Ray Ridlen: It's almost time to plant fall vegetables

When selecting vegetables for fall plantings, choose varieties that have a short maturation period.
Oklahoman Published: July 12, 2014

With temperatures soaring and the sun glaring, it is hard to think ahead to fall. But mid-July is the right time to start planting several vegetables for a fall harvest.

Following is a list of fall crops, the appropriate planting times, and estimated days to harvest:

• Bean, bush: Aug 10-20, 50-60 days.

• Bean, pole: July 15-30, 60-70 days.

• Beet: Aug 1-15, 60-70 days.

• Broccoli: July 15-Aug 15, 70-80 days.

• Cabbage: Aug 1-25, 75-90 days.

• Carrots: July 15-Aug 15, 70-80 days.

• Cauliflower: Aug 1-25, 70-80 days.

• Chard: Aug 1-Sept 15, 50-60 days.

• Cucumber: Aug 10-20, 60-70 days.

• Eggplant: July 15, 80-90 days.

• Leaf lettuce: Aug 1-15, 60-70 days.

• Peas, green: Aug 15-Sept 1, 60-90 days.

• Pepper: July 15, 90-110 days.

• Potato, Irish: Aug 1-15, 90-110 days.

• Sweet corn: July 15, 80-100 days.

• Summer squash: July 15-Sept 1, 40-50 days.

• Tomatoes: July 1-15, 70-90 days.

• Turnip: Aug 1-Sept 15, 50-60 days.

• Winter squash/pumpkin: July 15-30, 100-120 days.

When selecting vegetables for fall plantings, choose varieties that have a short maturation period. Planting time will depend on the length of time needed to produce a crop. Tender vegetables must be started early enough to ensure harvest before frost kills plants. Other crops, mainly root crops, are hardy enough to be stored in place in the garden well into winter.

Getting your fall vegetable garden started can be tricky when the weather is hot and dry. In the heat of the summer sun, the surface of the soil can reach temperatures of 140 degrees! These temperatures can quickly kill plant seeds, especially small seeds near the soil surface. Water can also be a limiting factor in late summer, when intense sun quickly dries soils.

The following techniques can be used to reduce soil temperature and manage soil moisture.

Plant in furrows

One way to reduce soil temperatures around the seed is to plant in rather deep furrows. Before digging furrows, loosen the soil and incorporate a large amount of organic matter, which will help increase the water-holding capacity of the soil. Place the seeds in the bottom of the furrow and cover with soil, but do not fill the furrow entirely. The surface of the seed bed should be set considerably lower than the surrounding soil. The seeds will be shaded down inside the furrow.

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OSU Extension Center, 930 N Portland. Free and open to the public. Questions? Call 713-1125.

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Upcoming

Third Thursday Gardening: “Year Round Gardening,” 6-7 p.m. Thursday.

OSU Extension Center, 930 N Portland. Free and open to the public. Questions? Call 713-1125.

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