Many first time gardeners may believe that the growing season is done by August but there are plenty of fall crops that you can produce in the cooling temperatures. Fall gardening can produce some of the best fresh produce for your family and is worth the time and energy. Check out these ways to prepare for a successful garden during the fall.
Harvest Fall Crops
Gardening isn’t over just because summer is. There is still plenty of time for fall crops to mature and produce well through the colder season. Fall is the prime time to harvest leafy greens and squash like pumpkins, zucchini, yellow and butternut squash. It is also very possible that melons will still be producing at this time including watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. If you have certain plants in your garden that are still going strong by September continue to care for them until they choose to be done. You could easily get a bumper crop depending on the weather and your location as well.
Re-Use Old Beds
You will most likely have a few garden beds that will be done producing by the time fall arrives. Clear away these plants and any dead brush in order to use that bed for some fall planting. Produce like lettuce, radishes, kale, and broccoli can easily be grown in just a few short weeks throughout the fall. Consider staggering lettuce planting to give you fresh garden lettuce up until the first frost in your area. If you live in a southern part of the country that sees mild winter temperatures experiment with planting varieties that take longer to germinate to see how they do over the winter.
Plant for Spring
There are many different plants that you can put into the ground during the fall in order to have them ready for spring. Garlic is a great example that needs to be planted in the fall in order to mature and grow for an early summer harvest. Other examples include bulbs in a flowerbed or around the house for those first glimpses of spring once the ground thaws next year. Get out your shovel and get your hands dirty doing some fall planting that you will be proud of come early next year.
Add Trees and Shrubs
Fall is a great time to plant trees and shrubs around your garden and in your yard. Trees do best when planted in the fall as they can take root during the cooling temperatures and then take a long nap through the winter. Make sure to adequately water any new trees in order to make sure that they establish well. Consider planting a windbreak off to the side of your garden in order to provide important wind coverage for young plants in your garden.
With the abundance of falling leaves, adding dead leaves to your garden beds is a great way to mulch and create nutrients. Clear off garden beds that you won’t be using for fall planting and spread a layer of mulch overall. The leaves will help to insulate the soil during the winter and will break down to create added nutrients to the soil. You can also use excess grass clippings from your fall lawn care routine just the same to add nutrients to your flowerbed. This will make the garden bed rich and ready for spring planting once winter subsides.
Fall is a great time to get in some extra planting as well as harvest those summer varieties that needed a little bit more time in the garden. Consider reusing summer beds for easy fall planting as well as mulch those that you won’t be using. Adding trees and shrubs to the garden is another fall gardening activity that will pay off as well as planting bulbs for early spring color. Consider all of these tips when preparing for fall gardening this year.