Thanks to Ann Katelyn from Sumo Gardener for this blog piece.
Just because summer is over, it doesn’t mean your garden has to stop!
Many people prefer to start their garden during the spring season. However, there’s actually nothing wrong with starting a garden in fall. In fact, some garden owners enjoy planting vegetables during the cool days as they tend to have a more satisfying flavor compared to those that reach maturation in summer.
Likewise, the proliferation of pests, weeds, and plant diseases isn’t as drastic during this season. If you’re interested in fall planting, check out our 5 handy tips for getting started with your garden now.
1) Preparing the site
A crucial factor in the success of your fall garden is the state of the soil after the spring season. If you grew vegetables during the previous season, the remaining warm-season crops have likely begun to appear ragged. Perhaps, there are lots of lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes that have stayed far longer than they should have. We recommend getting rid of these crop residues and any weeds to have new space for your fall plants.
Preparation usually requires using a tiller or a spade into the soil with a minimum depth of six inches going to about eight inches. Now is a great time to add extra compost and nutrients to your soil, whilst the ground is clear of plants. If you need to add lime, or other additives, then we recommend choosing a suitable lawn spreader to ensure that the product is equally distributed. You can refer to the following article to buy the best product.
2) Knowing when and what to plant
Determining what to plant is influenced by your preference of either a plant that takes a long time to reach maturity or a crop that is ready for harvest within a short amount of time. If you pick the former for your fall garden, you should try growing the following plants: cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli.
While these crops can also grow during the spring season, many people attest that they are better as fall crops. This is because the lengthy and cool season allows these vegetables to achieve complete growth and their most satisfying flavors. Plant these crops early on and transplant them as fall approaches.
On the other hand, you can plant radishes, spinach, and lettuce if you want plants that quickly develop. Aside from these, you could also try growing root crops such as beets, carrots, and turnips. Even plants such as beans, summer squash, and cucumbers that are typically grown during the warmer seasons can be utilized as fall garden crops. We do not advise adding peas, tomatoes, peppers, and onions as these often struggle in the cooler temperatures and shorter days of fall.
Here is a video discussing what to grow in a fall garden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPgGtd1qAog
3) Achieving full root establishment
One of the most prominent issues is to know how to establish the seedlings. The summer season might give out hot and dry weather that tends to dry out the soil in no time, but an easy solution to that is adequate irrigation. Once the garden owner regularly waters the summer soil and adds a thin layer of mulch for a bit of shade, the warm soil will be perfect for promoting germination root establishment.
In contrast, the fall soil is cooler than summer and spring soil. Additionally, the surface temperature is quite high while the moisture level is located deeper down in the fall soil. Thus, we suggest doubling the planting depth during fall.
4) Irrigating the fall garden
Usually, vegetables only need an inch of water every week during fall. Instead of several instances of watering your crops throughout the week, it’s best to simply water once but with a deep penetration level. However, you would need to frequently and lightly irrigate the sections containing new seedlings, transplants, and germinating seeds to prevent them from completely drying out.
5) Getting Rid of Insects and Diseases
Finally, you should still check your fall plants for insects and diseases that may have stayed throughout the spring and summer seasons. If you keep your crops healthy through adequate irrigation and good quality soil, they should be less likely to suffer from insects and diseases.
From preparing the soil and choosing the plants to knowing how much water they need, we hope that you learned a lot from our guide on growing a fall garden.