Quick, pull those garlic bulbs and throw down some brassica seeds - you know chinese lettuce, kale, turnips. Or maybe clear out that spent pea patch and toss in some heat tolerant loose leaf lettuce or some carrots. It's time for the fall garden preparation.
Lettuce and mustard, both prefer growing in cooler weather.
I know what your thinking. You started the season off with a gusto. The garden edges were neat, the beds weedless but now your a bit more relaxed as you sit in the garden with your choose of cool beverage watching the tomatoes ripen. So what if there are a couple dandelions in bloom around the edges. You like dandelions. Besides, your back is still aching from all that shovelling in the spring.
So you'll be happy when I tell you that planting a fall garden is as easy as 1.2.3
1. Look for some quick growing, cold/frost tolerant plant seeds at the bottom of your seed box. Think cabbage family members, greens and root crops. Don't forget plants that tend to bolt when the hot weather hits like florence fennel.
2. Go outside and find a bare patch of ground or clear away some plant debris from old flowers or vegetables. Toss those seeds down.
3. Make sure you water frequently, especially in the heat of summer.
Now, if you remember, do some weeding and thinning for optimun growth but if you don't, you might next year after you see the results. Some time in September, your tomatoes will feel the sting of frost. Beans and pumpkins vines will be shrivelled brown revealing behind them a sea of green. Radicchio will be forming crisp red heads. Lettuce will splay out in fans and tightly coiled buds of broccoli will be raising on the ends of thick stalks.
The season will not be over for you. Using a coldframe or some simple plastic tents (I'll elaborate another time but google season extension), you can keep out the bitter winds and those first dustsings of snow too extending your harvest even longer.
So what are you still doing sucking back that cold one? Go find some arugula seeds and sow!