It’s still hot outside, really hot. But, believe it or not, fall is just around the corner and it’s time to start planting fall vegetables. Beets, broccoli, cabbage, chard, carrots, lettuce, radishes and more can all be put into the ground in late July through September.
This is often our hottest and driest time of the year, so to give those seedlings a bit of a leg up, water the ground for 2-3 days before planting the seeds, and cover the seeds with loose, moist soil or a mixture of vermiculite and peat moss. Keep the soil moist for several days. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find seedlings at your local garden store.
I saw the weather forecast for the weekend and since we were in for several successive days of rain, I knew it was time for me to plant my seeds.
Since this is the first fall in my new house, I want to keep my gardens small and not over-commit to growing stuff that I am unable to take care for properly. I’m sticking to a few of my fall favorites – mesclun mix and beets.
Temperatures are getting hotter this week, but I planted the mesclun mix in the shade so it should be fine. As fall progresses, the deciduous trees will lose their leaves and allow more light to reach the seedlings. I planted it in my mini greenhouse so as the nights get colder I can extend the growing season by protecting it from the wind and cooler temps.
The beets are in a self-watering planter in full sun in the front yard. I am so excited for them to start sprouting. I love fresh beets. Last year none of the seedlings produced because the squirrels and cats in the neighborhood kept digging up the soil. I finally gave up.
If you haven’t planted anything for fall yet, it’s not too late! Try something with a short growing season and maybe something easy to start with. If you have existing tomato plants that are starting to look awful – you can take cuttings from them to root to create new plants. Some years there is plenty of time for a second tomato crop before the cold weather sets in. Or, if you do a container planting, you can bring it inside at night to extend the growing season.