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Summer Planting for Fall Gardens in KY

It's July in Kentucky and hard to think of fall when the summer temperatures are so hot, and the spring planting frenzy feels like its just over.   However, it is time to start sowing seeds and and thinking about where your fall plants will be tucked into the garden.   Think: carrots, beets, broccoli, cabbage, swiss chard, kales, and many other of your favorite fall fares. The smaller, faster growing greens like radishes, lettuces, spinach, etc will come later.

So where do we start?  First of all, let's just say that there is still time to sneak in a few last minute summer plantings.  Cucumbers, squashes, & green beans can all stand to be directly sown into the hot soil and will mature safely before threat of frost in late October.  

Now let's familiarize ourselves with three plant families: Chenopods, Umbelliferous, and Brassicas.  For edible plants, the Chenopod Family contains beets, swiss chard, and spinach.  July & August are greet times to begin direct sowing beets and chard in the garden for an early fall harvest.  Best not to try spinach until August as it won't tolerate heat very well. 

The Umbelliferous Family contains carrots, fennel, cilantro, dill & parsley (parsnips and celery too but I'd recommend planting those in spring).  This family is also very cool weather tolerate.  In fact, the colder the temperatures, the sweeter the carrot!  Minus freezing temps of course. 

Lastly, The Brassica Family contains kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, collards, mustards, cabbage, kohlrabi, arugula, radishes, turnips, rutabaga.... my goodness!!   There are a few anomalies in the family so listen up.  1) The brussels sprouts can be sown indoors in the spring and transplanted out in June or July for a fall/winter harvest.  2) The root crops here: radishes, turnips, rutabaga will need to be directly sown into the soil and never transplanted as to not disturb delicate roots.  3) Everything else will be sown into trays/pots/plugs etc to grow strong prior to transplanting into the garden.  

Just for good measure, we can throw lettuce heads into this late category of sowing in trays for later transplant.  Direct sowing baby salad greens should be delayed until August (as was spinach) to encourage cooler conditions.

So, get your Fall Garden list together and start looking for spaces to pop the plants in in the near future.  If you'd like further explanation or a more personalized consultation, please book an appointment HERE.


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