Begin to think about harvest in mid to late summer. Warm-weather crops will be ready then. Keeping the soil evenly moist as crops finish maturing is important; you will stop watering many crops just a week or two before picking to concentrate flavor. Succession planting of summer crops where there is enough season left before the first frost can begin now. Planting cool-weather crops for harvest in autumn or early winter can begin in mid-summer. Here are some choices for some great additions to your garden!
- Cauliflower: Plant these in late August or early September, about six to eight weeks before the first fall frost. Your planting site needs to have a lot of full sun—ideally, pick a spot with about six hours of it. Before planting, add compost to the soil, making sure it remains fertile. This will help to develop one clean head of cauliflower, rather than a number of small ones.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is a hardy vegetable, which is why you can plant it a mere 85 days before your first fall frost. In fact, this is often ideal since broccoli thrives in cool weather. When planting, make sure the seeds are approximately half an inch deep and 12 to 24 inches apart. If you are planting more than one row, try to leave 36 inches in between each row so the broccoli has enough space to grow fully.
- Spinach: When planting your spinach in the late summer, look for a site with full sun to light shade. If the soil is cool enough, early August is perfect for a fall harvest.
- Onions: Onions are quite hardy when it comes to colder weather, which makes them perfect for a late summer planting. Look for a spot in your garden with lots of sun where other plants will not get in the way. Make sure the soil is loose, well-drained, and rich in nitrogen.
Late Summer Maintenance Tips
Extend the life of late-summer blooming perennials by deadheading flowers as soon as they fade. Instead of expending their energy into seeds, they’ll continue to send out buds as long as the weather permits. A little time spent making a few artful cuts to shape a rose bush, shrub or tree can reward you with more flowers and thicker foliage. Attack weeds that spring from the base of a plant with a vengeance to prevent them from stunting the plant’s growth.
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