Traverse City Record-Eagle

Northern Living

August 19, 2012

Second-season gardens sprout late-season crops

Mid- to late summer is prime time for gardeners — a last chance to grow a second batch of fresh vegetables before the plant-killing frosts arrive. Add a few protective enclosures, such as cold frames, overhead sheets and hoops, and the harvest can be extended until Thanksgiving and beyond.

"The goal is to have fully grown, ready-to-pick plants that basically store themselves in the garden throughout the fall, so you can pick them as you need them over a long, sustained garden season," said Renee Shepherd, founder of Renee's Garden Seeds in Felton, Calif.

You can plant many of the cool-weather crops from seed if you time it properly, she said. That means choosing fast-maturing varieties that can develop ahead of the average date for the first hard frost.

Think ahead though, because many nurseries close or have picked-over inventories.

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