Summer Planting for a Fall Harvest


Shared with permission of the National Garden Bureau:

Summer Planting for a Fall Harvest

Hopefully you have begun your summer harvest, enjoying those delectable tastes you can only get from home-grown veggies. Crunchy snap peas, crisp and sweet carrots, fresh juicy tomatoes….ah, the tastes of summer. Are you practicing succession planting to ensure you have a steady supply of veggies throughout the season? Good for you! What about planning for a fall harvest? Either transplanting seedlings or direct sowing the shorter crop time veggies is another perfect way to continue the harvest through the fall months.

It’s really easy to do! The first step is to calculate the first frost date for your local region. This tool from Bonnie Plants will help with that task. Then select which crops you’d like to grow. We’ve put some days to maturity ranges by each crop below:

Arugula: 25 (for baby leafed) to 55 days
Asian Greens: 45 to 65 days
Beets: 45 to 55 days
Broccoli: 60 to 80 days
Carrots: 45 to 75 days
Collards: 50 to 65 days
Green Onions: 50 to 60 days
Herbs: varies
Kale: 30 to 60 days
Kohlrabi: 40 to 80 days
Lettuce: 25 to 60 days
Radishes: 10 to 50 days
Spinach: 25 to 50 days
Swiss Chard: 25 to 60 days
Turnips: 30 to 75 days

Not that you can harvest these, but here are a few easy ornamentals you can start now for fall planting and decorating:
Ornamental Kale and Cabbage
Pansies
Violas

Based on your first frost date, count backwards to find out when to plant your selected vegetables.

For example, your first frost date might be October 31. If you want green onions, which are great candidates for direct sowing, you can sow now and again every two weeks up until August 31 for several more harvests before winter sets in.

This article from NGB member Home Garden Seed Association offers more detailed tips about growing for a fall harvest.

And you thought vegetables were only for planting in the spring!

While you’re planting and planning, don’t forget to order fall-planted bulbs for spring blooms and perennials for lasting garden beauty.

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