Is It Too Late to Plant from Seed?

 

greenbeanNot at all.

What can you plant now and in August?

The answer is quite a bit. Here goes:

Beans

Bush beans are easiest as they don’t require staking. Try planting seeds of a different variety each week and do a taste test to determine what you like best. Stop sowing beans seeds in early August.

carrotsCarrots

If you plant now, you will harvest a fall crop.

Cucumbers
Again, I would select a bush cucumber plant because space tends to be at a premium in a raised bed. If you have the room, go for a vining cucumber. Chefs tell me they are tastier.
lettuce

Lettuce

In mid- August sow lettuce seeds for a fall crop. I have plenty of lettuce seeds available in the community garden shed. Look for the days to harvest to determine what lettuce seeds are best to grow.

Kale 

From mid-July through mid-August plant seeds of kale for harvest in the fall.

Spinach

Spinach likes it cool. Start from seed in mid to late August.

 

Peas

The harvest will be modest for August planting green peas and sugar peas. But, if you have the room, go for it. Did you know Thomas Jefferson use to compete with his farm neighbors to see who could harvest the earliest peas? The winner hosted a dinner serving (what else?) some peas.

Radish

This is a quick growing vegetable. They are ready to be harvested in a month.

Anyone have some good radish recipes?

 

A Killing Frost

Last night it went down to the 20s and the season came to an end for tomatoes and other temperature sensitive crops like the squash pictured below.  Sigh.

On a bright note, it was a good first year for our community garden and gardeners.

That’s my hero pulling out three sunflower root systems that were too tough for me to wrestle out of the ground.

It was a satisfying season.

The Fall Garden

The fall garden planted in plot #44 is doing well. You may remember these vegetables were planted in late August.

The beets are flourishing and the kale is coming along.

And though the mornings are noticeably cooler, these plants don’t mind. Kale is even improved by a light frost.

It has been a good year for gardeners. I hope you have enjoyed it, too.

Hope to see you at the Harvest Dinner, October 8th.

Fall Planting

It’s not too late to get another crop in.

Today I will be planting kale, radishes and beets in the plot where I removed the sunflowers.  The key is to choose what you plant carefully.

Look at the seed package for the number of days to harvest. According to Cornell University’s website, our first frost will occur between September 30 and October 10th.

That means there are (optimistically) 50 days to frost. The radishes only need 28 days. They are a safe bet.

Another way to play it safe is to grow a crop that likes the frost such as kale.

I selected the Italian Heirloom Kale ‘Lacinato.’ It has blue-green leaves and should look as good in the garden as it tastes in the kitchen. The seed comes from Renee’s Garden seeds and the package reads “Lacinato has a fine, sweet, full flavor, never strong or overbearing.”

The package also states: ” Frost actually enhances kale leaves’ color, flavor and sweetness.”

I typically add kale to soups or serve it sautéed in olive oil with garlic and onions.  Another reason this is a good choice is you can pick kale leaves from the time they are small until they mature.

The variety of radishes I will be planting are named  ‘White Icicle’ though it will be harvested by the time any real icicles arrive.

And I plan to add a row of beets. This crop choice cuts it a little close. It is true that beets like the cool weather but the roots are at their most delicious after growing about 45 days and reaching a diameter of at least an inch and a half to two inches.

The good news is the entire beet plant is edible and beet greens can be harvested when they are about four inches tall. If the weather cooperates, there will be tender beet roots. If it doesn’t, we will have beet greens, which are delicious sautéed in garlic and olive oil.

As you can tell I hope to make use of every last day of our growing season. How about you? How’s your garden growing?