While Spring is the ideal time to plant a garden, many spring vegetables won’t last in the oppressive summer heat. If you love fresh home-grown vegetables, why not plant a late summer garden? This will ensure plenty of nutrient-rich options during the cooler months. Here are some tips for preparing a late summer vegetable garden:
Prepare the Garden Beds
The summer heat dries out soil which in turn starves vegetables of the nutrients needed to keep them healthy. A good way to prepare your plant beds is to till the soil at least 8 inches deep. This loosens the soil making it easier for seedlings to germinate and roots to grow. Add 2 to 4 inches of organic material (such as compost) into the soil as it adds nutrients that help with root development. In Virginia and North Carolina, early Fall can be warm, so consider adding mulch around your vegetables to prevent the soil from drying out.
Choose Your Crop
Leafy greens and root vegetables are the best options for late summer plantings. Things like spinach, lettuce, chard and carrots thrive as the weather gets cooler. In fact, some vegetables get more flavorful as the cool weather begins. The trick is to give them plenty of space to grow. Leafy greens and root vegetables need more space than others, so plant accordingly.
Parsley, dill, cilantro and other herbs are fast growing and easy to plant during the Fall months as the temperatures begin to cool down. Once the herbs are grown, they can then be dried and kept all winter long. Fresh or dried herbs are perfect for soups and other cold-weather dishes.
At HHHunt, we believe it’s how you live that matters, and we love sharing ideas with our homeowners to enrich their lives. We hope that you find these tips for planting a late-summer vegetable garden helpful.