Edible Landscaping

August Q & A

Question: I just pulled out my peas and lettuce from my St. Louis, Missouri garden and I'm wondering what other vegetables I can still plant for this season?

Answer: You still have plenty of time to plant a variety of vegetables in your garden. I personally love planting for a fall garden. The vegetables grow slower in the fall, offering you more time to harvest. Many vegetables develop a better flavor since they are maturing during cool temperatures. Plus, you can be harvesting fresh produce from your garden into November and, maybe December, depending on your site and the weather.

Here's some good choices to plant in those vacant spaces in your garden. Set out seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Sow seeds of lettuce, mesclun mix, beets, peas, short season carrots such as 'Little Fingers’, radishes, bok choy, mustard greens, collards, and kale. You might even be able to squeeze in a late crop of bush beans! As other vegetables finish producing, pull them out and continue to plant cold hardy greens, such as kale, mesclun mix and arugula, right into September. You'll be amazed at what you can produce.

Question: I'm in coastal British Columbia. For 3 years I have grown a 'Brown Turkey' fig in a container. I have yet to get any fruit. What should I do?

Answer: Figs can be successfully grown in containers and 'Brown Turkey' is a good variety to grow. They just need sun, heat, water, and protection from cold in winter. Use potting soil and add a handful of lime and some bone meal in spring. Only lightly fertilize with nitrogen or the tree will set a poor crop. Keep the container well watered. Keep the plant growing in a full sun location in the warmest spot available. Since you often don't get warm summers in coastal British Columbia, you might consider placing the fig near a south-facing stone or brick wall or house to catch as much heat as possible. 'Brown Turkey' may yield a light spring (breba) crop, but most likely your main crop will come in late summer or fall. When the fruits turn soft and start to turn brown they're ready to eat.

If you have cold winter where you live, protect the fig tree by placing it in a sheltered area where is doesn't get below 20°F. Otherwise, leave it in a protected location outdoors in winter. Let the soil in the container mostly dry out and the fig drop its leaves. Move it outdoors again in spring when all danger of frost has past.

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