As the summer days grow shorter gardening doesn’t have to come to an end! Garden vegetables can generally be divided into two categories: cool season and warm season. Cool season vegetables thrive in the cooler temperatures of spring and fall, while warm season crops require the warm weather of high summer to grow and produce their bounty. Planning and planting a fall garden with your kids will teach them about gardening seasons, different needs for different crops, and how to time planting for estimated harvest times. Best of all, they get to eat the results! If your summer crops are still growing you can plant fall crops in containers, and if they have already finished, you can plant where the summer crops used to be.
What You Need:
• A chart for fall planting for your area
• Plant labels and markers
• One seed packet each of a variety of fall crops. These can include carrots, radish, beets, lettuce, spinach, and other greens such as arugula, endive, and mesclun
• Containers or a prepared garden plot
What To Do:
1. Have the kids look up your first frost date on the Burpee.com website by entering their zip codes in the Gardening Calendar section.
2. Look at the calendar and find the month of August. Find the first frost date for your area.
See what can be planted directly in the garden then and pick some vegetables to grow.
When selecting varieties, look at the days to harvest listed for each one. Count the days to maturity back from the frost date and that will help them to plan what to grow.
Sow the seeds and label them with the variety name and the date they were planted.
Harvest greens as needed, and root crops when mature.