Gardening Tips for Region and Season

Regional and seasonal gardening tips for where you live.

| August/September 2004

New England/Maritime Canada

Early August is an optimal time to start fall crops of spinach, lettuce and other short-season greens. Prepare the garlic patch ahead of time by turning in compost and well-rotted manure. Azomite, a trace mineral supplement, has been key in helping to increase the size of my garlic heads. Spacing the plants from 10 to 12 inches apart helps, too. Mulch new ground with cardboard and cover that with straw, hay or grass clippings for neatness and to hold the cardboard down. By spring, the sod will be dead, the cardboard and mulch broken down, and the ground will be ready for tilling.


This is your last chance to put in those frost-sensitive plants such as beans, cucumbers and summer squash that mature in less than 60 days. Sow cool- weather crops like beets, carrots, radishes and hardy greens in two-week successions. After plants develop the third set of true leaves, try undersowing with white Dutch clover to suppress weeds, attract beneficial insects, fix nitrogen and live on as a winter/spring cover crop. Try planting perennial onions this fall — yellow potato onions yield heavily in this region. If you are saving your own garlic, pick medium to large heads that are tightly formed for replanting, and just enjoy eating the largest bulbs.

Southern Interior

Yes, it is steamy hot outside, but fall gardening in the Southern Interior is some of the best gardening of the year. In August, sow Brussels sprouts, which are best grown as a fall crop, as well as cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi and carrots. Keep them well watered, and mulch them to conserve moisture and keep the soil cool. They tolerate a good deal of frost, which actually will improve their flavor. By September, the weather has cooled considerably — just in time for another round of planting. Mustard greens, easy to grow and very nutritious, can be sown in beds or rows. In Zone 8 or warmer, turnips can be grown from early fall into early spring. Beets and garden peas are also fine candidates to round out the garden.

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