What to Plant in August in Zone 7

As fall approaches, gardeners in zones 7-10 should prepare their gardens for their first frost date by selecting vegetables which thrive in cooler temperatures such as those found during autumn.

Cool-weather crops such as beets, spinach and carrots should be planted in August for winter harvest. Other suitable plants for September planting include kale, collards, Chinese cabbage and kohlrabi.

Beets

Beets are versatile cool-weather vegetables that thrive in virtually all climates. Preferred planting dates for these wintertime veggies include spring or fall for optimal results. Beets are heavy feeders that benefit from adding nitrogen-rich organic matter to their soil environment. Their roots provide sweet sweetness while their greens make nutritious additions to salads and soups alike.

Beet seeds should be soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing in loamy soil, and should be planted 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart in rows spaced 1 inch apart. Work the soil, amend with compost or green manure if applicable, lightly rake it for even surface before planting, water the seedbed lightly so the topsoil has time to absorb moisture while not becoming waterlogged, then lightly water again afterwards so the seeds don’t sprout too early or get waterlogged during growth.

Once beets begin sprouting, any that show signs of yellowing or wilting must be removed to prevent disease and infection. Furthermore, it’s essential that weather conditions be closely monitored; planting should take place according to your zone’s average first frost date for maximum success.

Beets require plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil in order to thrive, and should preferably not compete for nutrients with other crops like spinach or chard that were planted previously in your garden. Furthermore, rotating crops is also helpful in controlling pests and diseases that might otherwise damage them.

As beets mature, they may become susceptible to the Cercospora leaf spot fungal disease. This fungus causes leaf veins to darken and turns them brassy-purple in wetter, cooler conditions. If this fungus appears on your plants, water off immediately and harvest early in order to stop its spread and avoid further infection.

As beets mature, they will need to be regularly weeded to maintain a tidy patch. Weeding may also help eliminate insects such as the cabbage looper caterpillar that chews holes into leaves and defoliates entire plants – spraying diatomaceous earth will help eliminate this pest.

Spinach

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a hardy autumn/winter vegetable, easily grown from seeds. Germination rates may drop during warm conditions; thus it is recommended that seeds be started indoors prior to transplanting them outdoors six weeks before your region’s last frost date and kept moist throughout sowing so as to prevent seed from rotting.

The USDA Zone 7 temperature band extends from north Texas through most of Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama into Georgia’s northern half; eastern Kentucky and northeastern Tennessee also fall within this temperature band. Typical of Zone 7, these regions typically experience short growing seasons with cool winters yet enough warmth for plant life to flourish.

Gardeners in zones 6 and 7 can grow cool-weather crops during fall and early winter, then harvest them over the course of the winter using protection from a cold frame or hoop house. Furthermore, warm-season vegetables may be planted during springtime so as to mature before their first frost occurs.

As most crops need cool conditions to flourish, it’s vital that they’re kept at an ideal temperature throughout the year. Gardeners should mulch their crops to protect from heat and cold during both peak times of year; doing this also keeps weeds at bay while sealing in moisture in particularly dry weather conditions.

Mulching is especially essential for spinach, as its growth takes more time to reach harvest size in cooler fall weather than would otherwise be the case. After thinned spinach plants have been thinned down to harvest size, place a layer of mulch between rows to keep out weeds and retain moisture; remove this mulch in late February so the plants know it’s time to start regrowing for winter growth. You could also use row cover as protection throughout winter; just remember more frequent inspections to monitor damaged leaves that might appear, until eventually spring arrives when removal can remove this too.

Lettuce

Zone 7 gardeners can take advantage of long fall seasons and mild winter temperatures to produce an abundant harvest of leafy greens and root vegetables year-round, using basic protective gardening techniques like mulching and cloching to grow many of the same products that might be found in supermarkets well into December.

This month is an excellent opportunity to start seeding indoors beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, kale and spinach for harvest by about four to six weeks prior to their expected last frost date. As temperatures cool off further it’s also time to sow radishes and lettuce outdoors as soon as weather permits. Brassicas should be protected with floating row cover in order to prevent cabbage moth or flea beetle damage if they have been problematic in previous years; sweet potatoes can also be planted as well as sowing seeds of late summer/fall tomatoes cucumbers melons or squashes before frost is expected.

If you’re hoping to continue growing salad greens well into autumn, now is an excellent time to sow leaf lettuce and mustard greens in your garden. They should mature within 80 days but harvest frequently while waiting. Kale and collards should also be planted, covered loosely to delay frost onset.

Fall temperatures offer ideal conditions for sowing cole crops such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli for harvest in approximately eighty to one hundred days of sowing if planted now; you can delay frost by covering them lightly with hay or straw to prolong growing season and extend harvest period. Frost sensitive crops like peas and kohlrabi should also remain covered to extend growing season.

Carrots

Carrots are a cool-season crop that thrives in Florida’s climate. Easy for kids and novice gardeners to grow, carrots make an excellent garden project and source of vitamin A. Plant your carrot seeds either early fall or spring to ensure maturity by frost; just ensure the soil doesn’t become sandy as this can result in overwatering issues; to minimize excess soil coverage simply sow thinly covered seeds on top of thin dirt layers – best results achieved when growing carrots in raised beds!

Carrot seed can be easily missed, so it’s essential to use a plastic row marker or paint stick as a visual reminder when planting rows of carrots. Sprinkling some radish seeds amongst your carrot seeds makes identifying rows later much simpler. Cover sown carrots with 1/4 inch of soil after sowing; once sprouts have appeared water gently until their soil stays evenly moist.

Once carrots have developed multiple leaves, they’re ready for harvest; usually two months from sowing. When harvesting them, ensure they don’t become overly large; this could affect their taste and crisp texture; smaller carrots tend to be sweeter and have crispier textures than large ones. If growing winter storage carrots, allow a few frosts before harvesting as this encourages their roots to store energy more easily, producing sweeter results later on in their lifespan.

If you plan to grow carrots as a winter crop, cover their beds with an organic mulch of straw or shredded leaves to retain heat and moisture while protecting plants from cold temperatures and the wind. Mulching will also prevent your carrots from thinninig or splitting.

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