Plant Fall Garden Vegetables as Midseason Replacements

Disasters of all kinds can hit your garden at any time; be prepared with fall garden vegetables that serve as wonderful midseason vegetable replacements.

| July/August 2012

I knew my garden was in trouble when my pea plants went on strike. After sprouting, they remained low to the ground and seemed in no hurry to grow upward.

It had been a wet spring. The weather gods had decided to give the Northeast all of the Northwest’s rain, leaving New England submerged while Washington state suffered a drought. But I thought peas would do well in the wet spring, since they are a cool-weather crop.

One morning, I awoke around dawn and decided to do some early gardening. I soon discovered the reason why my peas were stunted. An army of slugs blanketed the wet ground, chowing down on everything in their path. I looked around at the rows of veggies I thought were slow in coming up and realized that they had already come and gone.

Many gardeners have experienced similar sinking feelings with their patches. Maybe you’ve woken to find a herd of deer munching your beans to the ground. Maybe you’ve discovered your dog’s been digging up a new row of your garden every night. Or maybe you’ve finally realized those red and black bugs on your potato plants aren’t really ladybugs.

It would be tempting to throw in the trowel, but that would be a waste of a good gardening season. You have all winter to curse your fate, but for now you need to get busy.

While the ground is clear of frost, there’s hope. You can still grow a bountiful crop if you’re willing to fill holes with whatever works. Throw out that carefully drawn diagram of your garden; it’s time to improvise.

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