Healthy Harvest Table of Contents
Healthy Harvest is a series consisting of 3 parts.
Whether or not you have ever gardened before, you might have decided this is the year you will begin growing fresh greens simply to save money.
Perfect For Planting
If you planted a spring garden, some of those same seeds can be planted now, in mid-August. Lettuce, Swiss chard, arugula, Bok Choy and spinach mature quickly and you can reap the harvests of these high water content wonders for weeks before the frosty weather arrives.
If you have limited space it might be a better choice to sow the seeds of kale, cabbage, broccoli and collards. When we are savvy and we sow the seeds in August these cruciferous crops get off to a healthy enough start to withstand frigid winter weather.
What is so beautiful about this reality is that we can harvest the greens, especially of kale and collards, all winter long and for most of next spring.
Think of the health benefits of having mineral-rich greens from October to June available to you simply because you planned ahead and planted in August.
Pick a Pot
With whatever space you have—a deck, balcony, patio, small plot or large garden—after you purchase your seeds, soak them for 8 to 12 hours and sow the seeds approximately ¼” deep in evenly moist soil.
The choice to sow the seeds directly into beds or to start them in flats or small pots is up to you. Planting the seeds directly in four inch pots, about .25 cents each at garden centers, insures that you have a strong vital plant when you are ready to transplant into beds or larger containers. In addition, the actual act of transplanting will be simple and the starts will experience an easier transition.
Planting in small containers gives you extra time to work and amend your soil. Then, to your delight, a few weeks down the road when the bed and/or container space is ready, the kale, collard, cabbage and broccoli starts will be very well established.
August is also a good month to plant turnips, beets, carrots, kohlrabi, green onions, radishes, and, depending on your zone, rutabagas and parsnips. A few herbs that tend to thrive when planted in August are parsley, chives, dill, cilantro, oregano, thyme, sage and rosemary.
If you don’t have a full on backyard but do have a little space, an apartment balcony or any place that gets sunshine, a few garage sale trips can help you to gather planters or miscellaneous items that can be transformed into planters.
Start the Seeds Now
A five gallon bucket with holes drilled in the bottom works wonders. First step, however, to insure that you relish in those luscious greens this fall and winter, is to start the seeds now.
As you read this, consider grabbing a piece of scratch paper and jotting down your list of what you’ll need to buy or gather in order to feast on the fabulous fall and winter wonder foods!
Susan “Yogi Suzi” Grimes loves Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda and manages the pharmacy at www.