garlic, set

through 10/31


through 10/22


through 10/31

Mizuna, seed

through 10/5

Mizuna, transplant

through 10/15

Mustard, seed

through 10/15

Onion, short day varieties, sets

through 10/31

Radish, seed

through 10/20

Shallot, set

through 10/20

Spinach, seed

through 10/5

Spinach, transplant

through 10/31

Swiss Chard

through 10/22

Turnip, seed

through 10/5


A Note About Frost Protection:

Plants benefit from Frost Protection in one way or another.  For some varieties, we can keep them alive and producing for an extra couple of weeks, and for some it can increase the plant’s ability to produce.

Sheets - For small spaces and few crops, a simple light-colored bed sheet can be rested over the tender plants to protect them from a mild early frost.  Gently lay the sheet over the plants before the night temperature drops below 35°F, and remove it in the morning when the temperature is above 35°. 

Cloches - Another approach for small or young plants is to use a homemade Cloche.  Cut a gallon milk jug (with cap attached) ¾ of the way around the bottom.  Flip the bottom out and place the jug over plants in the same fashion as the sheet. 

How to make cloches

Figure 1

Cold Frames – for the adventurous gardener, building a cold frame is exciting. It can be as much work as you want to make it, but the simple box below can serve year round!

Cold frames for each season

Figure 2

Some things to do around the Fall Vegetable Garden:

-- Clean up stake and trellis materials from summer garden

  • Disinfecting these materials and store in a cool dry place to prevent the spread of soil and airborne disease and pests.

-- Remember to turn that compost pile!

  • Keep it hot for winter
  • Think about building your supply for spring beds

-- Gather Cloche materials for first frost – set for ~ October 22

  • Milk jugs, or,
  • Venture into cold frames? – Hay bales, plastic or old window-- Thin, trim, harvest, and most of all, enjoy all your fresh locally grown food!
  • Low tunnel supplies – rebar, ¾” pvc pipe, greenhouse grade plastic (as shown in Figure 3, below)

How to build a low tunnel to protect vegetables from frost

Figure 3

Image sources for this article:

  • Stanley's Cloches (Figure 1) copied from Rodale's All New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, edited by Fern Marshall Bradley and Barbara W. Ellis, page 130.
  • Stanley's Cold Frames (Figure 2) copied from Rodale's Successful Organic Gardening Vegetables, text by Patricia S. Michalak, page 61.
  • Stanley's Low Tunnel (Figure 3) copied from Four Season Harvest, by Eliot Coleman, page 88. 


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