Joel In The Garden

Summer! Time to plan for fall in the garden

Summer! Time to plan for fall in the garden »Play Video

Watch Joel in the Garden on KMTR NewsSource16 at 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursdays

EUGENE, Ore. - Amy Samson has a large collection of brilliant flowering gladiolus.

“We usually cut them at the end of July, so I was pleasantly surprised to come and find all of these here,” Samson said. 

The perennial flowers are in their prime, but the season is over on cool weather plants.

“Today, we're ripping out the peas and giving the sunflowers a little more breathing room,” Samson said.

If your potato plants have lost their flowers and are beginning to turn yellow or brown, you can go ahead and dig them up and rip them out. There's no sense leaving these in the ground for the bugs to find. And you could be using that space to plan for fall or winter.

“Starts can go in well over a month from now. But seeds, this is right at the beginning for fall and over-wintering seeds,” Adam Cole from Down to Earth Garden Store in Eugene said.

Samson and her helpers are hoping some fast starts will yield a fall harvest on squash and pumpkins.

"We put in a couple Long Island cheese pumpkins, which will be really good for pies and breads in the fall and some butternut squash, which we like to throw in just about anything," Samson said.

Many other veggies are beginning to ripen. Pole beans are producing heavily, cucumbers are starting to appear on the vine, while the first tomatoes are beginning to change color. But Cole says you don't have to sit idle and wait to pick tomatoes. You can plant any number of seeds right under those tomato plants.

“Start things while tomatoes are finishing up and that's nice because it keeps your soil protected at all times and you don't have this couple week lapse where nothing is growing,” Cole said.

The growing part happens quickly, Cole says. But the problem comes from inadequate watering at this time of year. You can water your garden in the morning since it's cool and there's not much wind. Afternoon is the worst time to water since plants can quickly dry out in the sun. Watering in the evening may be cooler, but if the leaves on your plants are too wet overnight, they can attract fungus.