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For some of us we just aren’t ready to say goodbye to our fresh veggies for the year, sneak in a little more homegrown goodness by planting fall veggies.
My husband and I fell in love with gardening a few years ago. It’s something we started as a hobby, but has turned into more of a way of life. This year especially our focus changed from what can we plant to what can we grow to put up for winter. We have our green beans and tomatoes canned and sitting pretty waiting for colder days, but there are something we just can’t store as easily. For example lettuce, so we will try to grow it as late into the season as possible. That is why we have been very diligent about our fall planting.
You don’t have to go rip up your garden and plant all new things some things from the summer will continue to harvest for a few more weeks, even with slight frost. If you have some free spots though and would like to add a few more veggies make sure to find early maturing seeds, ideally you are looking for 40 days or less. Below is a list of veggies that can make it through cooler days and depending on your zone you might have time to sneak in this year.
Semi- Hardy and Hardy Plants to plant for fall:
- Mustard Greens
- Swiss chard
- Collard Greens
- Brussels Sprout
Tips for planting:
Find your areas average frost date and the maturity date of your veggie. Use that number and count backwards from your first day of frost to know when you should plant that seed.
Most people don’t think they have room to garden, but you don’t need an open field ready for plowing. Use the area around your house or even containers. All of our fall veggies are planted around the house in what were once flowerbeds.
Plant seeds slightly deeper in the fall. The ground is warmer now than it was in spring, so planting deeper will keep them cooler and more moist.
Transplants will do better with the inconsistent weather than seeds, so if you are getting a late start that might be the way to go. It’s not impossible to plant seeds, just a little more risky.
In some areas your more hardy veggies can grow over winter, for example carrots. If you live in an area that needs to be harvested sooner, you will just have a smaller veggie, but just as good.
Give a little extra protection during frost by covering crops with a blanket, cardboard box, or plastic tunnel.
Even though the weather is cooler, watering plants is just as important for roots to establish.
Gardening tasks that should be done in the fall for next year:
Onions, shallots and garlic need to be started in the fall for spring harvest.
If you buy non- GMO seeds, dry your seeds from this years harvest for next years planting.
Now is a great time to start preparing the soil for next year.
Want to do some landscaping? Fall is a great time to plant tree, shrubs, spring bulbs, pansies and perennials. You can also use this time to divide and transplant larger- overgrown plants.
Don’t forget you can grow things like herbs inside, all winter long.
I know with changing weather planting a fall garden can be a slight risk. Start small with something like lettuce, if it doesn’t make it’s no big deal. More than likely though I think your lettuce will thrive, and you will be hooked on cooler weather planning.