There is still time to start some crops from seeds this year, said Ray Crawley, manager at Goodman’s Farm Market, 2227 Cayuga Dr. Ext., Niagara Falls, NY.
Seeds are currently 50 cents per packet or three packets for $1.
Lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard all do better in cooler weather, and you can start them from seed. You eat the leaves, so it doesn’t take long to get something to harvest.
The farmers who supply Goodman’s Farm Market grow Swiss chard up until around Thanksgiving. A light frost won’t hurt Swiss chard at all, he said, but a hard freeze will kill it.
After Thanksgiving, it’s too cool for the leaves to grow back quickly, so it’s not worthwhile for farmers to try to harvest them, he noted, but a home gardener might be able to extend the growing season by planting the seeds in a pot that can be brought into the house or garage at night. By doing that, you’ll protect the plants from any overnight freezes. Plus, the soil in the pot will already be warm in the morning, allowing the plant to get a head start on growing.
Other plants you can start from seed now are herbs such as fennel and basil. You can even grow basil indoors if you have a nice sunny window.
You can try starting parsley and chives from seed now, but they do take longer to germinate, he said.
Leafy greens and herbs are easy to grow. Crawley’s daughter Abigail, 9, has been growing some this summer that have been sold at Goodman’s.
“I just wish it would rain so I didn’t have to water so much,” she said.Take that as a reminder– You do have to water!
Another tip: After she plants her seeds, she covers her container with plastic wrap to keep the moisture in.
Abigail grows her crops in a large, shallow bin, but you can use just about anything for container gardening: a garbage can, old washtub, child’s wagon, window box, dresser drawers, horse trough, bed, old boot or even a hardcover book. Get more ideas on our board “Container Gardens” on Pinterest.