It’s almost time to plant seeds for a second harvest that’s just as satisfying as your first. Second season crops require less work and provide fresh produce well into fall.
Take advantage of a mild or breezy summer day and complete a few small tasks to prepare your garden for replanting next month.
Prep for Second-Season Plantings:
- Chop compost. Work through your pile or the contents of your composter to combine and moisten materials. Repeat in a week. Then pile compost onto empty planting beds or store in a shady spot, covered with a tarp, until ready to use.
- Pick up plants. Pulling out tattered plants deprives insects and diseases of the host plants they need to survive. Use old plants to start a new compost pile, which will progress quickly with the help of hot weather.
- Make mulch. As long as the grass keeps growing, you can collect clippings in a bagger to use as garden mulch. Do not use clippings if you have treated your lawn with weed- or insect-control products, which is not safe for vegetable gardens.
- Solarize soil. To reduce weeds, diseases and nematodes, use the sun’s warmth to steam-clean the top few inches of soil in any garden bed. Cultivate and dampen soil. Cover with clear sheet plastic and tuck in securely along all edges. After four weeks, repeated bouts of high heat will kill many soil pathogens and weed seeds.