It’s time to plant some corn, beans, and tomatoes at the @Garden Answer household! Tag along to see how Laura gets her vegetable gardening done with some Espoma products.
Have you thought ahead to your fall harvest yet? August is prime time to plant delicious and nutritious vegetables that will come to life in the cooler months. And there’s nothing better than being able to spice up your home-cooked dishes using your very own garden — no need to run to the supermarket! Read on to find out which veggies you should be planting right now.
Did you know lettuce cannot be frozen, dried, pickled, or canned? That’s why you have to eat it fresh! Luckily, planting it right now means you’ll be able to enjoy it in just a few months. A fall harvest is ideal as lettuce’s sturdiness prevents any frost from destroying it. These leafy greens are a good source of vitamin C, calcium, iron and copper — making it the perfect base for a healthy salad. Keep an eye out for the dark green leaves when harvesting as they’re even healthier than the light green ones.
Spinach is well known for its low calorie count and high levels of vitamin A, C, and iron — making it the perfect addition to that healthy salad. This veggie also gives you the highest turnover out of all the others. If collected in small quantities, you can keep harvesting them late until May! The best time to start planting them is now, at the tail end of summer.
Ready for another healthy addition to that salad we’re working on? Parsley is a rich source of Vitamin K, C, and A, and minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium. It’s no wonder this veggie has been used in dishes since ancient Rome! It’s also believed to have anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, and antifungal properties. Plant your parsley now to make sure you can reap all these benefits in the fall.
If you’re planning on sowing some veggies that aren’t leafy greens, carrots should definitely be your first choice! As this vegetable grows into the fall season, the cool weather turns the starch to sugar, making them extra delicious. This sweet flavor makes them the perfect side or snack — sauteed, roasted, or even raw! Keep in mind that this plant does need a little extra care compared to some of the others on this list, so be sure to use vegetable food like Garden-tone to provide them with the energy they need to grow.
Last but not least, beets should definitely be on your August to-plant list. Did you know beets are edible from the tip of their green leaves to the bottom of their brown roots? They also help capture some hard-to-catch toxins and flush them out. These same antioxidants provide anti-inflammatory agents that provide a wide array of health benefits. Still not convinced? Since beet juice helps cleanse your liver, it’s thought that it can even help cure hangovers! If you want to make use of the entire plant and enjoy all these delicious benefits, make sure to sow the seeds now — about 8 weeks before the first frost.
Just because summer is winding down, doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up your gardening supplies. August is the perfect time to plant some of your favorite vegetables! Cooking primarily with these veggies straight from your garden will give you some of the freshest and tastiest dishes. So get your family together, head outside, and get planting!
A little vitamin boost from Bio-tone Plus before amending your soil is key when planting up a fresh tomato path. More great tips from Bloom and Grow Radio in the full video!
A simple, inexpensive way to enjoy your herbs beyond the growing season is to dry them!
When talking about herbs, we’re referring to the leaves of certain plants that are usually green in color. Spices, on the other hand, are the flowers, fruit, seeds, bark and roots of tropical plants and are typically more pungent than herbs.
While the best flavors come from freshly picked herbs, however there is always an abundance that you cannot use in one season. Drying your herbs is the next best thing!
Dried herbs can be used for anything from flavoring recipes to making a fragrant fire starter.
When to Harvest:
We recommend growing organic herbs in Espoma Organic’s Potting Mix. To get the most flavor from herbs you need to harvest them at just the right time. The fullest flavor comes from herbs harvested before they flower. If you use a lot of freshly picked herbs, they may never flower. If that is the case, and you want to savor that flavor during the non-growing months, be sure to harvest them by the end of summer before the weather cools to get the most flavor out of them.
Focus on one type of herb at a time and remember to only cut back what you need. Try to avoid cutting back the entire plant, unless you are ready to replace it.
8 Steps to Harvesting and Drying Herbs:
Once your herbs are dry enough to crumble, they are ready to be stored. Keep dried herbs in an air tight container, like a small canning jar or a zippered bag.
There you have it: freshly dried herbs to enjoy all year long!
Learn what to plant next with Laura from Garden Answer.
Products for Healthy Herbs
Dreaming of juicy, flavorful tomatoes and ripe, spicy peppers? Grow them yourself in only a few months.
If you’re as excited about tomato season as we are, why not get started now?
The best way to get a head start on growing tomatoes is to start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last spring frost date in your region. Whether you’re growing cherry tomatoes or hot peppers, visit your local garden center to pick up supplies and seeds.
Here’s how to start tomato and pepper seeds indoors:
If you saved tomato seeds from last year and stored the seeds properly, they should last for about four years. Pepper seeds will last about two to three years.
Test your seeds a few weeks before you’re ready to start. Place several seeds on a wet paper towel cover it with plastic and place it in a warm spot. If the seeds are viable, they should sprout within a week.
Give your seeds a head-start. Simply soak seeds in warm water for 2-4 hours to soften. Read the instructions on the seed packet to ensure the optimal conditions for your seeds.
Gather supplies and fill seed trays to within ¼” of the top with Espoma’s Organic Seed Starting Mix. Follow instructions on the seed packets to see how deep and far apart to plant. Cover with soil, press down and lightly water. Find out more about starting seeds here.
Once the seeds are planted, it’s time to warm them up. Heat loving crops like tomatoes and peppers love the warm weather. While your seedlings are sprouting, store them on top of the fridge or in a warm place. An even better option is use a special heating mat. The warm temperatures help to speed up the growing process. Make sure to check seeds daily for moisture since the soil may dry out more quickly.
Once the true leaves have developed, seeds will benefit from a nutrient boost. Add Espoma’s Organic Tomato-tone, a premium plant food formulated specifically for growing plump and juicy tomatoes.
Thinning is the process of removing weaker seedlings to allow more room for the stronger ones. It creates healthier plants that produce more. As seedlings grow and you see crowding beginning to happen, gradually thin plants to 4” apart by gently pulling out the smallest ones with your hands.
Start hardening off plants once the last frost date has past. Place seedlings outdoors for seven to 10 days for a few hours each day. Once plants are ready for transplanting, gently remove plants from containers without damaging the roots. Plant in a prepared bed and mix in Espoma’s Bio-tone Starter Plus, to keep roots strong.