Maybe your vegetable garden has been neglected lately. Take heart, fall will be here before you know it, and all things can be renewed! Here are some tips to get the garden at your Santa Cruz home reinvigorated.
• Pick a cool morning. Don’t try going out there on a hot, sticky afternoon. Watch the weather and plan ahead. Be ready to get out there early.
• Make an evaluation. First things first. Do you have harvested corn stalks that need to be removed to make room for late short-season crops? Do the tomatoes need some compost? Need to replenish mulch? Make an inventory of tasks and prioritize.
• Tackle those weeds. If you’re like most of us, chances are there are some weed problems in your Santa Cruz home garden this time of year. Don’t try to pull weeds when it’s too dry. The best time is after a good rain. If the weeds are large and won’t pull, try just cutting them down for now. At least they won’t be shading crops and drinking all the water.
• Feed and prune. Some crops like chard and kale can be renewed for a fall harvest. If they’re still around, give them some compost and mulch, and trim off old damaged leaves. Cooler weather will have them looking (and tasting) good as new.
• Plant some seeds! Even where winters are cold and the ground freezes hard, many vegetables can still be grown to maturity before winter. Try beets, cilantro, lettuce, radish, spinach, kale, peas, salad greens, chard, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, onions, leeks and arugula.
• Choose varieties that are fast-maturing. The key to growing vegetables for fall harvest is timing. Vegetables started in fall need about 14 extra days to mature compared with spring-seeded crops. When deciding the date to start your veggies from seed, first determine your average first frost date. Then look at the seed packet for days to maturity. Add 14 days to that number, then use that figure to calculate back to seed-starting date.
With these tips, you can have the garden at your Santa Cruz home looking great again and you’ll feel rejuvenated too. For additional information please visit my website at www.MySantaCruzRealEstate.com.
Average first frost date