Planning the Fall Garden
I know what you are thinking. It is too early to worry about the fall garden, right? Wrong. I started my fall tomato plants about 2 or 3 weeks ago, and am potting them up today from the starter cells to 5 oz. paper cups. I hope to get them in the ground in late June to early July, depending on how bad the spring-planted tomatoes look by then.
So, if you want to have a fall garden, you have to plant many of the plants in July or August in order for them to produce. So, it is time to start doing your planning now.
Here's the planting dates. The first date in a pair of dates would apply more to southern Oklahoma and the last date to northern Oklahoma. Just judge how far north or south you are, and chose the best planting dates for your area accordingly. If you are growing your own transplants to set out into the garden, start then 3 to 6 weeks before you want to transplant them out into the garden.
FALL PLANTING DATE FOR TENDER VEGETABLES:
JULY 1-15: tomato transplants
JULY 15: sweet corn seed, eggplant transplants, pepper transplants, tomatillo transplants
JULY 15 - JULY 30: pole bean seed, pumpkin seed, winter squash seed
JULY 15 - AUGUST 1: southern pea seed, (blackeyed peas, crowder peas, cream peas, cowpeas), cilantro seed
JULY 15 - SEPTEMBER 1: summer squash seed
AUGUST 10 - AUGUST 20: bush bean seed, lima bean seed, cucumber seed,
FALL PLANTING DATES FOR HARDY/SEMI-HARDY PLANTS THAT CAN WITHSTAND SOME FROST/FREEZING TEMPS:
Beet -- August 1 - 15 (seeds)
Broccoli -- July 15 - August 15 (transplants)
Brussels Sprouts July 15 - August 15 (transplants)
Cabbage August 1 - August 25 (transplants)
Chinese Cabbage August 1 - August 25 (seed or transplants)
Carrots July 15 - August 15 (seed)
Cauliflower August 1 - August 25 (transplants)
Collards August 1 - September 1 (transplants)
Garlic September 1 - October 15 (cloves)
Irish Potato August 1 - August 15 (seed potatoes)
Kale September 1 (transplants)
Kohlrabi September 1 (transplants)
Leaf Lettuce August 1 - August 15 (seed or transplants)
Leeks September 1 (seed or transplants)
Mustard September 10 - October 10 (seed)
Onions Sept 1 (seeds, sets, or transplants)
Parsnip July 15 - August 15 (seed or transplants)
Peas, green August 15 - September 1 (seed)
Radish August 15 - October 10 (seed)
Rutabaga August 15 - September 15 (seed)
Spinach September 5 - September 25 (seed)
Swiss Chard August 1 - Septemeber 15 (seed)
Turnip August 1 - September 15 (seed)
Often a fall vegetable garden will give you better quality produce, because it is growing during warm sunny days accompanied by cool, humid nights. Heat stress is not as much of a negative factor.
I like to start my seeds outdoors so they are used to the heat from day 1. This usually means the flats must be watered at least twice daily, though. I like to start them out in dappled shade and move them out into full sun as they get bigger and stronger.
When planting the seeds or transplants into the garden, remember that they will need frequent watering to help them get established in the heat.
Sometimes, the spring-planted veggies are growing and producing so well that it is hard to find room to add fall veggies. Other years, though, esp. when high humidity has caused lots of disease problems, I can hardly wait to yank out the summer stuff and put in the fall stuff.