Still Time to Plant a Fall Crop
Just as the mid-summer vegetable garden is at its zenith, starting in mid-July, you can start preparing for fall and winter crops. As the summer crops dwindle away, harvest them, top-dress with compost, and directly replace them with seed or seedlings. This is a great way to keep your planting beds full throughout the year. You may want to hang onto the last cucumber on the vine, but to have a successful fall garden, rip out the last of the summer crops and fill out the bed with something you will enjoy later.
While summer is ideal to start your fall garden veggies, you can also find success in the fall with quick crops typically associated with the Spring.. The Brassicaceae, or cabbage family, provides a lot of options for fall planting. This family includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards, radishes, mustard greens and turnips, and all of them can be planted in the fall. Diversity can also help your garden by promoting healthy soil, so break up the brassica planting with carrots, beets, onions, peas, lettuce or spinach.
Some of these leafy greens can be harvested “cut and come again” style. After they are initially cut for harvest, they will keep sending out leaves for multiple harvests. Greens such as mizuna, baby kale and leaf lettuce can be harvested throughout the fall. Planting for fall is a great way to keep your family eating fresh for a longer period throughout the year.