We’ve received the following tips for the fall planting of vegetables from the National Garden Bureau:
As you harvest your tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, you might think your garden is winding down. But wait… You can start your fall planting now and reap a harvest all through the cool autumn season.
Fall planting not only extends your garden season but also brings on those delicious crops that do best in the cooler weather, often tasting their best after a frost or two. There are usually fewer pests to worry about, less watering, and less sweat in the cooler fall months.
Check to see when you can expect your area’s first frost. This way you can decide when to plant your fall crops, if you have the time to plant, and if you will need additional protection.
If you are planting seeds, the package will include “days to harvest” information. Check this number and count back from your average first frost to see if you really have time to plant and harvest the vegetables.
Remove those spent vegetable plants that have stopped producing, or are diseased, to give your garden some additional room. Add your fall crops to your landscape by removing spent annuals or cutting back perennials for space. Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and many fall crops will bring a new “fall inspired” look to your landscape.
Many garden centers will now have plants in stock for fall planting. In addition to starting your fall garden from seeds, look to purchase some fall plants as well. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are often easier to grow and mature from transplants rather than seed.
One of the biggest challenges for starting your fall garden in the hottest part of the year is keeping the seeds watered and cool. Remember to keep the seeds moist by watering often and be sure to put down mulch.
(Sincere thanks to the National Garden Bureau for sharing these tips, which have been edited for space considerations. For more information about the Bureau, be sure to visit www.ngb.org.)