Cathy Isom fills us in about some things to plant right now for the fall harvest. That’s coming up on “This Land of Ours.”
Now that school is back in session and summer is beginning to wind down, it’s time to think about all of the goodies that you’ll want cropping up in your fall garden.
Consider things like broccoli, lettuce, kale, arugula, and radishes. Most gardeners know these “cool season” crops fail to thrive in summer, but also grow crisp and tasty in the lengthening days of early fall. But these grocery store staples are the tip of the iceberg of fall crops. Colorful, slightly salty orach greens and sweet and juicy fennel bulbs should also be added to the list as you plan your fall garden. Other suggestions include Fava beans, mache, salsify, sorrel, and top-set onions. Despite the name, cool-season crops must be planted in the dog days of summer in order to mature before the first frost of fall. Unlike frost-sensitive “warm season” crops, most fall vegetables will continue to produce until deep freeze hits (meaning all winter in mild climates), but only if they get up to size while the weather is still fairly warm.
To determine the optimal planting date, simply count backward from the average date of the first frost in your area by the number of “days to maturity” listed on the seed package.
Orach, for example, requires 50 to 60 days from sowing the seed to maturity. So if you live in an area where the first frost usually comes around mid-November, plant it by mid-September.
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