Growing things

We took possession of our house on July 1st. So I immediately began making plans and researching vegetables to grow in the fall and late summer. There isn’t much information about planting things that aren’t traditional fall crops. I wanted to know what I could plant even now and still get a harvest before it gets too cold.

The best information I’ve found can be summed up like so:
•find out the average first frost date in your area. For Denver that is October 4.
•next, count backwards from that date to the date you want to begin planting. This will tell you how many days until maturity you need to look for on the seed packets. Err on the side of fewer days. Plants start to slow down in the fall so they might take longer than the days predicted on the seed packet. I figured I had less than 90 days. Not too bad, actually!
•Now do some research, find plants that will mature within the range you need. Buy starts from a nursery. You can get some good mid-summer deals. I found a bunch of (admittedly sort of scraggly looking) tomato plants for 75% off! Most of them have about 60 days after transplant on their label.
•Experiment. It might surprise you what actually grows! I’m trying butternut squash. It’s right at 85 days, but even if I don’t get much of a harvest, it’s still interesting to see how well it will grow. And who knows, I might get lucky!

Here’s my list of things I’m attempting to grow in late summer:
•butternut squash
•summer squash
•Brussels sprouts
•Swiss chard
•various lettuces
•mixed wild flowers

Anyone else attempting a late-season garden?

Don’t forget: fall is the best time to plant garlic! Seed savers is accepting orders on August 1.


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