Landscape Logic: Here’s how to make the most of your garden in late summer

Neils Lunceford
Landscape Logic
Root vegetables are good for late-season gardening because they can withstand small amounts of frost.
Special to the Daily

Looking to do some yard work before fall sets in?

There’s still time to plant leafy greens, brassica plants like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and root vegetables like beets or carrots. Late summer’s cool night-time temperatures and shorter days with less sunshine offer them the right conditions.

Since root crops take time to develop, read the seed packets and look for varieties that mature in 60 days or less. Root crops can withstand light frost and with deep ground freeze protection they can even be picked well into the winter. For example, cauliflower, unlike its cousin broccoli, doesn’t get a high rating as it takes too long to mature when planted this time of year.

Basil, parsley, cilantro, chervil and dill are great herbs to plant in late summer. Just know they won’t survive a frost unless you provide them with frost protection.

Though it often frosts toward late September, we usually get right back to warm weather and good growing conditions. You can also plant them in containers so you can bring them inside when freeze hits, then enjoy them all winter.

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Here are tips for late-season planting:

Keep seeds and seedlings evenly moist until the plants are a few weeks old.

Adjust your sprinkler system to water seeded areas evenly.

Schedule watering times carefully to avoid over- or under-watering new seeds.

Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer every other week.

Apply a layer of well-seasoned compost to nurture the soil.

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