Ask Ari: Filling the late-summer gaps in your garden
 Alibi V.19 No.31 • Aug 5-11, 2010 

Ask Ari

Dual-Season Gardening


Q: In harvesting some of my earlier crops, like lettuce, and in pulling bolting crops like spinach, I've opened up some holes in my garden. With what should I plug these holes?

—Holier Than Thou

A: You've got several options. You can try to squeeze in a late crop of summertime goodies such as lettuce or salad mix, or you can get a head start on your fall garden.

If the gaps are shaded by nearby plants, some lettuce seeds might make it to head stage before they bolt (go to seed). Or you can plant a dense mixture of lettuce and mustard or other brassica plants and harvest them with scissors as salad mix.

For the fall garden option, you can plug seed beets, radishes or turnips into those gaps. Or you could wait a few weeks and seed spinach. Or you could start some broccoli seeds indoors and transplant them into your gaps when the seedlings are good-sized. The same can be done with kale, collard greens, bok choy, mizuna and other mustard greens.

And finally, depending on the size of the gaps, if you have spreading plants such as squash, melons or cucumbers elsewhere in the garden, you can direct the growing tendrils toward your gaps.

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