Planting Seeds for Fall Harvests

Planting Seeds for Fall Harvests

It is the middle of August and it is time to get serious about sowing seeds for fall harvests. It may seem odd to be talking about this now. In "the old days", folks just planted in the spring and then, when Memorial Day arrived, they considered the job done. Not any more! Today's gardeners want to expand their harvests for as long as possible. So not only do we continue to sow seeds in the summer, we sow seeds in August and September too!

This week, I harvested the last of my potatoes. That leaves me with an empty 12' x 4' raised bed. Heaven! I am going to plant GREENS. I will use floating row covers to protect my kale, spinach, and Swiss chard plants from cabbage moth caterpillars and leaf miners. The seeds I sow this week will give me greens until the snow flies, possibly beyond if I give them extra protection.

I also just emptied a 20 gallon Smart Pot, harvesting the carrots I had planted in late spring. I immediately planted golden beets and they sprouted in a few days! I love to grow root crops in Smart Pots as my soil is heavy clay. Even in the raised beds, no matter how much I amend the native soil, I still can't grow the beautiful, big carrots, radishes, and beets that I can in Smart Pots.

Speaking of radishes, their seeds go in the ground at the beginning of September as they like it very cool. Last year I discovered a wonderful radish secret- sow the seeds extra thick and EAT the THINNINGS! It turns out that radish greens are absolutely delicious. Consequentially, I sowed radish seeds as microgreens in the house under grow lights all winter long. 

So, to summarize, here are the seeds you should plant at this time of year for fall harvests:

Broccoli raab
Escarole, endive
Lettuce and salad mixes
Peas- bush peas, as they don't take as long to mature
Swiss chard


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