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It’s really not too late

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August is right around the corner, but it is not too late for you throw your hat into the gardening ring. I knew I would be moving late spring and I used it as an excuse to not even start a garden but now is my last shot at raising some of my own food for this year.

If you like to eat broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, spinach, lettuce, peas, beets, cucumbers, cabbage, collards, green onions, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish or turnips you are in luck. Head over to your local garden center or nursery and pick up some seeds or seedlings.

There are some adaptions to make for a late summer planting:

• When possible, use fast maturing cultivars to ensure a harvest before a killing frost occurs

• Spade or till the soil 6-8 inches deep to loosen the soil and fertilize with balanced fertilizer if it is a heavily cropped soil

• Late summer plantings mean hotter and sometimes drier soils. Make sure you have adequate soil moisture daily and shading the seeds may be necessary when soil temps are above 85 degrees F.

• The first frost is not something to stress about: lots of vegetables are tolerant to a light and hard frosts. Protect the sensitive plants with covers to enjoy the typically several weeks of good growing temps that maintain after the first frost.

Cool season plants for late-summer or fall planting (plant at least 4-8 weeks before first fall frost):

Typically direct-seeded — turnip, radish, mustard greens

Typically transplanted — broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, green onion, kale, kohlrabi

Either direct-seeded or transplanted — beet, lettuce, spinach

If you need any more advice on a later summer garden, or learn more about vegetables hardiness to frosts, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

If you are swimming in your current garden crops, you can share your overflow with your local extension educators and Monica Nagele will give you food preservation tips in exchange.

• • •

Upcoming Events:

July 29: Purdue Student Farm and Small Farms Field Day at Purdue Student Farm West Lafayette

Aug. 25: Clean Sweep at Hendricks County Fairgrounds at Danville, Indiana

Aug. 25: Montgomery County PARP (2 points) 1:30-3:30 p.m. at HHSB Success Center, Crawfordsville

Sept. 8: Digital Ag Field Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Purdue ACRE West Lafayette

 

Tricia Herr is the Montgomery County Extension Educator, Ag and Natural Resource. The office is at 400 Parke Ave., Crawfordsville; 765-364-6363. She may be reached by email at triciaherr@purdue.edu.

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