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Cool Season Vegetables

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So with cool season just around the corner I'm excited at the prospect of growing some 'cool weather crops'. I'm thinking lettuce, carrots, shallots and onions, spinach, cilantro, parsley... Not exactly native to Thailand, but I assume growable here once the weather turns favourable (ie, cooler).

Does anyone have any advice with any of these vegetables/herbs? Or grwoing experiences that you can offer a newbie. (As in, when to plant? Do I have to wait for a certain temperature range, for example? Or should I plant under shade cloth?)


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I'm thinking lettuce, carrots, shallots and onions, spinach, cilantro, parsley

A shade cloth is always a good idea, especially for lettuce. If they get too much sun they can go to seed quickly.

Good luck with onions, I've managed to get them started, but never got them to bulb.

I stick with bunching onions (you can buy the seed here), much easier and grow all year round. Mound up the soil around them as they grow and you will get a lot more white stem and less green leaf. If the plot gets too weedy, I often dig them up, separate the bunches and plant them deeper, quicker than trying to pull out the individual weeds.

I get confused sometimes, but I believe that cilantro is the coriander leaf. should grow fine, but I have found that they can sometimes take what seems forever to germinate. Not sure what the best conditions for germination are. I prefer to grow chinese celery as it grows year round and can cope with wet feet for quite some time in the rainy season.

I believe that shallots bulb on the surface with very shallow roots and so make sure to water well and often.

Carrots need very loose soil, I prefer to eat them as baby carrots as have had problems with them rotting in the past. Sow them where you will grow them. If you damage the root, they will grow, but mainly just foliage.

If you are referring to English parsley, that is practically impossible to get to germinate. Difficult enough in England :)

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Thanks Loong, you are a source of great info! I will look ino getting a shade cloth, I had figured I'd need one, as even in cool season the sun can still be quite intense. bought a thermometer, and am watching the temps each morning eagerly awating the lower numbers (I love cool season!)

I did buy a 'heat resistant' variety of lettuce, so will see how I go with that.

Onions, will be my first time trying.

I have the bunching onion seed (are they called that, or shallots, or green onions or scallions? I'm so confused about what they really are. LOL) Thanks for the tip about mounding the soil up - I will try that. No worries about weeds, as I plant everything in containers.

Cilantro/corriander leaf has been impossible for me to germinate. I'd almost given up on it after several failed attempts, thinking it was just too warm. I thougt I'd give it one last shot in cool season and see how/if it grows then.

Parsley I HAVE managed to grow from seed (I have a pot currently of curly leaf) but I wouldn't say it's been easy or overly productive (again I was thinking it was the heat). I was thinking though, from my experience, that it was easier than corriander.

The carrots will be a first attempt, and I'm going to try growing them in pieces of pipe with fine sand/soil. I have no idea if it will work, or if the soil will heat up too much but I'm keen to experiement, as I've seen on the internet that that's how 'award winning carrots are grown. It will also make it harder for the snils to get to the top and munch on the greens (as they seem to do with all my seedlings, dam_n things!) I wish I could have a greenhouse, just to keep them out, but I suspect in our climate it would have to be air-conditioned! LOL I can't really think of any other ways to cool down the environment enough to favour the cooler weather crops, given that they still need 'light' it's not like you can jsut put them in the shade, is it!? I guess I'll have to look at more local varieties of greens and veg, if I want total success.

This gardeneing thing is actually quite a science! :)

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If you bought the seeds in Thailand, you should have no trouble growing the bunching onions. They actually have the words bunching onion on the seed packet. I once grew some in pots under the bamboo and when I went to England for a while they were neglected. No water for weeks and the soil was dry as a bone. Watered and they recovered - amazing.

The other type of seeds I have seen on sale here are welsh shallots.They tend to grow out of the soil with shallow roots so need constant watering.

I'm really not sure about your idea of growing carrots in very fine sand/soil. Very fine soil can compact very easily when watered and so the root may have difficulty expanding, especially if contained in a pipe. Maybe an idea to mix in some carbonised rice husks or just grow in compost?

BTW, I've also grown beans on a trellis for extra shade for lettuces before. I think that when lettuce gets too hot it can become very bitter.

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Re cilantro.

In the past, I have sown seeds and given up on them. Planted something else and then found the cilantro starts to grow months later!

I don't bother growing it nowadays as my Father-in-law grows so much of it in the cool season and gives me more than I can possibly use. He grows it under bananas, maybe that is something to do with why his do so well.

The best cilantro that I ever grew was when I had given up on them germinating and sown bunching onions. They grew really well together. When I figured that the cilantro wasn't going to germinate, I dug over the section. incorporated a lot of aged cow manure for the onions. The onions grew well and then suddenly the cilantro appeared later.

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