With a bit of careful planning and appropriate timing, you can enjoy a second harvest of cool weather crops throughout the autumn months with fall vegetable gardening …
For most garden enthusiasts, the arrival of fall means a harvest and a long rest for the vegetable garden beds. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. With a bit of careful planning and appropriate timing, you can enjoy a second harvest of cool weather crops throughout the autumn months with fall vegetable gardening. There are a number of vegetables that will thrive in the cooler months of fall, like root vegetables and leafy greens and a variety of cabbages. To select the best fall growers, check packages for descriptions like “cold hardy” or “quick maturity”. This will ensure that the plants you select for your fall vegetable gardening will give you the harvest that you are hoping for.
Fall Vegetable Gardening – Timing
Timing is truly everything when it comes to fall vegetable gardening, since you will want to beat the first hard frost to ensure that you get a good, healthy crop. Some plants don’t even survive the first fall frost, so they would probably not be good choices for your fall vegetable gardening efforts. To find out what the frost calendar is for your area, you can contact your local extension office. They can give you the best ideas of dates to plant for fall vegetable gardening, as well as a list of potential crops that will work well this time of year. Some plants actually like the shorter days and cooler temperatures of the autumn months, and will reward you with sweeter tasting veggies than you would enjoy in the hotter summer harvest.
Fall Vegetable Gardening – Protection
Some of the crops that you choose to plant in your fall vegetable gardening will require some protection to survive the frosty nights of this season. This means that you will need to keep your eye on the weather reports during the months of September and October, and be prepared to cover those vulnerable plants when the temperatures begin to threaten to drop to frost point. You can purchase protection for your plants, or you can construct your own out of old milk bottles or worn bed sheets. By protecting your plants through the colder nights, you can allow them to thrive during the warmer days, and extend your harvest by a few weeks. Some plants will even continue to grow through hard frosts if they have proper protection at night.
Fall vegetable gardening will allow you to enjoy your favourite hobby past the warm weather months, and give you a crop of sweet vegetables that you might be able to enjoy all the way to Thanksgiving with a bit of luck in some areas. Happy fall gardening.