If you are like many gardeners then you are afraid of the frosts that come in the early winter, so you do not think about doing any gardening in the fall . However, some suggestions may be able to make you think twice. If not, then you will be missing out on sweet, mild, autumn vegetables.
What vegetables you are able to grown in the fall will depend upon the amount of space you have available, what climate you live in and what you enjoy eating. This is because even those crops that love heat, such as tomatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes will yield crops until the first frost hits. In Southern zones, this happens rather late in the year.
There are some plants that will not grow after the summer ends though. Some of these plants include cucumbers, summer squash and snap beans. If you plant these vegetables in mid-summer then they can yield crops until the first frost occurs. Of course, there are also hardy vegetables that will continue to grow until the temperature reaches 20 degrees outside. These include potatoes, carrots and other vegetables that are part of the root and tubers class.
With this information in mind, you can now go to the store and plan your fall garden. The best time to do this is in the spring or early summer, which is when the stores will have a plentiful supply of seeds. You can then store your seeds in a cool, dry location until it is time for planting.
Now, when you are purchasing your seeds you will want to read the package to make sure that it says “early season.” These seeds will take the least time to mature. Choosing these vegetables will help to ensure that they will be able to be fully grown and you can pick the vegetables before the first frost occurs.
In order to know when to plant your seeds you will have to find out when the first frost usually hits your area. You can look this information up in the Farmer’s Almanac, which will tell you exactly when this is going to happen in your area. The good thing here is that they are rarely wrong. Of course, you will also need to know how long it will take for your plants to mature. Once you know this information, you can figure out what the correct growing time in your area is going to be.
With this information in mind, you can prepare your soil when it comes time. Simply do away with any of your previous crops and their debris since you do not want them to spread their bacteria to your new plants. Next, spread a couple of inches of mulch over your garden so as to increase the soil’s nutrients. However, if you heavily fertilized your summer plants, then you may not need a lot of fertilizer now, if you need any at all. Then turn over the top layer of the soil, wet it, and leave it alone for 24 hours. Now you are ready to begin planting.
So, while a lot of gardeners shy away from fall gardening because they do not know how to handle fall frosts, you no longer have to. You now know what vegetables will do well in the fall and will provide you with fresh food that tastes wonderful.