Gardening expert Lisa Giroday reveals which vegetables you can plant now to harvest this fall
Lisa Giroday, co-founder of Victory Gardens Vancouver knows there's still opportunity to plant a vegetable garden this season.
Lisa Goroday | Photo by Britney Gill
By August, the best veggies to plant are the ones that mature quickly, she explains. In other words, the time it takes once the seed has germinated. "Great examples of these are radish, turnip and arugula."
"As the weather cools, generally speaking, the growth of plants slows down," Giroday explains. And when you're thinking about the area needed to grow your veggies, you don't necessarily need a backyard. A rooftop or community garden, even a few gardening boxes may be sufficient for your needs. "It depends on how much of each crop you want to consume. Are you addicted to kale? It may be worth allocating all of your space to it as you eat it frequently. Generally speaking however, you can be productive in small amounts of space if you plan properly and don't plant the entire space at once," says Giroday.
Read on to find out which vegetables you can still plant in August...
1. Carrots, turnips and beets
Britney GillYou can plant root crops into August, which can be harvested through the fall, winter and early spring. The bonus? They produce a sweet and delicious root as well as edible greens. Involving kids in the gardening process can be a lot of fun, as it is a great way for them to learn how to take care of the veggies and see them grow. "They'll eat almost anything they've been a part of," says Giroday. "Big hits though are peas, tomatoes and especially carrots, as pulling them from the ground is so fun."
Britney GillYou can never have too many greens, and many of them—including arugula, kale, spinach and chard—are fine to plant in the late summer. For next year though, plan ahead. "Essentially, you want to account for the amount of time throughout the growing season you can plant a specific crop and plant that crop a few times throughout that time frame," suggests Giroday. "For example, plant arugula from March to September, meaning you could plant it monthly or every six weeks for a staggered harvest."
flickr/Liz WestRadishes have a super quick date to maturation (some as quick as 32 days once the seeds have germinated), so plant these all the way through to September for a staggered harvest of peppery goodness.
flickr/Meghan HassIf you love the idea of having the perfect garnish on hand, think of the herbs you love and use the most in your kitchen. "Perennial herbs such as sage, oregano, thyme and chives are relatively easy to grow, as long they're being cared for properly and watered enough," Giroday explains. "Annual herbs such as basil, dill and cilantro can all in their own ways be a little picky about timing and the conditions." Since herb plants don't take up a lot of space, they can even be planted in individual pots along an exterior window sill. They are a great return on investment, as they are expensive to buy from the grocery store and expire quickly, explains Giroday.