Get moving now and you’ll be harvesting fresh veggies before and into winter!!
Great Neck, NY, USA | Sun Jul 05 10:00:00 EDT 2009
The die-hard gardeners among us are already seeing their planning pay off with an early-summer bounty of asparagus, zucchini, tomatoes, and greens. (You know, like your neighbors who spend all winter browsing seed catalogues, studying the almanac, perfecting their compost pile, and drawing diagrams of their plot.) But if you’re just deciding now that you want to try your green thumb at planting, it’s not too late: putting hardier vegetables in the ground means you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labor into September—or at least until the first frost, depending on the climate where you live.
Tips on Starting a Late Garden
- First, choose a place to plant; look for one that doesn’t get too much direct sun, since that can dry the soil out on the hottest days of August.Then till and compost the area where you want to plant. (You can also brew compost tea for a more direct root-reaching fertilizer).
- Choose plants that have short growing seasons and that are hardy enough to withstand the first frost—carrots, broccoli, salad greens, peas, and beets are all good choices, according to Gardeners.com.
- To figure out exactly when to plant, check the seed packet to find out how many days the veggies need for full-growth; add two weeks to counteract the shortened days and an extra two weeks for good measure; and subtract that from the date of the first frost in your region.
- So if you live in Philadelphia, where the average first frost date is October 28 and want to grow a batch of Danvers 126 carrots (which take 73 days to mature), you’ll need to plant them by July 22. Other kinds of carrots—and other kinds of vegetables—will have maturity times that vary, so borrow that seed catalog from your neighbor and get planting.