Getting ready for A fall garden
Summer is almost over and it will be time to get ready to grow a garden in Fall. Growing vegetables in Fall and into winter is actually easier than growing in summer. There are so many cool-season crops to grow such as cabbage, lettuce, mustard greens, and others. Summer brings heat, pests and weeds, which are not usually a problem growing in fall. Some plants are grown year-round, depending on the zone you live in.
Protection from the cold
If you live in an area that is cold, protecting your garden would be beneficial to continue growing into the winter months. There are many options that will help prolong your garden way into winter months.
A Hoop House is flexible conduit pipes that are bent over the garden beds and covered with clear plastic sheets. These are normally sold at garden supply companies. This will increase the soil temperatures and trap the heat from the sun during the day and releases it at night to keep the plants growing longer during the season.
A Cold Frame is a frame around a bed. This normally is raised with a lid that basically allows sunlight to filter in and heat the interior but keep out the cold. They have slanted tops to allow more of the sun’s rays to go into the box. Being the fall and winter have fewer daylight hours. During warm weather days, the lid would be opened. Another option is if you are planting in pots just bring them indoors in a garage or shed at night.
A Greenhouse is
an ultimate cold weather protection.
If you are lucky
Preparing your soil and seeds.
Now that you have the protection down you need to prepare your soil just as you would for spring. First, you will need to till the dirt. However, if you are using a raised bed simply turn the dirt over. It is best to add some fertilizer. If you want to get a jump on your planting the best thing is to start your seeds inside at least 4-6 weeks before planting in your garden. If your soil is dry, water first before planting.
Easy cold weather Vegetables
Cabbage is a very easy vegetable to grow in cool weather you can start the seeds inside or plant directly in the soil. These you can plant in August and they take about 55-100 days for a full head. Your only pests to be on the
Swiss chard is actually a beet but without the root. These plants are very easy to grow. They do good in hot weather even in drought conditions. It is an excellent cool weather plant. it will produce way into winter in some areas as long as you have a layer of mulch around the plant. You can start 4-6 weeks before planting or direct sow the seeds. If you have high acid soil it does not do well in that. In 55-65 days you can start to harvest the leaves and they can be frozen like spinach.
Collards, Mustard Greens & Turnips
Collards, Mustard greens, and Turnips are popular here where I live in the South. These
Lettuce is easy you just need cool temperature and direct seed sow is normally the way to go, You can start inside if you have the room. There are so many varieties
Its trial and error
Whatever zone you live in you will have plants that may do well for you that don’t do well elsewhere in other zones. Plant several varieties and see what works for you. Having a fall garden still allows you to grow food and continue your garden therapy.
Happy Fall Gardening.