I did not think I would be looking forward to a rain last week, but it has been great to see some irrigation on my plants. I had planted green beans, squash and cucumbers and they were starting to get dry and taking a little longer to sprout.

Also, I purchased some cabbage plants in my travels and I will be setting them out soon. I am holding off on transplanting right now because of the recent hot temperatures. I prefer to grow cabbage in the spring because of the insects which are in full swing right now. If you do decide to tackle growing cabbage in the fall, here are some tips:

Cabbage seeds planted at the end of the summer, in August or late September, should easily germinate in the warm soil of the ending growing season. Cabbages may also be planted later in the year, during fall, as long as the soil temperatures average around 50 degrees. For an extended harvest, stagger the planting time of the cabbages by two weeks.

Depending on which variety of cabbage you are growing will determine how far apart you should plant. A good rule of thumb is at least one foot apart. Plant them further apart if you have the room. Many varieties of cabbage such as, Late Flat Dutch, Red Acre, Golden Acre and Brunswick require plenty of room, where Chinese varieties such as Pak Choy get away with less.

When planting, apply 10-10-10 fertilizer to the garden space. Till it in and then transplant the cabbage. I will be planting these cabbage on a ridge for moisture reasons. Where I will be planting them is a flat surface so if there is a heavy downpour of rain my cabbage won't be standing in water. This can scald the cabbage in hot temperatures.

I am also hoping to plant some strawberry plants this fall, which is a good time to do so. However, most home gardeners get excited about their gardens toward the end of the winter months and don't plan far enough ahead to plant strawberries during the autumn months of the previous year. There are two main consequences of this pattern: Most home gardeners miss out on a healthy crop of strawberries during the first year (growing season) they are planted. It is also harder to find strawberry plants for sale in the fall months simply due to supply and demand.

By planting a strawberry bed in the early fall months, the plants are able to fully establish themselves and their root system prior to going dormant for the winter. Then, as the temperatures rise, a fully-rooted and more mature plant begins to put forth new foliage and flower stalks. Instead of pinching off the flowers so that the roots can establish, the already-established roots pull water and nutrients from the soil to support the strawberries. This allows a harvest during the first growing season instead of the second. Happy Gardening.