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A Midsummer’s Planting

Is your plot looking past its prime? Are your greens getting gross? Are your beets looking beaten? Well fear not, because it’s prime time to put in the midsummer planting!

Many of you likely know all about succession planting, and I’ve seen some in the garden already starting their second crops. But with as large a group as we are there are likely some folks who hadn’t given this much thought as of yet. And since seed packets are rapidly being taken off of store shelves the time to act is now!

The only real trick to a successful second crop is having it mature before the first frost date. In our neck of the woods that date is on average somewhere around October 7th. But with this being the or one of the hottest years on record we may be able to count on a late frost so take any calculated dates as a “good guess” but not as absolutes.

As a rule of thumb, if you have a seed packet and it says that the vegetable takes 60 days until maturity then you’d want to try to have it planted in the ground by August 7th. If another seed packet says it takes 3 months until maturity you’d want it to be in the ground no later than July 7th, etc.

It’s also important to realize that the days are all getting shorter now, so plants planted right now will have less light the further we get towards the first frost. This may make plants slightly smaller than the ones we all planted as our initial crops this year.

There is copious information on the web regarding succession planting and frost dates and I’d encourage anyone who wants to get really technical to explore some of that literature. There are also seed supplier websites that have tips that they make that are specific to their particular seed stocks. But with this being an inexact science I find the following data to be accurate enough for me. Just remember that my dates below are not absolutes so if you want to plant something like rutabaga I wouldn’t let the fact that the cutoff date was last Saturday stop you. Also, these are the cutoff dates, you can always plant any of these before that date, you need not put them in the ground precisely at the cutoff.

Last dates to plant these plants:
Fennel 6/21/2016
Pumpkins 6/25/2016
Bush Beans 7/1/2016
Rutabaga 7/9/2016
Cabbage Seedlings 7/10/2016
Collards Seedlings 7/11/2016
Kale 7/11/2016
Broccoli Seedlings 7/13/2016
Peas (frost-sensitive) 7/15/2016
Cauliflower Seedlings 7/16/2016
Chicory – Radicchio Seedlings 7/19/2016
Onions 7/19/2016
Carrots 7/19/2016
Beets 7/26/2016
Swiss chard, bunching 7/28/2016
Greens, Asian 7/31/2016
Lettuce, heads 7/31/2016
Radish, Daikon 8/3/2016
Turnip, purple top 8/4/2016
Chicory/Endive/Escarole Seedlings 8/8/2016
Kohlrabi 8/8/2016
Lettuce, baby 8/10/2016
Turnips, salad 8/15/2016
Spinach 8/15/2016
Radishes 9/6/2016