While August may be prime harvest time for your survival garden, it’s also the month to get prepared for your cool weather Fall garden. You should be starting some seeds indoors as well as sowing others directly in the soil outside so that you will have fresh greens and vegetables in the cooler months.
Start Seeds Indoors
Because in many areas August is still one of the warmest months, it’s a good idea to start delicate greens like lettuce and spinach from seed indoors for transplanting when the weather is cooler in September.
Harvest And Prepare Your Garden
Before you plant your Fall garden, make sure to prepare your garden beds by removing and cleaning up plants that have completed their growing season and any dead plant matter. Till the soil down 8 to 12 inches and if needed, amend your soil with nutrients before planting again.
Sow Directly In Your Garden
It is important to know the typical date of the first frost in your area to plan your planting. You’ll want to sow seeds around 10-12 weeks before your first frost. If you are unsure when your area typically encounters its first frost, you can check with your local Cooperative Extension.
Cool weather loving root vegetables and brassicas (members of the cabbage family) can be sown directly in your garden. Root vegetables don’t transplant well, so should be planted directly in the soil, and most brassicas are hardy enough to handle the warmth of August while sprouting, but won’t produce heads until the weather is cool.
Some great cool weather vegetables to include in your Fall garden are:
- Swiss Chard
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Bush Beans
Most of the vegetables listed above will tolerate frost, and some of them, like kale, taste even better after exposure to a mild frost. The root vegetables like radishes, turnips, beets, and carrots can be pickled and preserved for long-term storage. Preparing now to plant a Fall garden will help you to extend your survival food supply well into the cooler months.