After having a productive summer growing season, continue to grow vegetables with fall gardening. You do not have to stop gardening because of frost. There are diverse range of vegetables that are able to be grown up until early winter.
Fall gardening is an excellent way to produce more from your garden area and increase the overall harvest. You are able to enjoy fresh vegetables into the winter months as well as saving money on groceries.
The vegetables planted during fall gardening are regarded as cold weather vegetables. This is because they tolerate cooler temperatures and can survive and thrive even after the first frost. These vegetables types include lettuce, spinach, mustard leaves and cabbage.
If the pre-winter temperatures do not go below 35 to 40 degrees, you are able to grow broccoli and cauliflower. For cooler climates, include turnips, rutabagas and carrots. Fall gardening follows the same basic procedures as summer gardening, but there are tips that can make it easier, enabling you can have a bigger harvest.
It is advisable to never seed the garden in the late summer. The temperatures remain too hot and there is a scarcity of rain during this time. Garden pests are another problem when the weather remains hot and the young plants do flourish under any of these conditions. It is advisable to start the seeds indoors which provides a stronger, healthier plant to place in the garden.
Place the seeds in small cups of soil, either Dixie cups or yogurt cups but be sure that place holes in the bottom of these containers to allow for water drainage. Place a number of seeds in every cup and lightly cover with a top layer of soil. Keep the plants in a place that has gains sunlight and keep watered.
A window sill provides a perfect place for seedlings. The ideal time to prepare for this is approximately 12 weeks prior to the first predicted frost. This depends on how vigorous the plants tend to grow. For example, lettuce has a fast rate of growth, so read the instructions on the seed pack to determine exactly when to transfer them to your garden.
When plants are 4 to 5 inches tall, they are ready for transferring to the garden. Choose a day that is cloudy and cooler to plant and remove any old plants and turnover the soil in preparation for the seedlings. Saturate the soil with water a few times a week, while the new plants are growing.
A tip is to make sure that the types of vegetables you are considering are specifically suited for fall gardening. Some varieties of winter vegetables are suited for different climates or are grown in milder temperatures. Ask when purchasing these seeds if they are prescribed for colder weather.
Other vegetables which are appropriate are onions, garlic and asparagus. They are planted between September and October and are evenly spaced apart to produce healthier plants in the springtime. This way, as soon as spring starts, you can begin to harvest your freshly grown vegetables.
One tip to prepare the soil for fall gardening is to add organic fertilizer to the soil. This can be in the form of animal manure, fish emulsion or compost which naturally improves the soil and helps to produce larger, healthier vegetables. With the organic matter decomposing in the soil, it provides some warmth in the soil which aids in better plant growth.
Due to cooler temperatures in the fall, the plant pest problem will not be an issue which then requires no insecticides to be used. This then means that the harvested vegetables will be considered organic adding a healthier aspect to fall gardening.