Preparing for a Fall Vegetable Garden
While spring often seems like the typical planting season, fall is the perfect time to start a vegetable garden. With a little preparation, you can have a bountiful autumn harvest that will provide you with tasty fresh vegetables in the fall and even into the early winter months.
Catch Up on General Maintenance
Don’t worry if your garden has gotten away from you during the summer—there’s still time to get it ready for the fall. Clear out old plants, pull weeds, and replace mulch to make sure that your soil is prepared to handle another round of crops before the winter. Getting rid of weeds is one of the most important steps for having a successful fall garden, so being thorough is important. Try long-term weed-preventing tactics like covering weeds with layers of wet newspaper and mulch will last until the spring.
Choose Your Crops
Fall is a great time to plant vegetables that grow better in cooler weather, especially in the south where high temperatures can last well into the fall months. The most common frost tolerant fall vegetables include broccoli, spinach, lettuce, and greens. Greens are particularly easy vegetables to grow because they require minimal sunlight and maintenance. Though beans and peas aren’t considered winter crops, they grow well in cooler temperatures and can mature quickly, making them a good choice for early fall.
Consider Your Timeline
Knowing when the first frost will occur will help you determine when you should start planting your garden. A general rule of thumb is to look for plants that take less than 75 days to mature. If you’re late starting your fall garden, try planting kale, spinach, or collard greens, which are extremely hardy and can often survive temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live in an area where cooler temperatures or lack of open land impedes your ability to have a garden in the yard, we have good news for you. There are many alternative ways to have a garden and enjoy fresh vegetables. Check out these ideas from Pinterest:
Wine Crate Boxes
If you’re looking for a decorative way to plant a fall garden, pick up some wine crate boxes. They can serve as the perfect planter to not only produce tasty vegetables but also enhance your patio or porch décor in a creative way. You may even want to enjoy a glass of wine while you admire your creative garden.
All you need is some wood and a few hardware items and you can create an eye-catching garden with canning jars. This is an inexpensive way to grow fresh foods inside your home or garage.
Do you have an old shoe organizer? If so, you can repurpose it into a handy garden container! Find a wall space on your porch or patio and you can hang the shoe organizer and plant your own herb garden, lettuce, or even mini tomatoes.
For an easy-to-make patio garden, consider using rain gutters to make a layered hanging planter. You can also mount the gutters to a wall or balcony. All you need is a few supplies from your local hardware store, soil and seeds or plants, and you are ready to add a creative garden to your space.