With the record setting heat that we have been having in our area, we have found that it is very important to take steps to protect our cool season crops. These Fall crops prefer the cool daytime temperatures and rely on the cool nighttime temperatures to increase sugar storage and make the vegetables flavorful. Extreme heat can slow photosynthesis and transpiration, which will stunt and eventually kill the plant. Some of the steps that we can take to protect our plants and be prepared for hot weather is to keep the root system moist, use mulch, plant taller plants nearby to provide shade, and choose heat tolerant cool season varieties.
For our last participant meeting Tracie Goodman, from the McCreary County Extension Office, taught a wonderful class on Fall season crops.
Some of the topics she covered were:
. Time of seeding and maturity dates of cool season crops
. Season extension through high tunnels, cold frames and low tunnels.
. Crop rotation and companion planting
. Fall season crops that can be planted directly from seed -peas, spinach, collards, kale,lettuce, beets, radishes, carrots and turnips
. Fall season crops that do best when planted by bulbs, sets or plants – cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions (sets) , garlic (cloves or bulbs) and brussel sprouts
Doug Stephens also gave a fantastic demonstration on how to construct a low tunnel.
Scott County gardener’s donation to the Scott Christian Care Center food bank this week: