Excerpted from Sustainable Market Farming by Pam Dawling
Bart Hall once published a very useful table in Growing for Market which works back from your farm’s first frost date, to see what options you have. If you are more than 120 days before frost, you would most likely plant another food crop. If you are 80 days before your frost date, you could sow buckwheat, oats, Japanese millet, sorghumsudan, or possibly another vegetable crop. If only 60 days remain before frost, sow oats, Austrian winter peas, crimson clover, or red clover; or soybeans, buckwheat, Japanese millet, sorghumsudan, winter barley, Miami peas to winter-kill. When about 40 days from frost, use oats, Austrian winter peas, crimson clover, hairy vetch, red clover, fava beans, or winter barley; or soy beans or Miami peas to winter-kill. When only 20 days remain before frost, sow winter rye with or without hairy vetch, winter wheat, winter barley, Austrian winter peas, red clover or crimson clover. It is too late to usefully sow crops that are not frost-hardy. Up to 10 days past the frost date you can sow winter rye, winter wheat, or perhaps red clover or crimson clover. After that, options become fewer, but it is still possible to sow winter rye up to a month past your average frost date.
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This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from Sustainable Market Farming byPam Dawling and published by New Society, 2013.