SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Friday, August 27, 2010

Squeeze the Last Bit Out of Your Garden | Family Economics

By Lynnae

One of the things I love most about summer is fresh produce. There's just nothing like a tomato picked straight from the garden. As summer comes to a close and the weather cools down, it's tempting to let the garden go. But don't do that! You can still squeeze a little more produce out of your garden!

Things You Can Plant
Things to plant in late summer are fast growing root crops and leafy greens, include:
• Carrots
• Radishes
• Onions
• Turnips
• Spinach
• Swiss Chard

It may not seem like a lot, but the above ingredients make a pretty tasty salad!

Extend the Garden Season
If you're not ready to pack in the garden as soon as the weather cools down, you can artificially extend your garden season.

The easiest way to keep your fall plants warm is to use a garden row cover. Basically, it's a piece of fabric draped over your plants, keeping the warm earth air around your plants. You can remove it during the day to let the sun shine down on your veggies, but make sure to cover your plants at night, so you are covered if you get hit with an early frost.

Another way to extend your garden season is to build a cold frame. A cold frame will also give you a head start in the spring by providing the perfect place to harden off the seedlings you start indoors.

How to Build a Cold Frame
1. Find the materials - Try freecycle.org or craigslist.org
2. Look for an old window and some wood
3. Make a box out of the wood, the size of the window
4. Attach box to window frame with heavy duty hinges, and you have your cold frame! Set it in a sunny spot, preferably next to a building, and you have the ideal spot for growing veggies late into the fall and even into the winter

Now that you have the know-how to extend your garden season, enjoy your late garden bounty!

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