Want your harvest to continue into the fall? Start some leafy greens, herbs, broccoli and root crops now. These plants aren’t made for the long and intensely hot days of summer. Late-summer, with cooling night-time temps and shorter days with less sunshine, offers the right conditions.
A note on root crops such as beets, carrots and radishes
Since root crops take time to develop, read the seed packets and look for varieties that mature in 60 days or less. Root crops can withstand light frost and with deep ground freeze protection can even be picked well into the winter.
Start an herb container garden
Basil, parsley, cilantro, chervil and dill are great herbs to plant in late August. Just know they won’t survive a frost unless you prepare them. By planting them in containers that can be easily moved, they can be brought indoors for overnight frost protection. Whether you move them inside or cover them outdoors, herbs can keep offering their flavorful harvest right up until a killing freeze. Bring containers indoors to enjoy them throughout the winter.
Tips for late-season planting:
- The most important step to get plants established is to keep seeds and seedlings evenly moist until the plants are a few weeks old.
- Make sure the sprinkler system is adjusted to water seeded areas evenly.
- Schedule watering times carefully to avoid over- or under-watering new seeds.
- Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer every other week.
- Apply a layer of well-seasoned compost to nurture the soil.
Plan ahead for frost protection
With the danger of early frost increasing throughout September, it’s important to be ready with frost protection before you hear the freeze warning a few hours before frost.