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Mid-August is planting time for many fall vegetables

By Bill Geer Published: August 9, 2007
Q:When should I start my fall garden?

A:Cool night temperatures and lighter winds often make fall the best time of the year for vegetable gardening.

Planting must be timed to allow frost-sensitive plants to mature before frost. Vegetables that will tolerate frost can be grown and harvested even during times of mild fall frosts.

Mid-August is the time for planting the following vegetables:

•Frost-tender vegetables: bush beans, lima beans, cucumbers and summer squash.

•Frost-tolerant vegetables: beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, Irish potatoes, leaf lettuce, radishes, rutabaga, Swiss chard and turnips.

•Spinach and mustard should be planted in mid-September, when temperatures cool.

Some vegetables do better when put out as transplants. These include broccoli, brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower and leaf lettuce.

Germinating seeds have small root systems, so you must check soil moisture daily. It is critical to maintain good soil moisture in the top 2 inches of the soil.

To prevent crusting and cool the soil, cover seeds with vermiculite. You may also want to provide some afternoon shade with a shade cloth or a tilted board.

Q:Can we grow fall potatoes in Oklahoma?

A:If seed potatoes are available and space permits, potatoes are a desirable supplement to the fall and winter food supply.

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