Planning for fall vegetables in the garden

Now is the time to start planning how you can continue to enjoy your garden and even add new plantings. You can plant a variety of produce in Kentucky gardens in the coming weeks allowing fresh items to be available well into the fall.

The cooler nights experienced later in the year as these vegetables mature may increase the sugar content of many crops and thus increase their quality. Cooler nights also slow growth, so crops can take longer to mature than in the summer. Keep this slower pace in mind when you check seeds for days to maturity.

Mid-summer months is the time to make a last planting of bush beans, carrots, sweet corn, kale, collards, Bibb lettuce, turnips and cole crops such as kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. For late August and into September try planting mustard greens, spinach greens, radishes, turnip greens and leaf lettuce.

Before planting, remove any existing debris including crops and weeds to the compost bin and cultivate the soil.

If the previous crop was well fertilized and grew vigorously you may need to add little if any additional fertilizer, otherwise apply about 2 to 3 pounds of a complete fertilizer such as 5-10-10 or 10-10-10 per 100 square feet of planting area.

Remember to keep fall gardens well-watered as this tends to be a fairly dry time in Kentucky. A weekly irrigation sufficient to wet the soil to 6 or 8 inches should be adequate. This is more or less equivalent to a weekly one-inch rain.

If you are interested in planting a fall garden, the Harlan County Cooperative Extension Service will hold a Fall Garden and Season Extension Workshop, July 17 at the Harlan County Extension Depot. The workshop is free and will begin at 6 p.m.

For more information on fall gardening, the workshop mentioned above or other fall workshops that are scheduled, contact the Harlan County Cooperative Extension Service at 606-573-4464.

Jeremy Williams is the Harlan County extension agent for agriculture & natural resources. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.