By DEAN FOSDICK
For The Associated Press
---- — 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.