Start now for fall harvests

By Marianne Lepa

It’s mid summer and the garden is at its prime. Soon, some early crops will be past their peak. Lettuce bolts, peas wither and the garlic is ready to come out. I DON’T WANT ANYMORE ZUCCHINI!!!

With all these veggies removed, that leaves garden beds empty looking in mid-summer when there is still plenty of growing season left. There are all kinds of crops that mature quickly and can be started, either from seed or transplant, from mid-July until September. In fact, there are all kinds of veggies that prefer the cooler nights and shorter days of autumn. The trick is to know the days to maturity for each type and whether there is enough time for it to mature before waning daylight hours slows down growth.

In Collingwood, daylight drops below 10 hour per day around the end of October. That signals the end of active growth for nearly all vegetable crops that we grow to eat. So plan to get your fall crops planted with enough time for them to mature by mid-October. You can still harvest, but new growth will come to a stop.

Now, daylight is one thing, but temperature is another. Collingwood’s first frost date is October 8, but can come earlier or much later. Most fall veggies will be fine with a light frost and, with a little protection, they can even withstand a spell of freezing weather.

It’s not too late to place a seed order with a mail order firm. You should do it now, though, since Canada Post has been bogged down. Alternatively, you may be able to find some seed packages still in hardware stores or nurseries, but most stores will have returned their spring seeds by now. Or, ever reliable Anja might have some seeds in the exchange. Send an email to with your request (be sure to say “Seeds” in the subject line,)

This chart of vegetables suitable for late summer and fall planting has been adapted from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

VegetableSeed by
Swiss ChardAug 29
LettuceAug 29
SpinachSep 13
PeasAug 04
KohlrabiAug 19
CarrotsAug 19
TurnipsAug 29
ArugulaSep 03
BeetsAug 24
PotatoesJul 25
RadishesSep 03
Transplant seedlings:
KaleAug 14
Broccoli and CauliflowerJul 25

Comments are closed.