Now is the time for a kickin’ fall garden!
Well, as I sit here and watch the vegetable garden take over my yard, the last thing on my mind is what to do when those plants fade out. Although Tomatoes and Peppers can last until the first frost, many summer veggies like green beans, cucumbers and zucchini will be done producing soon, leaving space for plants that will thrive through late fall. Here in Columbus, a little garden work in late July and early August can give you a great fall garden. Even though it seems too hot to plant, if you get transplants in the ground or get directly sowed seeds to germinate, they will hang out until the temperature moderates, then take off. I like to plant seeds for peas and kale in early August and lettuce and spinach before Labor Day and I might try fall beets this year. You can also plant broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprout transplants in late august. For a full list of plants that will work for our area and when is best to plant them, try this link: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/what-to-plant-now-august-central-midwest-great-plains-gardening-region.aspx#axzz36sZCSMYE.
The other key when planting in a space that was growing something else is to boost the soil. I add compost and a handful of organic fertilizer and till or dig the soil where the seeds will go until it is mixed and fairly fine. I then water the seeds in the morning and after work until they sprout. If you don’t have seeds yet, you can still get some at the larger garden centers (like Oakland) or order them online: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/v-45-recommended-summer-planting-for-fall-harvest.aspx?source=Home_Slide1_072014 . Happy gardening and say hi to the cucumber beetles for me!
By: Alec, RTCO Field Manager