It’s time to plant for fall

As of July 20, there are still about 87 frost free days left.  I was surprised when I saw the LONG list of crops you can still plant now and get a crop before fall.  If you’d like to plant a row for the hungry-there is definitely plenty of time!  It might be faster to tell you the ones that are NOT on the list- brussel sprouts and winter squash and most melons.

You can look for fast maturing varieties of melons and watermelons, several are in the 70 day range. You’ll also find relatively fast peppers and tomatoes, eggplant and okra and sweet corn.

Most bush beans, some Lima beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, chard, cucumbers, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, greens, bunching onions, peas, radish, spinach, summer squash and turnips can be direct seeded now.  Cool season crops may be easier to start indoors and transplant out or you can create a partially shaded nursery row that you keep a careful eye on, water well and possibly even cover with row cover to keep the increasing bug population at bay.  Tiny members of the cabbage family are very susceptible to flea beetles and cabbage worms.  Lettuce and spinach can be tricky to germinate in the heat.  Water with cold water-even ice cubes if you want to go that route, and chilling the seeds in the freezer a few days ahead also helps.  In addition, I usually soak spinach for a few hours.  After you drain it well, you can hold it in a plastic bag-leave it partially open to avoid fungus-until you seed the radical (root) JUST start to emerge.  The get long very quickly and then they are much more difficult to plant without damage.

Happy gardening!