Fall Gardening Tips
Here are some tips to make your fall garden a success:
- Plants: The easiest way to start a fall garden is to buy transplants that are already growing. Choose fast-maturing varieties to get the most for your harvest.
- Seeds: If you’re planting seeds, they’ll need to be planted deeper – and watered more often – than seeds for warm-season crops, to help them germinate in the hot late-summer soil.
- Preparation: Remove and clean up all plants and debris from your summer garden, so your fall veggies will be free of disease.
- Fertilizer: Work in some fresh compost or soil conditioner. You can also mix in an organic slow-release fertilizer, although if you heavily fertilized your summer garden you probably have enough left in the soil.
- Drainage: Make sure your soil is light, well-aerated, and well-draining. Pay extra attention to drainage, since fall gardens are more likely to get soggy from rain.
- Mulch: Fall veggies need mulch to keep the soil cool and moist during the last days of summer. Mulch also helps keep low-growing leafy veggies clean.
- Cold Weather: As winter grows closer, you can extend your garden harvest by using floating row covers on frosty nights, or by planting in containers that can be brought indoors overnight.
- Warm Weather: You can also use row covers to cool down your veggies during surprise hot spells. Some fall veggies will “bolt” (bloom and set seed) in hotter temperatures, which can change their flavor and ruin your harvest.
Turnips grow great in the fall.