With summer’s heat fully upon much of the country, many gardeners are wishing they could go back to springtime and benefit from the cooler weather. While the tomato harvest may be in full swing, many miss the fresh lettuce and other greens that we enjoyed from our gardens. But rather than looking back to the past, gardeners should look forward to the future, then look back. Yes, it’s time to start thinking about the fall harvest.
Depending on your last frost date, this could be the time for you to start planting. Whether it’s lettuce and spinach, beets and rutabaga, or even one last planting of cilantro and dill, planting your seeds at the right time in summer could mean the difference between a bountiful harvest and losing everything to frost.
Melissa Knorris has a list of 28 fall crops you might be interested in growing, and how far in advance of the frost date to plant them. If you don’t know when your first and last frost dates are, look them up at Dave’s Garden. Dave’s Garden has one of the best online calculators, as it tells you not only your average first and last frost dates, but also gives you detailed information on frost probabilities from your local weather stations.
That allows you to plan for the probabilities that you might have an earlier first frost or a later last frost, so you won’t end up disappointed when you plant. If you have some room in your garden and you’re looking to eke out just a little bit more production this year before fall and winter, these two resources should give you everything you need to plant some of the most popular and most common fall crops and ensure that your plans come to fruition. Stay cool and enjoy your gardening!