Monday, August 12, 2013

August in the Tallahassee Food Garden from Master Gardener Ed Schroeder

Master Gardener Ed Schroeder
It is not too soon to prepare or begin to plant your fall vegetable garden. If you are not going to plant until after Labor Day, consider preparing you beds and covering them with mulch or a cover crop like buckwheat or iron clay peas. Have compost and mulch ready to use as needed. This is by way of feeding the biology in the the soil is ready to receive your seeds and transplants.

What to plant now?

You can continue to plant okra and winter squash, including pumpkins.  Transitioning to fall crops, plant arugula, carrots, chard, and spinach under shade cloth and especially toward the end of August. The following maybe somewhat risky but can be planted now; green beans (especially pole beans), snow peas (January or February is a better time), and pepper and tomato transplants. Field peas maybe direct seeded as a cover crop and a food crop. Broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale, spinach, and lettuce can be started in flats in a protected area or indoors for transplanting in September.

"Risky" plantings may succeed, or they may not. During the hot days of August, it all depends on your garden location and your attentiveness to watering, feeding, providing the right amount of shade, and pest management.


  • Direct Seed: Putting seeds directly into the soil where they will be grown to maturity.
  • Transplant: Putting established plants, which were started from seed in flats or pots, into the ground where they will be grown to maturity.
  • Shade Cloth: Netting used to cover plants in the summer, often over hoops, to create a cooler growing environment.

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