Sow Seeds for Fall Garden

Start a second garden late in the summer for cool-season vegetables that you can enjoy well into fall and early winter.

| August 12, 2011

  • Beets are just one of the Top 10 fall varieties to think about planting now.
    Beets are just one of the Top 10 fall varieties to think about planting now. George

  • Beets are just one of the Top 10 fall varieties to think about planting now.

Late summer is the ideal time to start your fall garden. In most areas of the country, you can grow a "second season" crop of your favorite cool-season vegetables and lovely fall flowers. In mild winter areas, you can grow even more garden favorites for harvest in late fall, winter, even into next spring. Now is the time to gear up for some of the best growing weather of the year, which lies in the cool season ahead

What to Grow

Many casual gardeners don't bother to plant later in the summer because they think of a garden as something to be planted in spring. The Home Garden Seed Association (HGSA) is out to change that mindset, along with the idea that growing plants from seed is difficult. The HGSA has found that "fear of failure" is the primary reason many home gardeners do not garden with seed, and it wants to forever dispel that fear. To help gardeners gain confidence with seeds, the HGSA has assembled a list of the Top 10Fall Varieties that are EZ and fun to grow from seed:

Beets, calendula, cilantro, kale, lettuce, peas, radish, salad greens, spinach and Swiss chard.

Even where winters are cold, many vegetables can still be grown to maturity before first frost. In addition to the Top 10 listed above, try broccoli, carrots, cabbage and arugula. When choosing varieties, select ones that are fast-maturing to ensure a harvest before the cold weather hits. Consider extending your planting season even more by growing crops under cold frames and row covers. Now is also a good time to start seeds of many flowering perennials. Sown in fall, many will be ready to start flowering by the following spring or summer.

In mild winter areas, you can grow an even wider selection of fall and winter crops, including onions, leeks, and parsley. Seeds of annual flowers that thrive in cool weather can also be sown now for fall and winter bloom, including alyssum, candytuft, calendula, lobelia, stock, and sweet pea.

When to Start

Sue Radkiewicz
8/14/2011 12:42:53 AM

Nice article, but the lead photo is of radishes, not beets.

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