Has the passing of Labor Day got you looking to the twilight days of your outdoor plants? Or do you see these cooler days as an exciting start to another gardening season before winter? Organic Gardening magazine has figured out that late summer and fall are THE BEST times to grow broccoli, and Anne Raver wrote about planting her own late season crops and preparing the soil for next year all at once. Who says spring has to have all the fun? Organic Gardening's article on cool weather broccoli in their Oct/Nov 2010 issue says that now is the best time to grow. This time of year lets the broccoli heads mature as the season gets cooler. This results in sweeter, tastier and larger broccoli heads. No other season has that advantage.
"Fending Off the Weeds With Newsprint" was a New York Times article this past week by Anne Raver, the focus of which was really newspaper mulch and lasagna gardening. But she is planting spinach, arugula, mâche— and also broccoli—for the cool season. These cool crops are getting to break in the new soil before spring's crops get their chance. It is a great way to get more out of what you have.
So between preparing the earth or trying your hand at one of these cool weather crops, your garden doesn't have to fade into the sunset just yet. And based on the Organic Gardening article, growing post-Labor Day broccoli may just become a tradition for my planters.
Matt writes a weekly column on plants, flowers and gardening. Feel free to e-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Image: Flickr member ndrwfgg licensed for use under Creative Commons)