Thursday, July 21, 2011

In the garden right now...and fall planting schedule

We're harvesting from the garden right now...
~ last fall peas to be planted shortly
~ first beans (french filet), and more being planted
~ lettuces, tatsoi, swiss chard, purple kale, green kale, collards, red orach
~ last spinach, and more to be planted for fall
~ first tomatoes!  Stupice is the winner for first red ripe tomato this year (even ahead of the cherry tomatoes)
~ first jalapenos and cayennes, and several large green peppers nearly ready
~ loads of basil, as well as other kitchen herbs
~ first zucchini (slow this year)

Coming in August...purple potatoes, corn, ground cherries, tomatillos, other tomatoes, eggplant, cherokee cornfield beans, squash, Brussels sprouts, and watermelon (well, keeping our fingers crossed for that one!)

Now is the time to start planning your fall planting schedule.  Mother Earth News gives an excellent planning guide, based on the first killing frost of your region.  Generally around here (zone 5-6) we have first hard frost in mid October, although you never know.  Some tender plants can last through a few frosts if they are covered with row cover or blankets on those cold nights, or if you have a grow tunnel that is covered with plastic sheeting.  Here are some ideas for a fall planting schedule in our climate:

End of July/early August - start cabbage family seedlings (kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi)
Mid August - set out the cabbage seedlings, and direct plant carrots, leeks, lettuce, peas
Late August/early September - direct plant arugula, spinach, tatsoi, lettuce, other greens, radish
Early Sept/mid September - direct plant spinach, and other greens (chard, kale, mache) into a cold frame
Early Oct/mid October - plant shallots and garlic for next summer's harvest

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