Fall Vegetable Gardening
If your summer vegetable garden left you wanting more, now is the time to start thinking about a fall garden.
By Robert Weaver
If your summer vegetable garden left you wanting more, now is the time to start thinking about a fall garden. In our region of Missouri and Illinois late July and August is the perfect time for planting a cool-season fall crop. Plants with short time-to-harvest periods and that grow better in cooler temperatures include bush beans, beats, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, leaf lettuces, spinach, radishes, collard greens, mustard, kohlrabi and more. You may even get a yield from sweet corn if planted in early August.
Before you plant, it may be a good idea to have to the soil tested, especially if you planted previously in the spot where your fall planting will go. If nothing else, add some compost and/or composted manure or other organic fertilizer. And be sure to clean up the weeds before planting.
Check your local garden center to see what bedding plants they have available to get a jump start. Veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts may be available soon. Most others can be directly sown as seed.
To see what plants you can grow in the fall, and find out how many days it takes from planting to harvest, check out the University of Missouri Extension “Vegetable Planting Calendar” (Publication G6201) at http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6201.
Robert Weaver is editor of The Gateway Gardener magazine, and gardens in the St. Louis area. He has a horticulture degree from the St. Louis Community College-Meramec, is an Advanced Certified Master Gardener, and is a member of the Garden Writers’ Association.