Summer is winding down, with fall right around the corner. So now is a good time to think about planting a fall garden. Crops that can be planted now include lettuce, radishes, carrots, peas, spinach, and similar crops. There still is time to raise another crop of green beans along with some summer squash. And if you can find plants, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower can also mature during the fall season.
Fall gardens can have advantages over spring gardens in some ways. Weed pressure is typically much less and insect problems may be far fewer than in a spring garden. With the warmer soil temperatures, seeds will germinate rapidly, so you will have crops up and growing in just a few days – compared to several weeks in the spring.
There are a few challenges fall gardening, and one of those is that you must provide regular, frequent watering (possibly daily) until the crops are up and growing. It’s best to plant the seeds deeper than you do for a spring garden because soil is cooler and moister down a little deeper. With soil preparation, you don’t need to till and break up the soil a whole lot. Just lightly work the soil enough to establish a seedbed, and save the deep tillage for later in the fall after the crops are harvested. Also, don’t concentrate on adding a lot of organic matter and fertilizer for the fall garden. The organic matter can be added later in the fall with the deeper tillage. Just a light fertilization should suffice as the plants get growing.
Most vegetables will need about 50-65 days to harvest, so don’t delay in getting your seeds into the ground so that you can enjoy fresh veggies before the first killing frost later in fall.