Plant Broccoli seed now, can that be right? It is the middle of July as I write this and the temps have been in the 90’s. We have started planting our fall vegetable crops about Mid July into pots that will be transplanted out into the garden in mid to late August. You may ask why, I thought these were fall crops that like cool weather. The answer is yes they like cool weather to mature in, but they need 60 or more days to grow to maturity.
Some brussel sprout varieties take 100 days to mature. So if you are starting from seed it takes 4 to 5 weeks to have a seedling ready to plant into the garden. Then it takes at least 100 days from the time you plant it in the garden until it is ready to harvest. If you start in July brussel sprouts will be ready by the end of November. Broccoli is about 60 days and will be ready in October.
Plants to seed into pots in Mid July
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Kale, Collards, Brussels Sprouts, Kohlrabi and Lettuce. You will be able to transplant these as plants into the garden in late August.
Plants to seed direct into the garden in August
Turnip Greens, White salad Turnips, Carrots, Beets, Spinach and Lettuce . You will have to keep these seedling moist at all times and provide some shade to keep the soil cool while they are germinating. You can do this with a light weight row cover cloth or shade cloth. Look for ideal germination temperatures in seed catalogs and seed packages. Trying to keep the soil at 75″ to 80″F on a 90″ day can be difficult.
You can also wait until mid- August and buy young plants to transplant into the garden if you don’t want to start your own seed. Either way don’t miss out on one of the best seasons of the year to garden in the south. Many of these plants will be frost resistant and continue on into the winter. The taste is also so much better when you harvest in cool months of October, November and December.