22 July 2012

Fall garden anyone?

Fall planted seeds include those put in during July and August such as bush beans, cowpeas, lettuce, cilantro, and cucumbers. Tomatoes are planted with new plants in July. And, remember to plant chard and kale so when temperatures cool, you will have those delicious leaves for salads and soups.

Flower seeds of annuals are not usually planted this late unless you think you can squeeze one more planting of zinnias in before your first hard frost. In another month, we'll be starting perennial seeds though.

Broccoli head from this spring's garden
It is time to get started on a fall garden if you are planting one this year.
Oklahoma State University Fact Sheet 6009 has a handy chart to help us know what goes in when.

Territorial Seed suggests that it is also time to plant overwintering onions and shallots.

Brent and Becky's Bulbs has native choices that can extend your flower garden's bloom. They sweeten the pot with a 10% discount on Allium, Calochortus, Camassia, and Triteleia.

A couple of things to remember, especially during this year's heat and drought:

Where you live and the current weather conditions have to be your guide.

In Colorado, broccoli, lettuce, chard and kale are in the ground now. Author (link on left), Linda Langelo of Colorado State University, also points out, "All the cole crops are intolerant of dry soils. They are shallow rooted and like moist, well-drained soil."

Mid-July is planting time in Michigan, too. Kenneth Sleight said, "Carrots, parsnips, and some other root vegetables taste even better when they are left in the ground at low temperatures. It is at this time that the starches in the roots turn into sugars and add a bit of sweetness to the vegetables."

In Galveston, fall garden broccoli is planted in October, according to Dr. William Johnson, horticulturist with the Galveston County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, The Texas A&M System. Visit his Website at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston.

In Kentucky, beets are planted up to Aug. 1, according to the University of Kentucky fact sheet.

The Maine Master Gardeners say that August is the perfect time. Betty Jakum writes, " cool weather ...  leafy greens, root crops and various members of the cabbage family. Beets, carrots, peas, chard, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, turnips, radishes, spinach, oriental vegetables like Chinese cabbage and bok choy and transplants of late cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts may be planted in early August for fall harvesting. My fall plantings of lettuce are healthier and better tasting than the ones I harvest in early spring."

Seed germination soil temperature - Use the chart at Tom Clothier's site so you put seeds in when they will germinate!

Try planting July/August seeds in a shallow trench lined with peat moss, compost or cottonseed hulls in the bottom. That extra protection against drying heat can really help hold moisture around the seeds and seedlings.




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