August is such and exciting time in the garden! Your garden is hopefully overflowing with goodness and rewarding you daily with fresh veggies to enjoy. I understand that this is a “beginner” gardening series and some of you may not have this Garden of Eden to which I refer, that is ok! You have garden goals for next year and I bet you have been able to harvest a few things from that “beginner” garden of yours! But the garden party isn’t over! Along with all the fresh garden goodness you get to enjoy right now, now is the time to prepare for Fall crops. I have eaten nearly almost all of our Spring beets and this week I am going to get more beet seeds in the soil and hopefully be able to enjoy homegrown beets well into the Fall! So read along for the When, Where & What you can be growing to enjoy garden fresh veggies well into the Fall.
W H E N
Ideally the first week of August is when you would want to plant your Fall crops. However, with the warm weather predicted, I am going to get seeds in the ground this week. This week, being the third week of August.
I am planting in the beautiful Pacific Northwest zone 5-6. For a great reference on what you can plant in August by zone, check out this link from the Spruce.
W H E R E
As you harvest your crops from your garden, you may find that you have room for your Fall Crops. Many Fall crops give back vital nutrients to your soil and will benefit your Spring garden next year. You can start the seeds indoor and transplant starters in to available space in your garden. However, be sure to keep on eye on the leaves of the these little starts as they will not do well under scorching summer heat. If the leaves are looking stressed, you can create a shade by putting a canvas over the garden or some other material that will create the same effect. You can also sow seeds directly into the soil. The seeds will only need to be planted about 1/2″ deep. In order for these seeds to germinate, the soil needs to remain very moist, which may require multiple watering’s a day during the hot days of August. A fresh layer of mulch is another way to help keep your soil moist. Unlike the fragile starts, seeds need full sunlight to warm the soil and promote germination.
W H A T
There are many Fall crops that will taste sweeter after the first frost, isn’t that amazing! Kale and Brussel sprouts lead the pack in this cool phenomenon, but there are other veggies that also sweeten up to the cold temps. Leeks, along with some root vegetables like carrots and parsnips also change flavor for the better after a first frost. Cauliflower and broccoli have also been known to get better as the temperature drops. Wish I got sweeter after the first frost….
So if you have made room in your garden for some of these cold weather loving veggies, get them in the ground and give them a try! If not this year, make a note to plan for Fall crops next year. As for me, tomorrow’s To Do’s include getting beets, Brussel sprouts and kale seeds in the dirt. Until next time!