The end of August and the shortening days tells us the end of summer is soon approaching here in NYC. And for many community gardeners, the gardening season will soon end. In many of the plots the summer vegetables are plentiful. There are tomatoes of all varieties, squashes, okra, melons, and assorted herbs and green leafy vegetables add lusciousness. But the cooling days hints that the window is closing on summer and with it goes the joys gardening in the summer months bring.
But should the fading daylight and cooling temperatures mean an end to gardening? No. The approach of fall should be just as exciting as that of spring, as it is both a time of transition in seasons as it is for planting opportunities. As the harvest from summer staples such as tomatoes, corn, and lettuce diminish, it is time to clear plots and prepare to extend gardening into fall and early winter. For some vegetables, such as collards and lettuce, growth in cooler climate yields a better product that lacks the bitterness summer grown vegetables can develop. Hint: pick summer vegetables before they reach full maturity.
Here is a list of vegetable that are appropriate for fall gardening:
This list consists of large numbers of hardy plants that will require little or no frost protection. Use of burlap or any other material supported by stakes will work in creating a barrier between the plants and frost. Root crops such as carrots and radishes should be harvested or heavily mulched to protect against hard freeze. With mulching, the harvest of root vegetables can extend well into spring. And a mild winter might result in harvests from all crop through spring.
At The Clifton Garden April 15 – October 15 is the official gardening season. But we encourage all members to take full advantage of the garden to grow crops year round, if possible.