W

orking for a seed farm means we get to harvest fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers throughout the summer and share it among our co-workers. And  throughout the season, staff participate in taste tests of the varieties we grow, helping us to decide which new varieties will make it into the catalog. Our harvest haul for this week included: Asian greens, fennel, kohlrabi, basil, scallions, lettuce and squash–yum! And with harvesting comes more sowing, especially in July, when many of our fall-harvested crops are sown.

We try to make the most of the growing season by succession sowing, intercropping, and making sure our fall harvested crops are planted in July and August. Due to the waning daylight hours following the summer solstice, crops sown for fall will generally need an additional 2 weeks on average to mature compared to spring-sown crops.

When planting second and third crops during the season, add fresh compost, if it's available. Compost builds soil structure, so roots can get a healthy start. To produce foliage and fruit, plants make energy from photosynthesis and soil nutrients; to keep the soil healthy and nutrient-rich for your next crop, maintain soil fertility by incorporating cover crops and amendments into your garden maintenance routine.

To schedule your sowings, consult the “days to maturity” information on your seed packs (also, available under “Quick Facts” beneath the seed variety listings on our website). Add two weeks plus the time to germinate and then count backward from the first frost date for your area. To find the average first frost date for your area, try this tool. Performing this calculation ahead of sowing will allow these crops to fully mature by harvest time.

Crops you can sow now for fall harvest are listed below (order garlic and shallots now and we will ship them out in October–when many of these crops will be pulled up). Add 14 days to the “days to maturity” for a general time frame, but specific varieties can have slightly different maturity rates. Consult the "Growing Instructions" and "Quick Facts" section under each seed listing.

As you can see from this long list, it is not too late to sow! In fact, it's the perfect time.  We hope this will encourage you to squeeze as much as you can out of the growing season. Happy sowing!

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