I know it’s hard to believe when it’s 100 degrees outside, but it’s time to think about planting the fall garden. Broccoli, cabbage, and greens such as kale, lettuce, spinach, and bok choy grow well in our area in the fall. Many of them will continue to produce through light frosts if you cover the plants with row cover or plastic. Our greens made it all the way through our mild winter last year, much to the dismay of my family, who complained that greens season was supposed to be over!
If you want transplants to put out this fall, you will probably need to plant seeds now. Transplants are rarely available in our area in the fall, even though it’s such a great time to grow these crops! Plant your seeds in containers indoors, as most of them need cool temperatures to germinate.
While your seeds are busy germinating, you can get your garden beds ready for your baby plants. Raised beds with lots of organic matter are best. This spring we grew our broccoli in a raised bed amended with composted cow manure and mulched with chicken litter from last year’s baby chick brooder.
The plants were enormous, and so were the broccoli heads. They grew really fast in the warm spring weather, and baby chicken poop does wonders. Maybe we can get another good crop as the weather cools off at night and we start to get some rain (hopefully!) in September and October.
Don’t let the heat of the summer keep you from getting started. You’ll be so happy you did when you harvest fresh food from your own backyard this fall!