After harvesting early season vegetables such as salad greens, radishes, peas and spinach, Madison gardeners can plant other crops in midsummer for fall harvest. This extends the harvest and utilizes space in the garden. Leafy vegetables, such as Swiss chard, kale and mustard greens can be harvested before the leaves reach full size. Often these small leaves are more tender and tasty than mature ones. Planted in succession every few weeks over the course of the spring and summer, will provide a steady supply of young leaves without the agony of 30 pounds of lettuce all at once. A trick that can hasten germination is to soak the seeds for a few hours before planting. This works very well for larger seeds, but for tiny carrot seeds this would be difficult.
Cleaning up the garden before the second sowing will allow for a good beginning. Left-over debris like stems and roots from the first planting can cause problems in seed germination if they aren’t removed or allowed to break down, so be sure to remove as completely as possible. Adding nourishment like compost will give that extra boost and help amend the soil as well.
Some vegetables will tolerate a fair amount of frost and keep growing even when temperatures are in the low forties. Others can’t tolerate frost and stop growing in cool weather.
Here are some vegetables that don’t mind a midsummer sowing here in Madison, WI and can be harvested accordingly.
Basil matures in 30-60 days and is killed by frost
Green onion matures in 60-70 days and survives high 20s
Beets matures in 50-60 days and survives high 20s
Kale matures in 40-65 days and the hardiest, down to 20º
Bush beans matures in 45-65 days and is killed by frost
Kohlrabi matures in 50-60 days and survives light frost
Broccoli matures in 50-70 days and survives light frost
Leaf lettuce matures in 40-60 days and survives light frost
Brussels Sprouts matures in 90-100 days and the hardiest, down to 20 º
Mustard greens matures in 30-40 days and survives light frost
Cabbage matures in 50-90 days and the hardiest, down to 20º
Peas matures in 70-80 days and survives high 20s
Cauliflower matures in 60-80 days and survives light frost
Radishes matures in 30-60 days and can be dug until soil freezes
Cilantro matures in 60-70 days and survives light frost
Spinach matures in 35-45 days and survives light frost also may over winter
Swiss chard matures in 40-60 days and survives light frost
Garlic harvest the following July winters over in ground
Turnips matures in 50-60 days and survives light frost