Many people are finished gardening by mid September. They
are missing the fun and productivity of a fall garden.
Seed started in flats in early to mid-August can provide delicious
fresh vegetables and lots of fun as the rains return, the weather cools,
and the insect pests abate. Use of the row cover and/or plastic
for nighttime frost protection can extend the growing season until late
in the year.
The success of a successful fall garden is to germinate flats
of seedlings in an air conditioned place. Remember to plant the
seedlings in the garden where you can keep them watered, and a bed that
has late afternoon shade. This will keep tender plants like lettuce
from frying on a hot September day.
Popular spring vegetables are often well suited for fall gardens. Try
lettuce, spinach , Chinese cabbage, and broccoli, as well as various
mustard and turnip greens, Plant lots of turnips, on August 8,
the old timers say, to supply your hungry neighbors when they visit. We
often enjoy a crisp turnip or two as we stroll through our garden on
a cool day, and lots of folks like to take a sack home and fry.
There are many fall radishes you can mulch and enjoy well into
the winter. We like Winter Rose, Icicle, and well as Daikon. They
hold their quality well in cold weather.
Be sure you have enough seeds for you fall garden. It
is very difficult to buy seed in the late summer, so when you buy your
seeds in spring, include some for fall planting.