Planting for a Fall Harvest

Late summer is a time for harvesting and enjoying a lot of the vegetables you planted in the spring. Now is a great time to plant some new crops that you can have for a fall harvest. Many root and leafy vegetables grow well in late summer and fall, right up till the first frost and beyond. So keep your garden growing and enjoy more wonderful fresh vegetables.

Beets, radishes and lettuces are among the list of vegetables will grow nicely in the fall. It’s best to know the average when the first frost date average is  your area, in order to calculate when to plant these late vegetables so they’ll mature before being killed by cold weather.

Vegetables for midsummer planting

Crop Days to maturity Cold hardiness Crop Days to maturity Cold hardiness
Basil 30-60 Killed by frost Green onion 60-70 Survives high 20s
Beets 50-60 Survives high 20s Kale 40-65 The hardiest – down to 20°
Bush beans 45-65 Killed by frost Kohlrabi 50-60 Survives light frost
Broccoli 50-70 Survives light frost Leaf lettuce 40-60 Survives light frost
Brussels sprouts 90-100 The hardiest – down to 20 ° Mustard greens 30-40 Survives light frost
Cabbage 50-90 The hardiest – down to 20° Peas 70-80 (longer than if planted in spring) Survives high 20s
Cauliflower 60-80 Survives light frost Radishes 30-60 Dig until soil freezes
Cilantro 60-70 Survives light frost Spinach 35-45 Survives light frost; may overwinter
Collard greens 40-65 The hardiest – down to 20° Swiss chard 40-60 Survives light frost
Garlic Harvest the following July Winters over in ground Turnips 50-60 Survives light frost

Leafy vegetables, such as Swiss chard, kale and mustard greens can be harvested before the leaves reach full size. Often these small leaves are more tender and tasty than mature ones. These crops can be planted in succession every few weeks over the course of the spring and summer, to provide a steady supply of young leaves. Lettuce tends to bolt and taste bitter when grown in the heat of summer, so just enjoy it in spring or wait until temperatures cool to plant a late crop. Shade from taller plants may help improve the quality of summer-grown lettuce, as will selecting varieties suited for warm weather.

Basil and cilantro are fast-growing herbs that are ready for harvest about a month after sowing the seed. Garlic planted in September produces the biggest bulbs the following July, so after harvesting a late-maturing crop, you can plant garlic in that space.

Thanks to the University of Minnesota for these tips

Keep Your Tomato Plants Healthy

With summer here, if you want a great harvest you need to keep your tomato plants healthy. There are a few maintenance things you can do to keep them growing strong and producing the best fruits they can.

Simple little things like adding some mulch and staking plants to keep them off the ground away from insects and rot.

 

tomato-plants-in-garden with mulchKeep Competing Weeds at Bay – Weeds are one of the biggest detriments to the overall health of tomato plants. Tomato plants need all of the nutrients and water they can get in the summer months to keep producing fruit. If your plants are smothered in weeds, they are losing those nutrients to the weeds. In addition, those weeds become a great place for pests to hang out and multiply. Last but not least, remember that if you let this year’s weeds take over and go to seed, they will only multiply next year’s problem.

Remove the Damage and Disease – Here is another big one in keeping your plants healthy! Take a few minutes a day as you walk through your garden to remove any branches that have broken off or begin to show signs of disease. In addition, be sure to prune out the bottom branches to allow light, water and circulation to your plants. Those three things are invaluable in keeping your crop healthy and producing.

Stop Fertilizing – This one surprises a few people, but is really important to stop any type of heavy fertilizing once summer sets in. Too much fertilizer can actually lower your harvest totals as the plants use the nutrients of the fertilizer to create more leaves and stems – and less fruit.

Great tips from oldworldgardenfarms.com

Urban Gardening Tips

Urban Garden

With more of us becoming conscious of what we eat and where it come from, more people living in urban areas are planting gardens. Whether you live in a house or an apartment there is always room for growing your own vegetables. Think indoors and vertical if need be.

Here are some urban gardening tips to help you with your planting.

1. Plant in Winter, Transplant in Spring

Contrary to popular belief, gardening can be a year round hobby. By starting to plant your crops — whether herbs, vegetables, or fruits— indoors during the cold winter months, you’re giving them an increased likelihood of making it to adulthood when planted outside.

For those of you who started with seeds indoors during the winter, now (spring) is the time to transplant seedlings.

2. Pay Attention to Soil Temperature

Soil temperature has a direct correlation with germination, so it is important to keep plants that have a similar temperature threshold in the same area. Cauliflower, celery, and cucumbers are all great planting companions with a soil temperature sweet spot of 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Use Technology to Plan Ahead

Want to design the perfect outdoor garden? By using Google Earth’s free satellite imagery, you can easily plan your garden layout for free.

Live in an apartment? Google Sketchup is a great free computer aided design (CAD) tool that can allow you to design an indoor garden, as well.

4. Don’t Fall Victim to Drought

With water conservation top-of-mind for all gardeners, drought-resistant plants and vegetables make the perfect addition to any garden, especially in those drier months. Beets, carrots, onions, parsnips, pumpkins, and summer squash are all varieties of drought-tolerant veggies.

Another smart tip for the drought-conscious: installing a drip irrigation system that connects to your washing machine or a rain barrel can save up to 80 percent more water than a traditional irrigation system by watering plants at their roots where water is less likely to evaporate. This system also allows farmers and gardeners to schedule watering cycles for later in the day, when the weather is cooler.

Thanks to doityourself.com for this helpful tips.

Growing your own garden, not only gives you safer food to eat, you can have fun doing it.

Going vertical with you garden will help you grow more in less space. Go Here is a some tips on building a vertical garden

Plant a Garden on Your Deck or Patio!

tomato-bucket-planter

If you want to grow some herbs or vegetables, but don’t have a lot of room for a traditional garden, or maybe you know someone who is handicapped in some way, that getting to a garden would be tough, consider using a grow box and plant a garden on your deck or patio.

This great idea from Old World Garden Farms, with plans to build their grow boxes, that allow for growing plant in a pot inside the box, which looks great and has a built in trellis for staking things like tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, etc. so they grow up off the ground for a great harvest.

The grow boxes virtually eliminate weeding. and make chores such as planting, watering, harvesting and fall clean-up a breeze. Combine multiple grow boxes with a few small raised beds for crops such as lettuce and beans – and you have a full-fledged low-maintenance vegetable garden!

Even better – by scouring up a few 5 gallon buckets, making home-made compost, your own soil mix, and using pallet wood to build your boxes – you can virtually make an entire garden for free.  

Building The Grow Boxes

grow boxes
You can use any wood material to build your box. These are pieces of rough sawn barn lumber cut and ready to assemble.

Since the soil and plants never come in contact with the wood – you can use reclaimed lumber or pallets to build your boxes  – meaning they can be made for little to no cost. You can also use traditional 2 x 6 framing or treated lumber as a low-cost alternative. All work and look great – and can be painted or stained to dress up the finished box. 

No matter what size – the building process is the same. You need to simply make sure that the completed box is large enough to fit over the container you will be using – and that there is enough room left to install either the metal or wooden trellis. 

 

Let’s use a 5 gallon bucket as an example.

Grow Boxes
Attaching trim pieces

Most 5 gallon buckets measure 12″ wide and about 14″ to 14.5″ high. So by creating a grow box with a minimum 14″x 14″ inside measurement and a height of 15″ – you leave plenty of space for the bucket and the trellis inside, and enough height to cover the bucket.  

2″ x 6″ framing or 1″ x 6″ decking lumber actually work great for the 5 gallon bucket grow boxes – creating a perfect 15″ x 15″ inside diameter when put together and overlapped on the ends. (see picture).  To hold the boxes together – we attach a simple trim piece to the bottom and top of the grow box.

To read the rest of the article visit Old World Garden Farms, whom we thank for this great DIY idea.

Vertical Gardening

You love to garden, and you want the flavor of fresh off the vine vegetables, but you just don’t have enough space for a traditional garden. Try going vertical, you can DIY some simply gardens that take little space and will give you the wonderful feeling of growing your own fresh food.

Vertical gardening is also easier on your back and knees as your plants are up off the ground and easy to reach and you have less issues with bugs and rotting from lying on the ground.

Here is a great video from simplyeasydiy.com to get you started building your first vertical garden.

We hope you enjoyed the video, Click Here for more great DIY projects.

 

Making a Raised Bed Garden

Have you been wanting a raised bed garden so you can grow your own wonderful herbs and vegetables? Now that the weather is warming up, it is a great time to start the garden you always wanted. Where to start a project like this is always a good question for a beginner.

First decide what you want to grow so you can figure out how much space you will need. Picking the correct location is important and based on what you are growing in your  garden, different plants want different amounts of sunshine and water.

Here is a wonderful video to help you get started, Happy Growing.