Monthly Garden Checklist
Even with warm days sandwiched between chilly evenings and mornings, the garden tells us that it’s closing up shop for summer! Our attention shifts to starting and nurturing cool season crops.
What to plant now:
Sow or transplant fava beans, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chard, coriander (cilantro), garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce (especially romaine types and small-heading bibb and butter-crunch types, which thrive with only minimal damage from light frosts), mustard greens, green and bulb onions, parsley (the flat-leaf type is hardier than the curly one), peas, radishes, shallots and spinaches, especially the curly-leafed savory types.
For the greatest yields of broccoli, pinch out the main shoot a month after planting. This will force several large side shoots. Waiting to cut the main head after it’s full-size will result in more but smaller side shoots.
Cole crops (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi) will taste sweeter when harvested after the first frost, when the chill turns some of the vegetable starch into sugar.
If you haven’t done so yet, now is the time to clear out all your warm season plants, amend the soil and plant, plant, plant!
Clean up your garden area. Plant debris, stacks of amendment bags, wood and lumber, and old pots can become nesting places for earwigs, snails, slugs, and other pests.
Put your old and dead plants in the compost bins. Take rotting vegetables off of them first and bag and place in the “weed bins.”
Adjust your watering schedule for cooler weather, using less water. As the weather cools and the sun moves lower in the sky, reset your water timer to water less frequently. However, don’t change the number of minutes the system waters each time. In our area your vegetable garden will need watering only every other day 5-8 minutes at a time.
Be sure to check the time on your timer. Adjust for daylight savings time!
Make sure to protect your timer with a cover. The sun will damage the screen and the cold temperatures can cause the timer to break. Replace the batteries as needed too!