Bag of potting soil with planer next to it
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If you enjoy those sweet tender vegetables of spring, then you get another opportunity to enjoy them during the cooler temperatures of fall. The catch is that you have to plant them now during the month of August.

Why does a fall crop need to be planted in August? Daylight and temperature.

Here in central Illinois, we lose over two hours of daylight from the beginning of August through the third week of September. Three hours are lost by mid-October. After the middle of September, average daytime temperatures decrease and this decline accelerates after the autumnal equinox. That is why it is important to get vegetables planted before September 1.

What vegetables are good candidates for fall or winter gardens? To name a few – beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, kale, lettuce, peas, radishes and spinach.

You can also plant a few herbs if done in August, such as basil, chives, cilantro, parsley and others. Once again, this must be done in August for a successful fall planting.

There are two ways that you can plant your fall crops.

  • Seeds can be planted in trays or pots in late July or early August and then transplanted into the garden later in August. This insures uniform emergence of the seeds.
  • Plant the seeds directly into the soil. You may need to water if rainfall is lacking.

Yes, I know you are still busy in the garden picking and enjoying your favorite hot weather summer veggies, but now is a great time to be thinking about planting a fall garden.

If you are wondering about how to preserve all the bounty coming out of your garden, check out: extension.illinois.edu/nutrition. Scroll down to “Webinar Recordings & News.”