The first week of August is a great time to think about replacing early season crops with cool weather vegetables for the fall.
Take advantage of the coming cooler weather to grow a spring garden in the fall. Broccoli, kale, spinach, lettuce, and other early crops you enjoyed in spring grow well in the cooler weather of fall, and you’ll like the benefits: fewer insects, less sweat, a sweet flavor brought on by frost, and an extended harvest season in milder climates.
In the North, we can enjoy a good fall harvest until at least the first hard freeze; beets, parsnips, and carrots stay in the ground after freezes if covered with hay. Kale tolerates temperatures in the teens. Cold-hardy collards and kale get a rich, sweet flavor after their leaves are touched by frost. Some spinach is also quite tolerant of cold. You can find your favorite veggie plants and our new selection of Livingston Seed for cool weather planting at Giordano’s Gift and Garden.
Greens are a staple crop for fall gardens.
- Start with plants instead of seeds to get a jump on the season. Buy short-season varieties, which are sold this time of year. They’ll mature early to beat the cold.
- One challenge to starting a fall garden is spells of extremely hot weather in August and September when it is time to plant. Water regularly and mulch with compost or a good, rich organic material such as worm castings, Bumper Crop, and our new product, Plant Magic. Daytime temperatures in the mid 80s threaten broccoli and spinach, which are quick to bolt (flower). Throwing a length of gauze over the plants during a hot spell may cool them down just enough.
Good Vegetable Crops for Fall
- Brussels sprouts
- Lettuce & other salad greens
- Mustard greens
- Scallions (young onions)
- Swiss Chard
If You Want to Start with Seeds
Giordano’s is the place to buy your seeds for late summer planting and a bountiful fall harvest. Come visit and speak with our knowledgeable staff about getting the most out of your fall vegetable planting using organic fertilizers and compost.