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Summer Planting for a Fall Harvest

Summer Planting for a Fall Harvest

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Larry Sagers Horticultural Specialist Utah State University Extension Service Thanksgiving Point Office © All Rights Reserved


By mid summer, many of your early season vegetables such as peas, spinach, radishes and beans are harvested. Never let these garden areas remain bare and idle for the rest of the season. If you do, Mother Nature will fill the area with weeds and you will lose the chance to get some of the highest quality vegetable possible.

Stretch the use of the garden area by planting short season and cool weather crops. Short season crops are those that mature in less than seventy days. Cool weather crops include leafy vegetables, root crops, and cole crops. These vegetables produce the highest quality when they mature in cooler weather and will survive the frosts of early fall.

Soil Preparation

Remove dead plants including the roots form the area to be planted. Rototill the area or bed thoroughly.


Fertilizer is more efficiently used if it is banded. Make a trench 2-3 inches deep with a hoe corner. Scatter « cup of 16-16-8 (or other all purpose fertilizer) per 10 feet in the trench. Cover it and plant the seeds in a row 2 to 3 inches away at the proper depth. Crop roots are quickly nourished by this fertilizer, but weeds between the rows are not encouraged. Side dress nitrogen fertilizer such as 1 cup of ammonium sulfate per 10 feet of row after 3-4 weeks of growth as needed. During hot, dry weather, germination of small seeds may be a problem and good stands hard to obtain. Some ideas to increase plant survival include:

Using a light mulch of dry grass clippings. Watch daily and remove it as seedlings emerge.

Cover the row with a 1x4 or 1x6 board. Observe when seedlings reach the soil surface and remove.

Burlap strips from gunnysacks will help prevent drying out. In addition, they let you spray the area regularly but lightly without crusting the soil. Do not leave them on once seedlings reach the soil surface.

Place the seeds in a trench 1 inch deep. Cover the seed with sand or a prepared potting soil to keep soil moist without crusting.

Control slugs and snails using registered baits. Remove debris and hiding places from the garden.

Broccoli, cabbage, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, green onions, kohlrabi, summer squash, Swiss chard, beans, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach, turnips, kale.

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