Green Living: Get Your Green Thumb on with Summertime Planting
Embracing an eco-conscious lifestyle has become more and more enticing over the past few years. People are more excited about being of a green community, while reusing and recycling makes for an easy start. However, practicing green living can take many other shapes and forms. For instance, you can start your own garden, even if you have just a little bit of dedicated space. But is it wise to invest in summertime planting, or should you wait until fall comes?
Let us start by debunking a misconception. According to some gardeners, you’ve missed the train with summertime planting if you let the long weekend of May pass you by. However, in truth, you can practice your green thumb all year long. All you need is to live in a region with mild winters. In which case, you can prolong your planting dates till the start of September.
But what should you plant for this time of year? What foods will grow beautifully even with a late start? Luckily, plenty of edible plants will thrive into late summer, even if you’re just now starting your garden. Today we’ll offer you a short guide, as well as some tips that will help you maximize the output of your little garden.
Warm vs Cool Season Veggies
Starting your own garden requires a bit of research, but the returns are amazing. Not only will you start eating more veggies and fruit, but you’ll also save some serious cash. Lastly, a little garden can also help you lower your carbon footprint. You will essentially rely less and less on produce that was unsustainably grown. So, vegetables are either “cool-season” or “warm-season,” depending on the time of the year when they thrive the most.
- Warm-season vegetables. We include here summer crops, such as carrots, tomatoes, and peppers. This kind of edible plants need both high temperatures and warm soil to flourish and bear fruit. Frost will kill them, so make sure you plant them in late spring the earliest. Summer is their favorite season, so you can get started right about now.
- Cool-season vegetables. They prefer average temperatures for steady growth, usually about 15°F/ 8°C lower than summertime edible plants. Plant broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage – the staple cool-season veggies – in early spring if you’re looking for a June harvest. For late September harvests, plant them in the last month of summer. Many of these cool-season plants will weather short frosts, but they will become bitter in high temperatures.
Why Plant a Garden
If you care about the environment, planting a few fruit trees or your own vegetable garden probably sounds quite enticing. Or you simply don’t like commercially imported food items, so you want to be able to grow your own food in your backyard. Whatever the reason, you will do yourself and Mother Nature a load of good. Creating more greenery spots will positively impact the environment by cleaning the air and providing animal with more habitats. Here’s where you can start if you’re thinking of summertime planting.
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Radishes, Carrots, and Beets
Radishes are the perfect veggies to start your garden off due to their short maturation periods. It can take as little as a month from plantation to harvest. However, there are other reasons to consider, such as the fact that they make a delicious addition to your crunchy summer salads. Carrots and beets are two other choices to consider. These veggies will take about two months to mature. If you’re just now starting your garden, experts recommend you install a raised bed. This solution reduces pest challenges and encourages drainage. Root vegetables usually require drained soil and more soil depth to grow. What you want is an airy and sand-based soil for the best results.
Leafy Green Veggies
Whether you love kale and chard or you’re more of an arugula taster, leafy green veggies will grow perfectly fine all year round. Not only are these plants low-maintenance, but they’ll also grow to maturity in a short period. Nothing beats enjoying the results of your hard work a bit sooner! If you don’t know which crops have shorter maturation periods, look on the seed packets or in various garden shops. Online resources can also answer any kinds of questions you might have regarding summertime planting.
As for leafy greens, the harvest is ready in about 30-40 days. If you’re looking for micro greens, you can pick your veggies even earlier. It’s great to always have salad greens at hand, especially since buying them means you have to cook them immediately. Grocery store greens expire very fast.
Cauliflower and Broccoli
Kids are not particularly excited by these veggies, but they’re perfect for summertime planting. Expert gardeners recommend growing them in alkaline-rich soil – add natural fertilizer if necessary. If you’re planting your broccoli in an existing garden, maintaining soil quality is crucial. The new end-of-the-season crops will require fresh nutrients, which means you might have to integrate more back into the soil. Previously planted soil tends to be a bit drained, nutrient-wise.
Your garden – just like your lawn – will require irrigation. Why not consider investing in an efficient, smart sprinkler system? Smart sprinklers are Wi-Fi-enabled and they can sense if the soil’s moisture levels drop too low. After delivering the necessary amount of water, the system turns off again. This means you’ll save on the utility bill as well as avoid overwatering. A smart sprinkler will turn your smartphone in a remote control, so you can customize the watering calendars for different veggie areas.
Meanwhile, keep in mind that a healthy garden does more than keep your belly full. It also filters the air surrounding your home, keep a cool ground temperature, and lower dust pollution. That’s why even a small patch of garden can significantly help in the most unbearable summer days.
What is most important, you ask? Whether you’re a novice or an experienced gardener, experts recommend you avoid looking at the clock. There’s no time limits to growing a garden, no matter how much time is left in the summer season. Simply take advantage of that little bit of space you have to start your own garden!
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