Can We Plant Garden in Fall?

After planting in spring and early summer, do you know fall garden can also be productive and fun?

In a hot climate, you can put in a second crop of beans in mid-summer for fall harvest. But even some short-season crops, such as radishes, broccoli can be planted in late summer. They are strong enough to keep going right until a hard freeze. Some veggies, such as lettuce or Swiss chard, can be grown in pots and window boxes. You can also plant fall flowers such as pansies and chrysanthemums.

Here’s what you need to know about how to plant a fall garden.

-Find Right Time.
First read seed packages to find out how long you need to grow them to maturity. Then find the average first frost date for your area. Figure out the latest possible time you can plant. Plant greens 30 days before average first frost date.

-Pull out scraggly summer crops.
If your tomatoes are down to a few brown leaves and flowers without maturing fruit, pull them out. Summer squash probably is winding down, too. And, take out anything that’s been struggling from bugs or disease; it’s not going to get any better! Leave cool-season crops, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, in place to finish maturing.

-Stick with transplants or quick crops.
Transplants crops that are too late to plant from seed, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. You can plant super-quick crops from seed include beets, turnips, and radishes, which are ready in as little as 25 days, and lettuce, in about a month. Others include spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, collards, and kale. Some kale varieties overwinter and green up again next spring, so don’t be too eager to yank your plants out at the end of the growing season.

-Keep watering and weeding.
Autumn are still hot and dry, so make sure you’re giving the new plants plenty to drink. Greens prefer to be kept moist as they sprout. Pull weeds as soon as you see them because they compete for moisture and nutrients with the plants.

-Plan for next year.
Some crops, like garlic, must be planted now for harvest next spring and summer. You can harvest Hardneck before the bulbs are ready in mid-summer. Softneck types like warm climates. Either way, separate the cloves and plant pointy-side up about 6 inches apart and a few inches deep; they will be read next spring. Fall is also a great time to plant perennial herbs such as thyme, chives, sage, and oregano.

-Keep a journal.
Save seed packages and labels and tape them in a notebook. List where you got them in case you want to buy more next year, and how they did, especially anything that wasn’t worth your time. Jot details such as first and last frost dates for the year. Learning from past will make next year’s harvest better!
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