COLUMN: Now is an important time for vegetable gardens

Some vegetables are still maturing, but many others have finished completely ...

  • Aug. 29, 2015 9:00 a.m.
COLUMN: Now is an important time for vegetable gardens

Gardening by Brian Minter

August is a very important transitional time in our vegetable gardens. Some vegetables are still maturing, but many others have finished completely, leaving gaps here and there that could still produce a few crops. In the Lower Mainland and the Valley, fast crops like lettuce, brassicas, peas, beans, radishes, swiss chard and beets can easily go in now, especially from started crops or transplants, for harvesting in October and November.

In southwestern B.C., our vegetable gardens can be producing twelve months a year, and even in some colder parts of the province, selective planting can be done. Potted perennial vegetables, like horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes and rhubarb, can be planted now for harvest next spring. Perennial herbs like mint, parsley, chives, marjoram and oregano can also be planted for late fall and winter additions to your culinary dishes. Keep in mind that September is the best time to plant garlic for next year.

For some delicious spinach-like greens, swiss chard can be planted now. Once established, it will tolerate a fair bit of cold before it either freezes or goes dormant. The same is true of spinach. ‘Perennial spinach,’ which is actually a chard, and West Coast Seeds’ ‘Bloomsdale Savoy’ are two varieties that can be used in 45 days.

Lettuce is, by far, the most popular of greens, and seeded now, almost any variety of leaf lettuce will do just fine. The ‘Butter Crunch’ type matures in about 60 days, while the loose leaf varieties, like ‘Black Seeded Simpson’ and ‘Red Sails’, will be on your table in 45 days. My favourite though is the ‘Simply Salad’ series of four different blends for late September and October enjoyment.

Certain varieties of bunching onions and scallions can still be planted for fall harvests because they mature in 60 days. Up until that time, you have the greens to enjoy. There are also hardy winter varieties you can plant now for harvesting in spring. Believe it or not, ‘Walla Wallas’ are the hardiest onion and can be transplanted out now.

Who can’t find a spot for radishes? Almost any variety matures in 25 days and in drier weather, you will find fewer maggots. Keep them out of old cabbage areas and rake a little wood ash into the soil for better maggot control.

Many folks also transplant the late ‘Lacinato’(Black Tuscan), ‘Winterbor’ and ‘Redbor’ kale at this time of year, as well as late broccoli, late cabbage and yes, even self-blanching cauliflower. Winter hardy leeks can go in now as well, to round out your winter gardens.

You will probably not have enough empty spaces to plant all these wonderful fall vegetables, but give some a try.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld has called for the resignation of B.C.’s Minister of Education, Jennifer Whiteside. He made the call during a speech in Vancouver on April 10, 2021, in a rally for a parent embroiled in legal battles surrounding his child’s transition.
Chilliwack school trustee calls for B.C.’s minister of education to resign

Barry Neufeld spoke at rally for jailed father in Vancouver, calling SOGI 123 a ‘dangerous experiment’

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

Photo courtesy of Abbotsford Police Department.
‘Vehicle Maintenance 101 for Teens’ to be hosted by Abbotsford Police traffic officers

Virtual meetups with Q&A period held on April 23, May 11, May 25

Stock photo from Unsplash.com
Free online workshops on ‘advance care planning’ hosted in Abbotsford

3 sessions hosted by Abbotsford Hospice Society and Association for Healthy Aging

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read