Sunday, August 29, 2010
The vegetables used during fall gardening are considered cold weather vegetables. This means that they have a higher tolerance for cooler temperatures and can live and thrive even after the first frost. These vegetables include most types of lettuce, spinach, mustard leaves and cabbage. If your pre winter temperatures do not go below 40 to 35 degrees, you can also grow broccoli and cauliflower. For cooler climates, you can include rutabagas, turnips and carrots. Fall gardening is basically the same as summer gardening. But there are a few tips that can make it a bit easier, so that you can have a bigger harvest.
You will never want to place seeds in the garden in the late summer. The temperatures are too hot and rain is usually scarce during this time. Garden pests can be another problem when the weather is hot and the newer plants will not do well under any of these conditions. It is a good idea to start the seeds indoors and start with a stronger, healthier plant to place in the garden.
Place your seeds in small cups of soil. You can use Dixie cups or yogurt cups but make sure that there are holes in the bottom of these containers for water drainage. Place a few seeds in every cup and cover lightly with a bit of soil. Keep these plants watered and in an area that has sunlight. A windowsill is a perfect place for your starter plants. The best time to do this is exactly 12 weeks back from your first predicted frost. But this also depends on how fast the plants grow. For example, lettuce grows at a fast rate, so always read the directions on the seed package to know exactly when to place them in your garden.
When the plants are 4 to 5 inches tall, they are ready for your garden space. Choose a cloudy cooler day to plant them and make sure that the debris from your summer garden is gone. Remove any dead or dying plants and give your new plants fresh soil to grow in. Completely saturate the soil a few times a week, while your new plants are growing.
You should make sure that the types of vegetables you are using are specifically used for fall gardening. Some brands of all of the winter vegetables are made for different climates or to be grown in milder temperatures. You can ask when purchasing these plants, if they are supposed to be used for cold weather crops.
Don’t forget your onions, garlic and asparagus. They should be planted between September and October and they should be even spaced apart to produce healthier plants in the spring. This way, as soon as spring starts, you can begin to harvest your freshly grown vegetables.
If you would like to take it one step further with your fall gardening, you can add an organic fertilizer to the soil. Manure, fish emulsion or compost is a great way to improve the soil and this helps to produce larger, healthier vegetables. Due to the cooler temperatures, you will not have to worry about pests and insecticides. This means that your vegetables will be considered organic and this will save you even more at the grocery store.
Posted by Ron at 8:45 AM