It’s the middle of summer, so many are thinking about keeping cool by staying inside or heading for the beach or mountains, not fall gardening. Transplants for cool season vegetables have appeared in the garden centers and now is the time to plant. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and others will grow larger if planted now as the days are longer. Growth will slow with shorter days and cooler temperatures. If you haven’t tested your soil, now is a good time as the testing is free April – Thanksgiving, your only cost being to mail your sample to the state lab in Raleigh. You can pick up a soil test kit at the Extension Office at the Union County Ag Center, 3230 Presson Rd, Monroe, or at any Union County Library, just ask for one at the information desk. For good information on fall gardening in the Piedmont, conduct an internet search using the key words “Fall Vegetable Garden North Carolina”. NCSU has an excellent publication with recommended crops and planting dates.
Late summer/fall is also the time for maintenance chores for cool season grasses. Core aeration, fertilization and over-seeding (if needed) can be done. Renovation of, as well as establishment of cool season lawns, is best done in the fall. Later in the fall is the time to make herbicide application for some broadleaf and winter annual weeds. For maintenance calendars for cool and warm season turfgrasses visit the NCSU website “turffiles.ncsu.edu”.
Join the Union County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers for the Successful Gardener program on August 2. I will be discussing the different groups of turfgrass and how to manage them.