As summer slowly starts turning into fall, it is the opportune time to start getting ready for the fall crops. Most gardeners think that the garden ends with summer, but actually the fall can be the best time of year for planting.
In late summer many pests are decreased in numbers, and weeds begin to slow their pace a bit. The days are still long, and the soil is warm. There are less gardening activities going on so you have more time to spend on your fall plants.
Many vegetables actually taste better when planted in late summer, and harvested after the first frost, such as collards. When planted in the spring and harvested in the summer, these plants can become bitter.
What Can Be Planted Now For A Fall Crop
Much of what can be planted in late July and August, depends upon which zone you live in. The southern zones (zones 7 through 9) are much hotter, which means it can make it difficult for seeds to germinate. Try starting seeds indoors until the plants get their first two true leaves. If growing indoors is not an option for you, plant directly in the garden, but make sure you keep the seedlings well watered. You may need to provide some shade during the hottest parts of the day, or provide a layer of mulch to help keep the soil a little cooler.
If you live in a cooler climate, say zone 6 to zone 4, try using vegetables that have quick maturity rates. A vegetable such as spinach, which is usually ready to pick in 35 to 40 days, would work nicely.
Here is a short list of vegetables you can plant now for a great fall or winter crop:
- Mustard Greens
- Bok Choi
- Brussel Sprouts
There are many more than can be added to the list, but this is just a sampling.
Planning For Fall Crops
It’s always a great idea to put together a garden plan for any garden you intend to grow. The fall garden is no exception.
Planning for the fall garden can be a little trickier because you will need to work around existing plants in your garden, where as the spring and summer gardens are started with a clean slate.
This is where a handy garden planning tool like GrowVeg.com comes into play. GrowVeg really shines when it comes to planning a fall garden because it can track what vegetables can be planted at what times for your particular area.
It even supplies a succession planting chart to help you track all your plantings throughout the whole year.
GrowVeg is the most complete online gardening planning tool you will find. I never plant anything in my garden without using GrowVeg.
Give it a try today with a free 30 day trial!