Planting Fall/Winter Lettuce and Spinach

January 29, 2016

For those of us living in the north, the days are about to become cooler with nights approaching darn near cold. With a little bit of planning, however, this doesn’t mean the end of our growing season. It’s time to plant some fall/winter lettuce and spinach. And, if we don’t mind some extra work, these two crops just might return to us in the spring. Those in warmer climes can do the same thing but might want to wait until the end of September to start.

Prepare the bed as usual. Add whatever soil amendments you (or your soils) prefer—I generally add kelp meal, organic alfalfa meal, greensand and Azomite powder. Sprinkle it around the top. Use a broad fork or pitchfork to gently loosen the soil then rake it flat. Check to make sure that your varieties are ones that can make it through the winter then broadcast them over the bed; this means planting them everywhere instead of just in rows. Cover with a nice dusting of old compost or manure. Water well.

As with most seeds, you will need to keep the top of the bed wet until the seedlings appear. Check it at least twice a day perhaps more often if it is hot and dry. After several days, the plants will appear. Thin and thin again as each seedling runs out of room to grow. Once they reach the size of a soup spoon, you can harvest them and bring them inside to eat. Yum! Enjoy!

About This Blog

Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens. Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer and gardens by the Moon. Her new book, “Celeste’s Garden Delights,” is now available! Celeste Longacre does a lot of teaching out of her home and garden in the summer. Visit her web site at for details.