I wasn’t fortunate enough this year to get a garden in for Summer, but Arkansas is a great place for preparing a Fall garden! There are lots of crops you can plant now to have a delicious selection before winter!
Starting in August, you can sow your seeds of leaf lettuce, mustard greens, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, kale, collards, and spinach. Make sure you don’t plant them in direct sun, however, as heat will wilt the seedlings before they have a chance to establish. Plant your pea seeds now, as well, and make sure they have something to climb on for the vines to grow.
Finish starting seeds inside for fall crops like Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, and Cauliflower. You’ll want to plant these a little later once the heat dies down. Because our area is warmer, we can easily plant a fall crop of potatoes. Try to get them in by the second week of September.
If you did manage to get a summer garden in, harvest vegetables such as beans, peas, squash, cucumbers, and okra regularly to prolong production and enjoy peak freshness into autumn. Continue your regular weeding efforts. Every weed that produces seeds means more trouble next year. Cut down any weeds before they can produce seeds and spread those seeds throughout your yard. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
When September rolls around pumpkins are ripening and when they start show color can be harvested as the color will continue to develop afterward. Just be careful not to damage the surface of the fruit as it will invite mold and bacteria.
It’s finally time for houseplants to come indoors again after their summer vacay because the nights and mornings will begin to get cooler. However, the cooler weather means you can continue planting spinach, lettuce, radishes, arugula, Asian greens, kale, and collards if you haven’t already. Some crops such as parsnips, peas, Brussels sprouts, and kale have enhanced flavor after a frost.
If you’re not feeling a fall garden this is the perfect time to start preparing your soil for next year’s Spring crops! Add fertilizer or manure to your field or plant a cover crop that can be tilled into the soil. Wood ashes contain phosphorous, potassium, and calcium. They can be placed on vegetable gardens and flower beds as a top dressing that will feed into the soil all winter. What a great use for your leftover bonfires!