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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Fall Gardening

Posted by John Fulton -

Another fall topic to be covered in mid to late summer is fall gardening. The idea is to harvest in the fall, and that takes a little bit of planning, and planting, on your part. The fall garden planting season actually begins in June. Most of the dates are based on the ability to withstand frost, or not withstand frost. Since we are well past June, here are some of the things we can still plant in late summer for the fall harvest period – since they are in the frost tolerant category.

Let's start with the list for late summer planted crops. Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, cos lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, winter radishes and turnips are the group for late summer planting. This group is made up of frost tolerant plants which don't have a long life cycle. Examples of other frost tolerant vegetables which won't have time to mature very well include cabbage, carrots, onions, and parsnips. They just won't mature before we get a hard freeze – unless you are trying to get some green onions or turnip tops.

In about another month, we can plant some of the very hardy vegetables which would mature in time to use them. Some are in the late summer planting time, but most are in the early fall planting category. Here is the list: leaf lettuce, mustard greens, spring radishes, and spinach. Fall spinach is interesting, and it sometimes overwinters to begin an early harvest in the spring. Of course, you have to check carefully before tilling the garden. The other thing which puts spinach in this category is the fact the seed won't even germinate if soil temperatures are too high. Local supplies of seed may be hard to find. That leaves having left over supplies from the spring or placing an order to your favorite seed supplier to have any type of fall garden.

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