This time of year, I often get asked, “What kind of things can I still plant at home?”. And the answer is: a lot! When you think about the fall, think about all of the things you may have planted in the spring. Now that you’ve harvested most of those crops – things like lettuce, scallions, spinach, arugula, beans, peas – you may have some empty space in your gardens. As the days begin to get shorter – but the soil is still warm and there is no threat of frost yet – this is the perfect time to plant some fast-growing fall crops. Below is a list of things you can plant now and whether or not you should plant transplants or direct sow the seeds into the ground.
Spinach: Direct sow according to the directions on the seed packet
Bok Choy: Transplants are best
Radishes: Direct sow according to the directions on the seed packet
Lettuce: Transplants are best
Arugula: Direct sow according to the directions on the seed packet
Napa Cabbage: Transplants are best
Kale: Transplants are best
Chard: Transplants are best
Scallions: Transplants are best
Other common fall crops that take longer to mature should already be in the ground. This includes potatoes, carrots, cabbage, winter squash and broccoli. These transplants are often planted in June/July and if they aren’t in the ground now, you won’t get a harvest because they need more time to mature before the season is over.
If you are growing into the fall, remember to make sure you are able to cover your veggies in case of a frost. At Stearns, we end up using floating row cover to protect many of our crops for the last month of the CSA season. At home, you can use hoops and row cover or plastic to create a little greenhouse. If frost is predicted, be sure that your cover can’t touch the leaves of your plants because this can cause frost burn.
I hope some of you are able to plant more things if you have the space and time!
Until next time,