If your spring planted vegetable crops are passing their prime, you may still have time for another crop with succession planting. The goal is to get cool season crops up and growing during the heat of summer, to produce an edible crop before the ground freezes. Below are some tips for greater success.
1. Have seeds on hand. Many stores sell seeds in the spring, but by mid-summer, the racks are gone.
2. Reduce the heat. Burlap, cheesecloth, window sheers or mosquito netting attached to some sticks, will break the intensity of the sun.
3. Row covers or insect mesh applied at planting time can help keep digging rodents from exposing the seed, and ward off hungry insects, such as flea beetles, cabbage worms and grasshoppers.
4. Mulch the ground as seeds emerge to hold in moisture. and add more as temperatures cool to keep the ground from freezing a little longer.
5. Compost or fertilizer may be needed.
6. Pick crops for the time that you have available. Remember, cooling temperatures and reduced sunlight levels slow growth and can add 2-3 weeks to maturity dates in fall.
Greater chances for success can be had by planting cool weather crops that can be eaten at their “baby” stage, such as lettuce, arugula, beets, beet greens, turnips, Asian greens, radishes and kohlrabi. Some of these vegetables, like swiss chard, leaf lettuce and kohlrabi, will come through a light frost.
Online information for Minnesota can be found at https://extension.umn.edu/planting...growing.../planting-vegetables- midsummer-fall-harvest.