It’s time to plant your second vegetable garden of the year

heirloom lettuce in Amherst NY
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by M.L. Wells, Master Gardener Volunteer of Allegany County

Here it is, the early part of August. You’ve already planted your Garden 101; now it’s time to plant Garden 102.

By now, the peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, early green beans, broccoli and early potatoes are done in the garden. Don’t let the empty space go to waste, or worse yet, go to seed. Any vegetable that matures in 60-75 days will do well in late summer. The hardy ones will grow on through October and light frosts.

Greens thrive in the cooler days of early fall; so does broccoli. The best are rutabagas and parsnips. They are far sweeter after a few light frosts, so they are good until Thanksgiving!

When I start greens and carrots in late July or early August, I choose a row on the east side of the asparagus or corn or raspberries so my greens will be out of the hot sun in the afternoon. I soak the row well with water first because the hot sun can dry out the soil quickly. Then I sow the seeds and lightly mulch. You may wish to lightly fertilize.

Keep an eye on the weather and if an early frost threatens, toss an old sheet or box or whatever over the plants. That will help keep the goodies coming. (See more tips on dealing with early frost here.)

A fresh salad in November is as good as one in May!

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