Time to Begin Working on Fall Garden

Middle to Latter Summer is the Perfect Time to Begin a Fall Garden

or the "second season" favorite cool-season vegetable crop or flowers,

What do you plant?. Even where winters become cold while the ground even freezes hard, there are many vegetables that can still be raised to maturity prior to first frost. For food, plant lettuce, beets, cilantro, , radish, kale, spinach, peas, Swiss chard,, salad greens, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, onions, larugula, leeks and parsley When picking varieties, choose the fast-maturing ones to be assured of a harvest prior cold weather setting in.

Annual flower seeds that do well in cool weather also can be sown now to bring fall and spring blooms, including candytuft, alyssum, stock, calendula, and sweet peas.

When do you begin?. The key to raising vegetables for a fall harvest is in the timing. Vegetables raised in this season require approximately 14 extra days maturity time compared to spring-seeded crops because of fallís cooler soil, shorter days, and sunshine that's less intense.

When making a decision on which date to start growing your veggies, first find out the average date of the first frost in your area. Then read the seed packet to see the days for maturity. Add on 14 days to the figure, then use that number to reverse calculate back to a seed-planting date.

Setting out transplants, sowing or raising seeds in mid-summer is more stressful on immature plants than planting during cooler, many times wetter spring weather. Keep the soil damp while seeds germinate .

Give your young seedlings protection using shade cloth or grow them close to taller plants, like tomatoes or corn to give shade from hot afternoon sun. Another choice is starting seeds in containers using a location with intense light and then move the young seedlings to the garden. This turns out well for crops such as spinach and lettuce, whose seeds do not germinate very well in high soil temperatures. With just a little late summer effort, youíll eat very well this fall as crops like broccoli, lettuce,, kale, and spinach, thrive in cooler temperatures. New Article Aug 4, 2011

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