pumpkins

Pumpkins need to be planted as soon as possible to  be ready in time for Halloween.

August is prime time to get a fall garden in the ground. 

You can harvest beans, summer squash AND winter squash along with a host of other vegetables well into November and beyond. 

Some cold weather vegetables will even weather a freeze and keep producing.

It’s best not to plant seeds when the temperatures are a scorching 100 degrees, but low to mid-90s will work. They will need constant water to germinate; don’t let them dry out. 

To plant, clean out the spring garden, pulling veggies that are not producing along with weeds. Some till or dig up the rows again; others just smooth the ground and poke the seeds in. 

Transplants are available at local garden centers and can be a quick way to get producing. 

The nurseries will be full of tomato plants but be wary. It’s recommended that fall tomatoes be planted in early to mid-July. They probably won’t set fruit during the hottest part of summer, but they need the long days to set fruit properly.

Even though it’s a little late, it doesn’t hurt to give them a try. A sunny but mild fall and no freeze until mid-November or later could leave you rolling in home-grown tomatoes. 

Many vegetables can be planted throughout August into September and beyond. 

Halloween pumpkins need to get in the ground ASAP and they still may not mature. It takes 90 or more days for those to grow and ripen. That means if you want them by Oct. 31 it will be difficult without a little luck. 

But they will be available for Thanksgiving decorations and pumpkin pies. 

You have a month to get beans in, but carrots, mustard, radishes and spinach can wait until November. 

If you’re still not sure when to plant, you can figure it out from the seed package. The packets give the number of days from planting to maturity. For instance, cucumbers can take 50-to-70 days to maturity. The first average frost in this area is Nov. 14, so count back. Seventy days would mean they need to be planted by the end of August. 

Remember all these days are just guestimates. Yours may take longer or be a little faster. And that first frost could be a week or two early or a week or two late. 

Gardening help is always available from Kaufman County Master Gardeners at kcmga.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/kcmga.

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