Thoughts on Extending your Garden for Fall

A bunch of yellow flowers
Thoughts on Extending your Garden for Fall

Summer’s lease hath all to short a date.
- William Shakespeare

With the dog days of summer in full swing, it may be hard to imagine fall as being right around the corner. In fact, late July through September is the best time to extend your home garden’ s growing season by planting a fall garden. If you have been enjoying the fruits of your labor in your garden through the spring and summer you’re in for a double treat with your fall garden. Fall gardens take less time and work because the soil has already been worked up in the spring.

Many vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower actually do better when grown during the late summer and early fall months and some such as beets, kale and swiss chard develop an improved taste after being exposed to a light frost.

To prepare your garden for a fall harvest

-Remove any residue or debris from previous crops
-As in spring, spade or loosten the soil
-Add high quality organic fertilizer to replenish the nutrients used by your spring/summer crops
-Plant seeds according to their recommendations
-Keep the soil moist until your seeds germinate (this is especially important because you will be planting at the end of summer when soil tends to dry out quickly)

As summer comes to a close and fall approaches, frost presents a threat to many garden vegetables. However, there are many crops that are not effected by frost, or even moderate freezes and will continue to produce harvests well into the late fall moths.

Some of the best fall producers are :

Root crops (including, including beets, carrots, parsnips and turnips)
Swiss Chard
Chinese Cabbage
Other, more sensitive crops such as beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash will, if protected, continue to produce crops into the fall. Some recommended and effective way of protected these plants in your garden are to cover them with boxes, tarps, plastic or blankets. Covering the plants allows them to stay warm and decreases the chance of an early or light frost killing them. You can find all plants info with plant identification by picture upload on your iphone.

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