Vermont Garden Journal: No Good Bed Goes Unplanted

Aug 4, 2017

We're at that in-between time in the vegetable garden; spring crops are done and summer ones are coming on strong. But one philosophy I live by is to never leave a bed unplanted!

Succession planting is a good way to create a second harvest of veggies in fall and use up the space that's left behind by the fading spring crops. Pull out old lettuce, greens, peas and early bean plants after the main harvest is finished. Then decide what to plant. Carrots, beets, lettuce, Swiss chard and kale are good fall choices from seed.

The warm soil is great for quick germination, but there are pests around and sometimes the soil gets too hot for proper germination. So cover the soil after seeding with a floating row cover. It protects the young seedlings, keeps the soil moist and shades them a bit from the hot sun.

Now for this week's tip: deadhead or pull plants of spent poppy, calendula or verbena bonariensis annual flowers so they don't self-sow rampantly and become a weed in your garden.