When autumn rolls around, most gardeners put plant-growing on the wayside and wait until spring to resume their gardening endeavors.
However, the cool autumn season offers better gardening opportunities than most people know. Chances to grow more vegetables after summer ends are plentiful and yield vegetables with a unique mild or sweet flavor compared to their summer counterparts.
Hardy Vegetables That You Can Grow In Fall
While fall time does present an excellent chance to grow additional crops beyond the end of summer, several factors influence the success of autumn gardening.
What types of vegetables you will be able to plant in your garden depends on how cold your local climate is. For instance, you will have a lot more time to grow more vegetables before freezing temperatures arrive if you live in the south. Okra, sweet potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes are several plants that can withstand cool temperatures until the frost arrives.
Cucumbers, snap-beans, and summer squash are a few vegetables that are riskier to plant in the fall, as they do not grow well past summer.
Since tuber and root vegetables grow halfway underground, these tough crops some of the most resilient plants that you can grow in the less hospitable fall weather. With the added protection of a high-quality mulch, vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and beets are hardy enough to withstand a cold snap that causes the aboveground leaves and stems of the plant to perish.
When To Choose Your Seeds
The best way you can grow a successful garden in the fall time is to prepare well in advance. To give yourself plenty of time, start by purchasing your chosen seeds in the spring or summer. Seeds typically go out of stock after the green seasons’ end, so it is a good idea to buy packets of seeds well before fall begins.
You will want to make sure that you have sufficient room in your garden for the number of different vegetables you plan to grow in the fall season. An additional factor to consider is how long the respective growing season of your particular choices of vegetables take. The shorter the growing season, the more likely your crops will reach maturity before the first frost arrives. The most resilient plants can withstand temperatures as cold as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, so even when it is freezing out, your remaining vegetables will not necessarily all perish.
Be Aware Of The Weather
The estimated timeframe in which frost will occur depends on where exactly you live. Find your in the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Hardiness Zone Map: https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
If you use this knowledge of your local climate in conjunction with how long it will take for your plants will take to mature, you will be able to plan your fall gardening schedule wisely.
Prepare Your Garden
As the last of your summer vegetables concludes the first half of the growing season, it is time to prepare your garden for falltime crops. You will need to remove the remnants of summer plants and weeds that are drying up in the garden to avoid the spread of disease and harmful bacteria to your fall plants.
After your garden is clean, add nutrient-rich mulch or compost to the soil to increase the health of the next crop. If you did not add much fertilizer in the spring or summer, you may wish to sprinkle some more on your garden. If you already applied a lot of fertilizer earlier in the year, you can probably forgo this step.
As a final measure, till the surface of your garden, water it, and allow it to sit between 12 and 24 hours. Now, it is time to begin your autumn planting.
Gardening does not need to end along with summer. Fall gardening gives you a chance to extend the growing season all the way until winter. This makes autumn the perfect time to grow hardy root vegetables and other plants that can mature quickly so that you can enjoy fresh, uniquely flavored food late into the year.