radish

We may be in the heat of the summer, but it’s the right time to start planning for those fall garden vegetables. The time is now. The vegetables you plant in the next few weeks will be ready to be picked and enjoyed once autumn strolls around. Take your green thumb outside, get on your hands and knees and get ready to reap what you sow. Here are 6 leaves and vegetables to plant in your August garden.

The focus for fall garden vegetables is on fast-maturing cool season crops.

1. Kale

Ready to harvest after 45 to 75 days, depending on the variety, kale is a highly versatile crop that can be planted in most seasons, though it prefers colder weather. Plant kale in partial shade and grow with companion plants, such as beets, celery, herbs, onions and potatoes. It does not, however, like to be planted with strawberries, tomatoes or beans. Seeds will germinate best in soil at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Arugula

Arugula has a short growing season and is ready to harvest in just 40 days. Avoid planting with other cabbage family crops. Plant ¼-inch deep and 1-inch apart.

3. Lettuce

Sow the seeds in late summer. Keep them moist and in shade under the afternoon sun. It will take 45 to 60 days before harvest.

4. Beets

Late crops for beets can be planted anytime from June to September, but in weather that doesn’t exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant seed ½ inch deep and 1-2 inches apart. Mulch and water the area well. Thinning may be necessary as you may get more than one seedling out of each seed. Maturity lasts between 50 and 70 days. Don’t let greens grow above 6 inches before harvesting.

5. Spinach

Spinach seeds should be sown 5 weeks before the first frost. It will take the crop 45 days to mature. Spinach is able to survive temperatures as low as the 20s and grows rapidly in very fertile soil.

6. Radishes

Sow seeds about four weeks before the first frost in fertile and well-drained soil. Radishes mature quickly and will take just 25 to 50 days to mature.

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Photo Credit: Kate Ter Haar