time of year, gardens can get out of hand while the gardener is on
vacation, or just plain too hot. Yet mid-to-late-summer is a super-important time
for keeping your summer crops pumping, and planting the veggies
you'll eat all winter. Here are some tips to keep your garden happy
and yourself cool.
sounds great, but lettuce is a cool-season crop. Here is how to have
sweet lettuce in summer: Lettuce seed goes dormant when the temps are
over 80 degrees. Put your seed in the fridge for a week. Once
chilled, it will think it's spring and sprout readily. Sow in the
evening, water well, and make sure your planting is shaded all
afternoon, either by other crops or by a structure(or shade cloth).
The east or north side of some corn or tomatoes is good.
using shade cloth. Plants go into shock when the air is above 90
degrees. Tomatoes will abort their fruit, green beans will stop
making pods. Peppers and tomatoes will sun-scald. Shadecloth cuts
down the heat while letting in enough light for good growth. It is
lightweight and doesn't need elaborate support. A few outward-leaning
sticks will support it over a bed of lettuce or peppers. Bamboo poles
will carry it over tomatoes. A bed sheet works in a pinch, if it's
open on all sides and at least a foot above the plants.
summer is the best time to start kale, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels
sprouts, and other fall veggies. But the garden is full of summer
stuff and besides, it's too hot out there for kale right now. Make a
nursery bed in the shade. Then they aren't in little pots getting
rootbound, and you can get the whole job accomplished without going
out in the sun. Plant twice as close as usual. You'll transplant your
fall veggies to their permanent spots in Fall. The whole cabbage
tribe thrives on transplanting—university studies show bigger &
better root systems when they are transplanted once or even twice!
For details: https://www.bountifulgardens.org/articles/26
one last planting of bush beans, corn, melons, and maybe even
zucchini. This is the absolute best time to plant okra. Hot weather
goes til October--make sure your hot-weather vegetables don't quit
Right now most broccoli and peas have had it for the year. Yank them out and immediately plant something that likes heat. Or just cover the ground with straw. This saves hours of weeding. One easy alternative is to sprinkle seed for hot-weather greens in the gaps. Purslane, chard, Egyptian spinach, orach (shown left), and amaranth all sprout easily in heat.
Most important of all, remember that 15-30
minutes in the cool of the evening or with morning coffee can
accomplish a lot. If you set out to do a manageable amount, you'll be
enthusiastic about doing it again tomorrow.
This work by Bountiful Gardens is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.