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Food stamp policymakers wanted to give individuals and families the option of growing fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits, which is why food stamps can also be used to purchase seeds. You can find seeds and in some cases roots and bulbs to be very cheap for certain vegetables. For cool-season vegetables, you definitely want to get planting as soon as the weather chills off a bit. Fall is the best season for food stampers to plant cabbage, leeks and spinach to produce some great vegetables for soups, casseroles, salads and a myriad of elegant side dishes to go with all of your favorite winter meals. These are some different ideas for growing these vegetables and some meal ideas to go with them.

Spinach

Spinach is a versatile vegetable that goes great with salads, side dishes, casseroles and soups. You also need to wait until the hot weather is gone to start planting this colder season vegetable, which grows better when the climate is chilly. You may want to grow a variety of different spinach, but flat-leaf spinach or baby spinach is an easier variety to grow and something that you may be more used to.

You should plant spinach about two months before the last frost date if you want to plant in spring, then sow the vegetable every three weeks until you get past the last day of frost. For those who are planting this fall, start sowing seeds a month to two months prior to the first day of frost. After that, just continue to sow throughout winter and into mild-winter days. Spinach takes from 50 to 150 days to mature. Once mature, spinach needs full sun to light shade and also consistent water but do not overwater.

Cabbage

As cooler fall season approaches, this round red or green vegetable is essential for soups and salads alike. You want to grow this vegetable in spring or fall just as you would with other cool season plants. This vegetable also has some specific lighting and watering needs.

Start planting cabbage inside your home about six weeks before the last day of frost and set the plants out three weeks after that day. For those fall and winter harvests, plant the seeds for midseason and late varieties just at the end of summer when the heat is cooling off a bit. Cabbage will take about 100 days to be ready for harvest. Cabbage will grow best in full sun but it also do well in shade. You should also water your cabbage every day.

Leeks

If you love this vegetable, then know it’s a quality vegetable for salads and soups alike. Leeks are often a difficult vegetable to harvest because they can take as little as 90 days to mature or as much as six months depending on the variety. You also have to pay close attention this plant and also dedicate time for creating top mound soil that only comes with constant maintenance.

You want to plant leeks indoors about six weeks before you’re going to place them outside. Check for when the weather will be assuredly cool outside before moving the plant. You can set leeks outside on the day of frost. In fall, it’s best to set out earlier so that you can harvest the plant by spring time. In addition, leeks need to be watered regularly and only do well in full sun, but not if very hot.

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