Elaine Snyder-Conn writes in a recent email to Community Gardeners:
Hi Gardeners - It is time to add compost and possibly nutrients (especially nitrogen and micronutrients) for your fall garden and to plant your fall cold crops over the next few weeks. It's a little early to transplant lettuce, spinach etc. but a great time to start flats of these indoors for planting in a few weeks. Check out Bill Finch's planting wheel.
If broccoli and cauliflower don't head up before the first frost you will miss getting big heads..hence the need to plant very soon. And brussel sprouts take for ever to yield so planting these very soon is also advised, though I also hedge my bets and plant half of my cold crops now and half about the third week in Sept. in case of prolonged extreme heat and hurricanes. Be sure to avoid buying starter broccoli, etc. that are root bound in the pots, have yellow leaves, or that appear to have dried out, as this will likely result in poor growth and yield.
I know how hard it is to murder your summer veggies, especially if they are still producing. However, we are at a crossroads and the decision needs to be made. It is almost past time to plant pole beans or winter squash so be sure to get them in if you want these vegies. Pole beans tend to do better than bush beans in the fall but they will need trellising. It is true that peppers will produce up to the first frost if in good health and some folks manage a crop of fall tomatoes...normally new transplants in a new location in your beds, not blighted summer plants. Eggplants may also last another month or so. Okra planted in the summer is peaking now and will very shortly fade. Corn should be kaput and field peas can be turned into your soil as they are a good source of nitrogen. Most other crops should be removed, roots and all.
Don't forget to bring clippers or scissors to cut your eggplants and okra before they are past prime. Happy Gardening, Elaine