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Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The Second Harvest for My Garden

Following up on Cat's (Catherine Emerson) article almost 2 weeks ago, I'm planning for and starting seeds for a second harvest (mid-September through late October in my area).

I keep a memo in the notepad on my laptop outlining my late season gardening. It identifies potential second harvest spaces in the garden, what could go into those spaces, and by when I would need to get seeds started. 

Like probably all of us here, my gardening space has limits. For some vegetables, I only get one type from start to harvest before the cold weather comes back. With others, though, I can squeeze a second planting in after summer harvests. This includes the three planting troughs on the deck (spring planted turnips, beets, and Swiss chard), the patch with the garlic, and the patch with the sugar snap peas. The rest of my garden vegetables won't finish in time for a second planting.

Being on the deck where early spring warmth gets trapped, the troughs are planted early, with the first crops finishing in late June for the first trough (currently turnips, will be Swiss chard), early to mid-July for the second (currently beets, will be mache), and early August for the third (currently Swiss chard, will be turnips). Even with the early August trough, I can still plant a second crop in time by starting my seeds indoors under lights and transplanting the seedlings when the first planting finishes. I'll work in some extra vegetable fertilizer granules into the troughs before adding the late season plants. turnips to chard,  So far I've started seeds under lights for the later harvests of Swiss chard and mache.

The garlic will be dug sometime in late August, leaving me enough time to grow a quick green like spinach. And the harvested pea patch won't be planted with next year's garlic until late September or early October. So I will need a quick growing vegetable for the second harvest in that space, such as radishes.

Sound confusing? Trying to maximize my garden space feels a bit like some sort of shuffling game.


  1. It is definitely a complicated puzzle trying to maximize space and harvest. We're more casual here with our plantings. In August, I usually sow in the ground turnips, radishes, and maybe beets. Occasionally, I've tried broccoli, but have never been successful with that.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      It sounds like you've found what works best for your garden. I've tried broccoli a few times and always seem to have so many bugs, either cabbage worms or aphids. I've given up on broccoli.

  2. My husband sketches out where he plants things. He's better both at growing veggies AND at drawing than I am. :)

    1. Hi Kris,
      That's a great way to plan where everything should go, to draw out a plan. It sounds like your husband really enjoys the whole process of gardening. And you get the fun part -- cooking with and eating what he grows!


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