Extend Your Vegetable Growing Season With Minimal Effort
It’s easy to become complacent when your vegetable garden first starts producing in early summer. But to get the most out of your plot, plan on harvesting into the fall.
Keep your vegetable plants healthy is the first key to a long producing vegetable plot. But even the healthiest plants will finally exhaust themselves setting fruits and will need replacing. With a little planning, you can easily keep your vegetable plot producing in succession.
Here are some simple, but key factors for a long producing vegetable plot and even a whole new fall vegetable garden.
2. Water Regularly: Vegetables don’t just need water; they need regular, consistent watering. Irregular watering and over watering results in diseases and can make the vegetables bitter tasting. Allowing plants to dry out will stress the plant and cause it to stop producing and drop whatever blossoms it already has.
3. Control Insects & Diseases: Stop problems while they are small with organic remedies. Plants can defoliate from diseases and a plant with no leaves is not going to produce fruit.
4. Feed Lightly: You’ve asked a lot from your vegetable plants and they could use a little food by midsummer, no matter how rich your soil is. Use a good organic vegetable fertiliser.
5. Let the Sun Shine In: Make sure vegetables are getting enough sunlight. Sometimes by middle summer, there is so much foliage that sun light cannot get through. Most vegetables ripen faster in sunlight and will produce tastier fruits. Vegetables that languish in the shade of leaves are more susceptible to insects and diseases.
6. Weed: It’s easy to let things slide as Summer marches on, but weeds will compete with your vegetable plants for both water and nutrients, just when your plants need it the most.
7. Succession Planting: Planting crops at intervals will renew your plot by having new plants ready to take over for spent plants. Beans, radishes and lettuce can be seeded every two weeks, for almost an endless supply. Seedlings of early maturing tomatoes can be planted to replace plants that are on their last legs.
8. Fall Planting: The cooler weather and shorter days of fall make it a more ideal planting season than spring, as long as early frost doesn’t spoil everything. Peas, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and greens can all be planted in July and August for harvest in September and October.
9. Seeding In Late Summer: Plant your seeds a little deeper than you would in spring, to take advantage of cooler soil and moisture. Shading the newly planted seeds and seedlings will help protect them from the summer sun. Mulch, row covers and taller plants can be used for this.
10. Extend the Season: Cool nighttime temperatures send a signal to many plants to stop producing new fruits. If cool temperatures or a frost are inevitable overnight, cover your crops with floating row cover and remove them during the day as temperatures rise.
Share the Bounty, with any luck and a bit of work, you’ll probably have more vegetables than you can use.
Why not consider contributing the extras for our Food Bank services or surprise a neighbour with your harvest.