Even though fall is still a few weeks away, aspiring gardeners should start planning now for a bountiful fall. Regardless of the size of your yard or patio, here are some tips to grow a gorgeous fall garden.
Best Vegetables to Grow in the Fall
Now that summer is almost over, it may be time to say goodbye to summer vegetables like cucumbers, avocados, eggplants and shallots and time to pave the way for fall greens like lettuce and kale, tomatoes, squash and more. The key is to know when to plant the seeds and that information can usually be found on most seed packets. They may tell you the time needed for the plants to mature too, so you can plan accordingly.
Another factor to note, especially in colder regions, is the start of frost. Once you have that data, experts advise to count back at least three months to give the seeds ample time to germinate and grow. Many also advise starting the seeds for kale, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli inside, which may be more conducive for quicker germination. But, if you have to plant them outdoors, it is recommended to sow the seeds a little deeper because in the summer months the soil is moister a few inches deeper than in the spring.
Once the sprouts are about three weeks old, you can replant them into your vegetable patch. But don’t forget to pull out any leftover summer crops and weeds that might have grown in empty spaces before you plant the seedlings. Also, adding compost to the soil might help the plants grow better.
Here are some of the fastest growing fall vegetables that are perfect to start at the beginning of September and are known to sprout and yield in less than two months:
- Red radish
- Asian greens like tatsoi
For a good fall harvest, in cooler regions, it is recommended to sow the seeds at the end of summer, while in warmer conditions like in California, you could even sow them as late as in December for a winter crop that may yield sweeter vegetables owing to the cooler temperatures.
Some of the vegetables that can make the perfect transition from fall to winter in hardy soil zones are:
Tips to remember:
- Look for the fastest-maturing seed varieties for optimum output.
- Fall vegetables need a lot of water and it is advised to have a drip pipe so that they stay moist even when you’re away.
- Pull out root vegetables like carrots and beets when they are crisp because when left underground they might crack and become unusable.
Best Flowers for Fall Colors
With your vegetable garden set to go, you can focus on creating the perfect fall colors with flowers. In warmer regions, this might be a good time to plant fall flowers and provide shades of the gorgeous fall foliage that are often missed on the west coast.
Some of the best flowers for this are snapdragons, chrysanthemums, pansies, marigold and even daisies for a little bit of variety. You could also use the cooler conditions of fall to plan for a colorful spring and summer by sowing bulbs of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and bearded iris.
With the long weekend at our doorsteps, it might be the right time to head to your favorite local nursery to shop for seeds, soil, bulbs and other gardening essentials.
Better Homes & Gardens. (n.d.). Plant (and Enjoy!) Fall Vegetables. Retrieved from https://www.bhg.com/gardening/vegetable/vegetables/fall-vegetable-gardening/
DIY Network. (2017, December 01). Flowering Bulbs for Fall Planting. Retrieved from https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/gardening/flowering-bulbs-for-fall-planting
Flowers to Keep Your Yard Looking Great in Fall. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.thespruce.com/planting-fall-flowers-for-autumn-colors-2130924
Ogden Publications, Inc., & Ogden Publications, Inc. (n.d.). Grow Your Best Fall Garden Vegetables. Retrieved from https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/fall-garden-vegetables-zmaz09aszraw