PLAN AHEAD: Many summer vegetables are in full swing now, and it easy to forget that late August is a good time to plant some fall crops. Although the bugs can be a small problem in August plantings, I thoroughly enjoy the fall crops. Carrots and beets are my favorites. Fall carrots are generally superb and even sweeter than those grown in the spring/summer. Don’t forget about radishes, turnips, broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, etc. They will all do well.
If you are not planting a fall vegetable garden, then I recommend you plant a fall cover crop. This is an excellent step to help build a healthy soil, and to suppress winter weeds. It is very easy to do.
LEARNING MORE: Each year I do a few trials of new vegetable varieties. I have a nice loose, healthy soil and so this year I tried five varieties of carrots. The old standby Danvers did very well, as did Napoli and Mokum. I was not pleased with the carrot called Atomic Red. I really liked the flavor, smoothness, and length of a carrot called Sugarsnap, but it was the only one with a minor insect problem. I will try it again in August.
NEXT COURSE: I will be teaching an Organic Gardening course on August 14 and August 21. I do the summer course for those who want to do fall vegetable gardens and fall cover crops, or to get an early start for next spring. If you are interested please send me an email for the class announcement, and then get registered. I limit each class to 16 people, so they are likely to fill.
RAISED BEDS: As I write this we are getting what will be more than 7 inches of rain in the past 10 days. Although excess rain is rarely a problem in the summer, I have seen several gardens with problems, i.e. standing water. Raised beds have many advantages, and right now one of those advantages is very evident. My garden has not had any problem with the excessive rain. Raised beds saved the day.