a Second Crop
It may be midsummer, but you can make it spring again in your vegetable
garden. Don't let the summer heat cheat you out of more fresh
vegetables. Go for two crops this year.
Gardeners across much of North America generally plant summer
vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, sweet corn, southern
peas, snap beans, cantaloupes and eggplant in March and April and
finish the harvest around the middle of summer.
of the continent has
a subtropical climate, however, and that
means another round of summer crops can be squeezed in before
the first frost in mid-October or November.
Cooler-season fall crops such as leafy greens acan be planted even
Some gardeners plant at intervals from spring through
midsummer; others harvest tomatoes, squash and the like
throughout the summer.
However, rather than trying to keep the same
plants producing indefinitely, a better harvest is usually
comes by making a fresh start.
Transplant tomatoes, peppers and eggplant just as you did in the
spring. For crops such as squash, cantaloupes and cucumbers, however,
seeding them directly into the ground will work just as well, if not
better. Snap beans, sweet corn and southern peas are generally directly
Don't plant the same crop back in the same place. Rotate your space so
you can reduce potential disease problems. If you planted squash there
this spring, plant peppers there for the second crop.
families of crops. Plant peppers, tomatoes or eggplant where you had
squash, cucumbers or cantaloupes. But don't plant cukes on the same
ground where you had squash.
Getting a crop established will be more of a challenge than it was in
the spring. Because of midsummer temperature, you'll need to keep the
garden watered enough to reduce heat and drought stress.
Water during the day to provide some cooling on the surface and allow
the foliage to dry by nightfall.
From late July until the first frost will be roughly 120 days, so crops
that mature in less than four months will usually make it to harvest,
barring an early frost.
|However, the longer
you wait, the longer it will take your second crop to mature as days
get shorter and the weather cools off (eventually). So start these
crops by mid-August. Some fast-maturing crops such as snap beans,
cucumbers and squash can still produce if planted by early September.
Source: Terry Kelley, University of Georgia
and Garden Center