Fall vegetable gardens can be fun and very rewarding. You have probably been working very hard on your summer garden, but here are many advantages to fall
gardening. If you have not tried this is very rewarding and it is great to have vegetables late in the year.
- There are many plants that don’t like the heat of summer and will flourish during the fall and will last well into the winter months.
- During the fall there are less bugs that will be around to hurt your plants.
- Fall gardening usually provides a more bountiful harvest due to the cooler temperatures.
- Many of the fall plants such as radishes, beets, parsnips and carrots tend to sweeten as the frost begin and can taste much better than when grown in the spring.
- If you like Brussel Sprouts, the fall is the best time of year to grow them. You will need to feed them during the growing season, as they are a nitrogen loving plant.
- Fall salads are wonderful. There are many types of lettuce that can be grown , such as Romaine, Red Leaf, Loose Leaf, Arugula and Butter Head to Name a few. There a few varieties of Chicories that are bitter and if mixed with the sweeter varieties above, compliment each other very well.
- If you have a small garden you can use the area where you had early plants that are past the point of producing. This will maximize your harvest considering the smaller size of your garden. You can remove those plants and prepare for the new plants. Be sure to till and add some food as the plant prior has used some of the nutrients in the soil. There are some plants that actually add nitrogen to the soil, such as beans and peas. If you are planting Brussel Sprouts that need a lot of nitrogen, it would make sense to plant then where you had beans or peas earlier in the year.
- Fall gardens are less stressed by heat and many of the problematic bugs have died out.
Starting your planting for the fall is pretty easy. For some plants you may want to plant directly in the garden or start seedlings in small pots depending on what you are growing. I like to plant leafy greens such as lettuce, collards and spinach directly in the garden. You also want to keep planting small amounts each week to extend the harvest of each type. Other plants that you may want to seed in small pots before planting directly in your garden would be Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower. and Peas.
One thing to remember is that you need to check the germination time frames of each variety you would like to plant. This will help you to choose when as they will need to be planted. This is important because many seeds need a certain temperature to germinate. Please make sure you read about each plant you want to seed and give them enough time in the warmer weather to germinate and begin to mature.
Fall planting can almost be the best part in gardening. I have found that going out to the garden on a cool day after a hard frost and just looking at what has grow and being amazed that the frost doesn’t hurt many of them makes me smile and I hope it does the same for you.