It’s already time to plan your fall vegetable garden

GOLDEN, CO - JULY 6: Colorado State Extension Jefferson County Master Gardener Barbara Larowe places radish seed in one of the raised garden beds next to beets and carrots. The vegetables are planted in stages, and these radishes, which will begin to sprout in 5-10 days, will be for fall harvest. Gardeners gather at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds garden to cultivate and plant new plants July 6, 2017 in Golden, Colorado. (Photo by Kathryn Scott/The Denver Post)

It’s already time to plan your fall vegetable garden

Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning your fall vegetable garden. Really.

Time waits for no gardener, especially when it comes to the fast-flying days of summer. If you want to keep harvesting fresh vegetables long after other gardeners are relaxing on the couch, you’ll need to start soon.

Cool-season vegetables help extend the gardening season, especially if they can be ready to harvest in about 60-80 days. The easiest method is to buy transplants of fall crops, although seeds work for some veggies, too.

The key to fall gardening success is selecting vegetables with the shortest time to maturity and then timing the planting. The goal is to make sure vegetables are ready to harvest before the really cold weather arrives.

Use a calendar to count back from the date of the average first frost for your area and match that to the number of days to maturity for each fast-growing vegetable you want to plant.

In Denver the average is around the first week in October, though it can be earlier or later. If 60-day broccoli is planted in mid-July, plan for a late September harvest. (Plants will be slower-growing than in summer.)

Other fall vegetable choices include beets, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, parsnips and peas. Look for varieties that are promoted as cold-tolerant.

 

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