It’s time to plant some fall veggies!

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Yikes, it’s hot everywhere isn’t it! You might think it’s way too late to plant any veggies, but it’s the perfect time for you and your kids to plant some yummy fall veggies. (And there are some #CoolTools ideas at the end of this post.)

Margaret Roach has a wonderful list of what to plant in July & August on her A Way To Garden site. Margaret grows in the same growing zone as me, so I’ll be scouring her list for some new ideas. She also includes links to lists of what to plant in other growing zones as well. Don’t know your growing zone? Find out at this US growing zone map.

For more inspiration, every garden seed website will be highlighting seeds you can plant now for a bountiful fall crop. Two of my faves are Hudson Valley Seed Company and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Though there are tons more!

I’m planting carrots of all shapes and sizes, a rainbow of colorful beets, baby bok choy, and some beautiful big watermelon radishes that will last for months in the fridge crisper.

All those veggies can grow between midsummer and the last frost date in my area. Don’t know your last frost date? Check out this first & last frost calculator at Dave’s Garden by popping in your zip code.

And keep in mind that things like carrots and beets will keep nicely in the ground well after last frost dates.

Your local garden centers will still have seeds and may have seedlings to give you a jump start. Or check your local library to see if they have a seed library. It’s a great way to get a few seeds to try something new. I’m growing some little pumpkins from seeds that my library was giving out to families earlier in the spring.

A great way to introduce kids to gardening is to get some big pots that you can put on your porch, deck or patio so they can easily water and monitor their seeds and plants. Or give them a corner of your own big veggie bed. Even a small planter hanging on a railing can grow some lovely lettuce, parsley or basil.

So where’s the Cool Tools connection? Some ideas for your kids!

  • Use Google Drawings to sketch a plan of where to plant the seeds. Use the details on the seed packet to figure out how much space they need.
  • Set up a Google Spreadsheet of the seeds and note the dates when you planted, when you expect them to sprout, and when you expect them to be ready. Again, info will be on the packet or on the seed company’s web site.
  • Take pictures of the seed packets and plants as they grow. And of course take a photo of the gorgeous harvest with excited kids!
  • Use a note taking tool like Google Keep, a blog, or Padlet page to post the photos and keep notes.
  • Do some internet searching for kid-friendly recipes that they can make once the harvest is in! The Edible Schoolyard Project has some great ideas for recipes and kitchen skill building.

Most of all, just have some fun helping your kids growing a little bit of their own food. A tiny pot of parsley or a big pot of carrots. It all counts! Share your own ideas in the comments below. And happy growing!

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