Maybe you’re like me. When I hear that we’re entering “late summer,” I immediately ask myself “where did middle summer go?” But I try to look on the bright side. I love the fall… the rich warm colors, cooler days, and crisp nights. Besides, “late summer” certainly doesn’t mean that the gardening season is over. Far from it!
Let’s take a look at some of the ways Tagawa is ready to help ease you into this next phase of this gardening season with fall-friendly veggie plants and seeds.
Let’s start with one of my favorites!
I really like Swiss chard. Always have, even before the notion of “power greens” came into vogue. “Bright Lights” Swiss chard, which Tagawa’s has now as small plants or “starts,” isn’t simply tasty and good for you. It’s really quite pretty!
Like all varieties of Swiss chard, Bright Lights is extremely easy to grow. By starting with these young plants, you’ll get a great head start!
Chard does best with full sun and well-draining soil. Depending on your location, you should be able to harvest lots of the desirable young leaves just as they unfurl before our first average hard freeze along the Front Range in early October.
Other fall-friendly starts on our benches include beautifully frilly “Redbor” and “Peacock Red” kale, spinach, buttercrunch and romaine lettuce, sugar snap peas, “Bull’s Blood” beets, and bunching onions.
Being Colorado, it never hurts to have some frost protection ready, just in case. We all know how Mother Nature loves to throw those curve balls!
How about some “Kitchen Minis?”
It’s too late to plant many of the most popular heat-loving summer crops, but Tagawa’s does have a new line of table-top-sized pepper and tomato plants called “Kitchen Minis.” They’re just the right size for growing in a sunny spot, indoors or out.
The mini tomato plants feature “Siam” cherry tomatoes. The plants will grow to about ten inches tall and 12- to 14-inches wide. They’re determinate, which means they’ll put on all of their fruit in a three- to four-week period.
The mini line also includes small pots of “Cosmo” and “Tamale” peppers.
Both Cosmo (pictured above) and Tamale peppers grow to be two inches long. They’re described as “medium to hot.” Sautee just a bit, or pop ’em in your mouth raw… a perfect afternoon snack with a punch! Just one more way to extend the season.
Seeds, seeds, and more seeds
You don’t have to rely on our fall-friendly veggie plants to lay claim to another harvest. There’s plenty of time to sow certain seeds and still get a crop before our first freeze. We have plenty of seeds that can be sown now and grow into cool-loving crops as they mature.
In addition to quick-growing radishes, seeds for lots of greens like lettuce, mesclun, and spinach will easily sprout and grow as the days get cooler. One of my favorite patio table decorations is a pot of fancy leafy lettuce sown heavily and displayed as a type of centerpiece.
Once it’s served its purpose, harvest and eat!
Just remember… when starting any crop from seed, those tiny sprouts have to stay lightly but consistently moist. If they dry out even once, they’re done.
How about choosing seed for next spring?
Some of the seed in our racks isn’t appropriate for planting now, but it never hurts to have seed packets in hand for next season.
We have seed for warm-weather crops like eggplant, corn, tomatoes, beans, and squash, among other veggies. If you keep the seed packets cool, dark, and dry, this year’s 2021 seeds will be perfectly fine for planting next spring and summer.
Tagawa Gardens has a great selection of cool weather vegetable transplants like lettuces, spinach, chard, beets, and more, plus all the seeds mentioned and many more for your “late summer” garden to plant now for your fall harvest.
Want to learn more? Here is our video about planting a “late summer” vegetable garden!
Whether you’re wanting to extend this season or prepare for the next one, Tagawa Gardens is ready to help, “late summer” or not!