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Can It Be Fall Planting Time Already?

September 30, 2017

How the American Home Has Evolved

With temperatures still in the high 90s and reaching triple digits, it’s hard to think about getting your fall planting schedule together but it is actually the perfect time to not only start planning but to start PLANTING!

According to the National Gardening Association, we all should be well on our way to mapping out our fall planting strategy. Believe it or not, gardening in the fall can be much more challenging than spring planting, because you are in a race to get your crops mature and harvested before the winter frosts begin, around November 29. This means you need to consider how much time each variety needs between planting and picking.  Those numbers vary widely between different varieties of the same kinds of plants! Usually the “Days to Harvest” are on the packet.  A great place to find seeds right here in Tucson is Native Seed Search. They have a great selection and helpful, knowledgeable staff.

Most tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, for example, need about 100 days to harvest so you would want to harvest, so you would want to transplant those into the ground soon. And here’s a heads up to put into your calendar. Fall is the time to plant garlic. Around October 15th, take your cloves apart and plant the toes about 3 to 4 inches deep. The way to be sure is to actually use a soft thermometer; when the soil temperature is 60 degrees at a depth of 4 inches apart, it’s time to start planting!

Your broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage can be direct seeded into our gardens as soon as possible but because of our heat during this time of year, it’s better to start them indoors ASAP and then transplant them into the garden. Do the same with lettuce and spinach! Peas can go directly in the ground without being planted inside first.

Here’s the big news flash and something kind of urgent but it’s not too late: for the usual hot weather veggies like beans, cowpeas, corn, squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons, gourds and sunflowers, you should plant those seeds directly into the ground TOMORROW!  Translation: the time is now.

Good luck, happy gardening and may all of your gardens grow!

Article provided courtesy of Mrs. Green's World.