It’s crazy to look at the calendar and see July 21st and think “We need to get planning for fall”, but alas, this is the week to get going. If you are in a temperate area, zones 7 to 8, you will want your fall crops in the ground or in seed pots by first week of August. This summer was trying for us on Whidbey Island here in Washington State, as we only started seeing “normal” temperatures after the 4th of July. Much of our crops are 2 to 3 weeks behind, due to cold and wet weather from spring till the 4th. So succession crops are not happening as fast as they should, but it isn’t hard to adapt. We are zone 8A here, though we used to farm in Zone 7 when we lived on the mainland, so below will cover much of Western Washington.
Faced with what is happening in our states, our country and our world, a fall garden is a wise choice for food security. It doesn’t take a lot of time to get it going, and you can eat till first freeze, when the days are getting short. And frankly…watching and tending a garden is good for the soul. It gets you outside most days, you get fresh air and sunlight. Enjoy the end of summer as it slips into fall.
This isn’t a huge list, but recommendations for some of the more popular seed choices.
Depending on where you live, you may want to invest into frost cloth if you have early freezes (we don’t here).
If you have children and you have open pollinated (not hybrid F1) crops going to seed right now, consider doing seed saving for the spring, and get them to make some seed packets!
Sow every 2 weeks direct seed, bush beans can be seeded up to early to mid-August for fall crops. Bush bean varieties grow faster than pole, and are preferable for fall.
Last week of July to mid-August for fall crops. Seed every 1-2 weeks till then.
Transplant first week of August. Get into pots now.
This crop grows best as a fall crop. It can bolt to seed in early warm springs. Protect late summer plants from summer heat with shade cloth.
Seed August 1st for fall crops. Seed every 2 weeks for continuous harvesting.
In most summers grow it continuously, when it’s too hot for lettuce. Seed every 2 weeks for continuous harvesting through mid-August.
Garlic & Shallots:
Direct plant October to November, before hard freezing. Buy now for fall.
Plant by August 1st for fall crops. Seed every 2 weeks for continuous harvesting.
Plant by August 1st for fall crops. Can sow direct or start in pots late July.
Resume seeding end of July to plant fall crops through mid August. Can direct seed or start in pots.
Onions, from seed:
Green onions can be seeded every few weeks for a continuous crop, through mid August.
Direct seed August 1st for fall crops.
Bush takes less time than tall climbing varieties, and are preferable for fall.
Plant July and on for fall crops. Grow smaller varieties for best results (save the russets for summer). Ensure they get plenty of sun, fall grows well in large containers.
Resume in August for fall crops. Seed every 2 weeks for continuous harvesting.
Direct seed or start in pots August 1st. Seed every 2 weeks for continuous harvesting.
Can be seeded through late July.
Sow every 2 weeks direct seed, through mid-August.