As much as we don’t want to say goodbye to Summer produce we are beginning to dream of spicy mustard greens, crisp cabbages, tender kohlrabi, and sweet, sweet beets. That’s right - just because Summer is ending doesn’t mean our supply of fresh produce needs to! There is so much to love about Fall produce. And an added bonus? Working in the garden in crisp Autumn air can’t be beat.
Gardeners always have to be two steps ahead of the weather - while you may have one last Summer beach vacation planned, the time to get Fall crops in the ground is now!
But how can you plant Fall crops when the Summer plants are still in the ground?
Tomatoes, squash, peppers, eggplants, and cucumbers may all be able to make it to the first frost before dying - but that doesn’t mean they should be taking up that real estate. Many of your Fall seeds and seedlings need to get in the ground by the end of August or the beginning of September to have time to establish themselves before the cold weather slows them down. You may have to make some difficult decisions about what to yank so as to get fall crops in on schedule.
If you have blighted tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers that have no fruit on them, it’s safe to get rid of them at this stage. You can also remove anything that hasn’t been producing well throughout the season. If a Summer crop was stunted or slow to produce it will probably not pick up now. Removing plants by cutting them at the base allows the roots to stay in the soil for added nutrients and aeration!
If your summer crops are still producing and you see small fruits or flowers, try removing only a portion of the plant. Or, consider interplanting fall seedlings around your summer plants so that as the summer ones go down the fall crops will rise to fill their places.
Having trouble deciding what to pull and what to plant? We’re here to help! Email us at Info@edibleedenfoodscapes to schedule a garden coach session so we can walk you through the seasonal shift and help you grow a garden that will feed you all Autumn long.