Plan for a fall harvest with these fast-growing crops! Here are a few to consider planting now…
The summer is flying by, and it’s hard to believe it, but it’s time to start thinking about the fall garden! Even if you only have a small garden plot, you can still take advantage of empty space left behind by spring or early summer crops to grow some fall veggies. However, if you’re planning for a fall harvest, you’ll want to be sure you fully understand your climate zone and growing season so you can determine what to plant.
In general, you’ll want to focus on quick-growing and/or cold-hardy veggies such as green beans, brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc.), quick-growing herbs (basil, cilantro, etc.), and possibly some root vegetables. For some root veggies like radishes or carrots, it may still be a bit too hot to plant. However, I have found that carrots grow well for us in the fall here in Ohio if planted in late July or early August. You just have to be very diligent about keeping the soil moist as they can take some time to germinate. I like to cover my planted rows with cardboard or planks to keep the moisture in. After 4-5 days or so, start checking daily for sprouting seedlings, and remove the covering as soon as you see them starting to come up. Then make sure to water daily (if it’s dry) until they get established.
I especially love growing brassicas in the fall, although you’ll need to cover them with netting if you have a problem with cabbage pests, which can be heavy in late summer. They grow quickly, and we enjoy kale, collard greens, and cabbage from our fall garden well into the winter months. Here in Ohio, I start my cabbages, broccoli, and kohlrabi indoors in mid-late July just to give them a little head start before putting them outdoors in the heat, then plant the seedlings out in the garden in mid-August.
I also direct-seed parsnips and carrots right in the garden usually in late July. In August, we direct-seed other fall greens (chard, kale, collards, mustard, etc.), as well as succession plantings of lettuce or mesclun mix, radishes, and cilantro throughout the month.
This video shares some more tips on what to plant right now if you live in the Michigan or Ohio area: