Here's a sampling of the seeds we planted recently to ensure we have a fall harvest.
I finally picked my first ripe cherry tomato today (August 2nd). It's hard to believe that we've been planting fall crops the past couple of weeks when our warm season crops haven't produced much yet.
The key to growing fall harvest crops is planting at the correct time in fertile soil to ensure that the vegetables can grow and mature before cold weather and short days set in. Slow growing crops that take 70 to 100 days such as cabbage and cauliflower need to be planted in late June or early July. You can get around this by buying starts. Good nurseries such as Gardensphere sell fall vegetables starts for a very short period of time (the last week of July to the first week of August). Quick growing crops that take 25 to 55 days to mature such as radishes, arugula, bok choy, spinach, and lettuce can be planted throughout August. These are easy to plant from seed which are also available at Gardensphere. I love planting from seed in the summer because they germinate so quickly in the warm soil. The only drawback is that you have to be careful to water consistently and not let the little sprouts dry out.
Kale and Purple Broccoli are super hardy and can be planted in the fall and will overwinter and mature in late February or March. Garlic can be planted in October and will be ready to harvest in late May or June.
Over the past several years, I've really enjoyed growing fall and winter cool season crops because mother nature usually takes care of the watering and there are fewer pests to contend with during the cool months. It also gives you a reason to get out and into the garden during those short daylight hours.