When the weather cools down and all the tomatoes

Keep the flavour going

In southwestern B.C., our vegetable gardens can be producing twelve months a year, says Brian Minter

August is a very important transitional time in our vegetable gardens.  Some vegetables are still maturing, but many others have finished completely, leaving gaps here and there that could still produce a few crops. In the Lower Mainland and the Valley, fast crops like lettuce, brassicas, peas, beans, radishes, swiss chard and beets can easily go in now, especially from started crops or transplants, for harvesting in October and November. In southwestern B.C., our vegetable gardens can be producing twelve months a year, and even in some colder parts of the province, selective planting can be done.  Potted perennial vegetables, like horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes and rhubarb, can be planted now for harvest next spring. Perennial herbs like mint, parsley, chives, marjoram and oregano can also be planted for late fall and winter additions to your culinary dishes.  Keep in mind that September is the best time to plant garlic for next year.

For some delicious spinach-like greens, swiss chard can be planted now.  Once established, it will tolerate a fair bit of cold before it either freezes or goes dormant.  The same is true of spinach. ‘Perennial Spinach’, which is actually a chard, and West Coast Seeds’ ‘Bloomsdale Savoy’ are two varieties that can be used in 45 days.

There is even time for some root crops like beets.  In the worst-case scenario, all you will get are the greens, but even they are delicious.

Lettuce is, by far, the most popular of greens, and seeded now, almost any variety of leaf lettuce will do just fine. The ‘Butter Crunch’ type matures in about 60 days, while the loose leaf varieties, like ‘Black Seeded Simpson’ and ‘Red Sails’, will be on your table in 45 days. My favourite though is the ‘Simply Salad’ series of four different blends for late September and October enjoyment.

Certain varieties of bunching onions and scallions can still be planted for fall harvests because they mature in 60 days.  Up until that time, you have the greens to enjoy.  There are also hardy winter varieties you can plant now for harvesting in spring. Believe it or not, ‘Walla Wallas’ are the hardiest onion and can be transplanted out now.

Who can’t find a spot for radishes?  Almost any variety matures in 25 days and in drier weather, you will find fewer maggots.  Keep them out of old cabbage areas and rake a little wood ash into the soil for better maggot control.

Many folks also transplant the late ‘Lacinato’(Black Tuscan), ‘Winterbor’ and ‘Redbor’ kale at this time of year, as well as late broccoli, late cabbage and yes, even self-blanching cauliflower.  Winter hardy leeks can go in now as well, to round out your winter gardens.

Today there is an excellent selection of transplants for late veggies.  You will probably not have enough empty spaces to plant all these wonderful fall vegetables, but give some a try.  When the weather cools down and all the tomatoes, peas, beans and peppers are gone, just think what you can look forward to – your own fresh taste of fall.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Mark Strahl is speaking in the House of Commons on Oct. 20, 2020, on a Conservative motion to create a special committee to look into the WE charity scandal. The speech will be posted live on his Facebook page. (Facebook image)
VIDEO: Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl to speak on WE scandal today

Prime Minister has said Conservative motion for ethics committee could trigger election

Plow equipment clearing the roads on Dec. 13, 2016 focused on Priority 1 and 2 roads. (City of Chilliwack)
Dozens of Chilliwack roads could get upgraded for snow removal

But side streets mostly remain as priority 4, rarely if ever plowed based on resources available

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Rosedale man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after purchasing electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

Officers with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team were at a White Rock home Tuesday (Oct. 20) to assist Vancouver Police Department with execution of a search warrant. (Contributed photo)
ERT, VPD response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

Most Read