It is hard to believe but summer is going to be over before you know it, and right now is the time to prepare so that you have success this fall.
The fist step to success in any planting is to take a soil sample. This will give you time to incorporate lime if you need to raise the pH. It takes several months for lime to completely react in the soil so you need to get it out well ahead of planting. And that time will be here before you know it.
Our recommended planting dates for fall crops like collards, turnips, broccoli, beets, and spinach start around the first of August and go up until September and October. This means we don’t have much time left to prepare.
The same thing is true for planting fall food plots. We need to have the pH adjusted and soil ready so that we can get fall crops in the ground in a timely manner. Adding lime prior to harrowing is beneficial in that it incorporates the lime and lets you destroy summer weeds well ahead of planting. Early weed destructions will give you a better seedbed to plant into, and it will leave you with more soil moisture.
If you haven’t gotten enough tomatoes or other warm season crops you still have a little time to put in another planting that will carry you up until a frost. We are at the tail end of our planting window for things like tomato, pepper, okra, and other warm season crops. Because of the hot temperatures crops planted at this time of year will mature much faster than when planted in early spring.
If you grow your vegetable transplants now is the time to start seeds indoor. Make sure that you grow your transplants in an area with a lot of sunlight. This will help keep transplants from becoming too “leggy”. Fertilizer is not needed for the first couple weeks of growth, and care should be taken to not overdo it once they get big enough.
As we near the end of summer maybe these few tips will help get you going in the right direction. If you are like me, you may be at the point where you don’t want to even think about a fall garden just yet. Contact your County Agent if you have questions or need someone to come out and take a look at something.