|My tomato and cucumber plants are basically finished for the summer, but I'm not ready to just quit gardening until cooler weather approaches. What can I plant now in my vegetable garden that will survive the remaining summer heat?|
|You can sow all kinds of seeds for fall harvest, including new tomato plants. Look for varieties with less than 75 days to maturity, such as 'Merced', 'Bingo', 'Celebrity', 'Whirlaway', and 'Carnival'. 'Surefire' is a smaller, processing tomato variety (with thicker skin) which sets and matures all of its tomatoes very quickly, giving you a "surefire" harvest that beats the first freeze. Most cherry tomatoes will bear within 65 days of transplanting.
You can also so seeds of Beans - (sow between these dates: 8/1 - 9/1; (lima beans 7/15 - 8/15); Beets - 9/1 - 10/15; Broccoli plants - 8/1 - 9/15; Brussels sprouts - 8/1 - 10/1; Cabbage plants - 8/15 - 9/15; Carrots - 8/15 - 10/15; Cauliflower plants - 8/15 - 9/15; Chard, Swiss - 8/1 - 10/15; Collard/Kale - 8/15 - 10/1;
Corn, Sweet - 8/1 - 8/15; Cucumber - 8/1 - 9/1; Eggplant plants - 7/15 - 8/1; Garlic - 9/1 - 10/15; Kohlrabi - 8/15 - 9/15; Lettuce (leaf) - 9/15 - 10/15; Muskmelon (Cantaloupe) - 7/15 - 8/1; Mustard - 9/15 - 10/15; Parsley - 8/15 - 10/1;
Peas, English - 8/15 - 9/15; Peas, Southern - 7/1 - 8/1; Pepper plants - 7/1 - 8/1;
Potatoes, Irish - 8/15 - 9/15; Pumpkin - 7/1 - 8/1; Radish - 9/15 - 10/15; Spinach - 9/1 - 10/15; Squash, Summer - 7/15 - 8/15; Squash, Winter - 7/1 - 7/15; Tomato plants - 7/15 - 8/1; Turnips - 10/1 - 11/1; Watermelon - 7/1 - 8/1.
Seeded vegetables can be tricky to get up in the heat of summer. Soil often forms a crust on the surface after tillage and watering. This ?crust? can hinder tender seedlings from breaking through. Here are a couple of tips to help get seedlings up in the summer.
Open a furrow down the row as you normally would to sow the seeds. Before sowing, take your garden hose and thoroughly soak the bottom of the seed furrow with water. Next sow the seed. Finally, cover the seed to the proper depth with dry soil and firm. The seed should stay moist enough until germination, and if you avoid overhead watering, the soil will not form a crust to hinder seedling emergence.
Other folks will place a board or wet burlap over the seed row to provide constant dampness to encourage germination and emergence. You need to check every day for signs of emergence, and remove the covering when you see the first seedlings breaking through.
Best wishes with your fall harvest!