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Short Season Garden Tips, Issue #004 --Already time to plan for fall
July 08, 2021

Welcome to Short Season Garden Tips, for early July 2021.

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Start planning now for fall!

Well July is here. Hopefully, this will be a frost-free month for all zone 3 gardeners, although we had a risk of frost in our forecast here for July 2. (Fortunately, it didn’t materialize.)

All your summer crops should be up now.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to lay a good layer of mulch to keep the weeds in check, hold moisture in the soil, and keep soil borne diseases from splashing onto the lower leaves of the plants.

Cage or stake your determinate tomato plants and trim the bottom leaves. Your indeterminate plants will do better if you keep the suckers removed and tie the plants up to a single post or string. Proper pruning together with mulching and adequate spacing between plants will accomplish much toward keeping blight and other fungal diseases at bay.

I hate to bring up autumn already, but if you live in zone 3, you need to think about starting your fall crops.

Here are a few guidelines for fall planting:

1. Most fall crops should be sown 6 to 8 weeks before your first fall frost.

2. Nearly all plants will cease to grow when daylight hours drop to 10 hours per day. Check here for hours of daylight in your area by date.

3. To determine days to maturity for fall crops, add about 15 days to the number given on the back of the seed package. Days to maturity listed on seed packages are based on spring planting with lengthening daylight and warming weather. Fall weather involves shortening daylight and cooling weather.

4. Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and other brassicas should be started indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before they are set out. That means anything that you are going to start indoors here in zone 3 NEEDS TO BE STARTED NOW.

Check out for links to videos on coldframe and lowtunnel fall gardening.

Happy gardening,


P.S. Check out my latest YouTube video on Frost protection without a greenhouse

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!

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