Get ready to grow a fall garden
For most vegetable gardeners August (and July) is the time to focus on tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. These three warm-season crops surely are the ones we get asked about the most when discussing planting plants with our clients. Oftentimes people get extremely surprised during our consultations, when they learn that they are missing out on so many nutritious and healthy harvests, if they only focus on the most common warm season crops.
The way we garden is intensive and successive. That means we plant three times a year for a successive harvest from May till October. We plant the crops according to their ideal temperature level and the hours of daylight they need. There are two main crops: Warm season and cool season crops. Warm season crops like tomatoes and cucumbers are frost sensitive and shouldn’t get planted before the last day of frost around the end of May. Cool season crops like carrots and lettuce on the other hand flourish in spring and fall. They need cooler temperatures either to germinate or to grow to maturity. Cool season crops are very diverse, resilient and can withstand some frost. In spring we’d start as early as mid-April with planting seeds and seedlings outside.
Now you might think that you missed out on any vegetable gardening for this year and it’s not even worth bothering anymore. But no, you can still have a great harvest in your so-called fall garden! For a fall harvest, we need to plant in July until the middle to end of August. Plant seeds as soon as possible, if you use seedlings, you have a bit more time. But don't wait too long, because every week and sometimes even every day matters in fall. Why? Because daylight and warmth decline fast in September and if you don't start your plants early enough, they won't either germinate in time or the plants won't grow to maturity before October. Most plants need an average of 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day to grow well. In fall, when the days get shorter, our vegetable plants won't grow much anymore, but you can harvest them until winter settles in.
Give it a try and grow your own this fall: nutritious and delicious veggies for the fall garden are carrots, beets, lettuce, arugula, peas, Mache salad, Napa cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.
Arugula, Pac Choi and radishes we planted from seeds on August 8 turned into wonderful little plants by now (see picture below). We just planted some carrots and beets yesterday ourselves as well, so you will see the progress very soon.
Don't wait and get out into your garden!
Happy Gardening ,
This article got published in 'The Review' July 27, 2022 (Volume 129, Number 30) on page 26. Please see picture below for reference.