It's hard to believe it's already August. We've certainly had plenty of hot and summery weather this year, but every year it is surprising and everso slightly sad to see July's endless sunshine cede to August's brilliant but shortening days. This decreasing daylength--about 2.5 minutes every day--is significant in the garden. While spring-sown crops benefit from the increasing sunlight and warmth we experience in April, May, and June, summer-sown crops experience the inverse: days that become shorter and, soon enough, cooler. Because of this, summer-sown crops can take 2-3 weeks longer to mature than their spring-sown counterparts. This means that August is the last chance for a sowing a slew of crops.
A few noteworthy items:
- Carrots and Beets: This week is the last chance to sow these winter staples and get decent harvests. Sowings made later into August often just don't get big enough to produce decent roots before the serious cold arrives. We recommend Danvers and Red-Cored Chantenay carrots as ideal winter storage varieties.
- Asian Greens: Bok Choy, Tatsoi, Komatsuna, Mizuna, and Mibuna are all at their best in the cool fall weather. Sowings made in early August yield big, mature plants in October; sowings made later in the month yield smaller, tender young crops.
- Lettuce: For large lettuce heads, so soon! For loads of young lettuce mix--including our Ultimate Salad Bowl--sow anytime in August or early September.
Check out the chart below to see when you can sow seeds of fall-hardy crops here in the Hudson Valley and similar climates:
|August 1st||Arugula, Beets, Bok Choy, Carrots, Chinese Cabbage, Lettuce, Mibuna/Mizuna, Kale, Kohlrabi, Swiss Chard, Tatsoi|
|August 7th||Arugula, Beets, Bok Choy, Carrots, Chinese Cabbage, Komatsuna, Lettuce, Mibuna/Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Swiss Chard, Tatsoi, Turnips|
|August 14th||Arugula, Bok Choy, Komatsuna, Lettuce, Mibuna/Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Tatsoi, Turnips|
|August 21st||Arugula, Bok Choy, Komatsuna, Lettuce, Mibuna/Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Tatsoi, Turnips|
|August 28th||Arugula, Bok Choy, Komatsuna, Lettuce, Mache, Mibuna/Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Spinach, Tatsoi, Turnips|
There are a few crops that can be sown during the first and second weeks of September; we'll be sure to remind you in next month's e-mail. But for the most part, you can only expect harvests of baby crops, not fully mature crops, from September plantings--so make one last seeding push this month to have good eating all the way into December.