We are in the midst of picking bushels of tomatoes, baskets of peppers and potatoes, and plenty of eggplants, cucumbers, and onions. So why would we think of planting more vegetables now? Because it’s the perfect time to plant cool-season veggies to harvest in the third season of vegetable gardening.
The benefits of gardening in fall are many. Cool weather brings out the sweetest flavor of many vegetables. Damage caused by insects and diseases is reduced. Cooler temperatures decrease the need to water as often, and cool weather is easier on gardeners, too.
What to Plant
The average date of the first hard frost is the most important factor when considering which vegetables to plant. In our area, the first hard frost is expected sometime early in October. To determine which plants will have time to mature before frost, check the back of seed packets for the number of days to maturity. If transplants are planted, reduce that number by a few weeks depending on the size of the transplants.
Most vegetables suitable for growing in spring are ideal for fall gardening, too. Lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and radishes are popular choices.
How to Plant
If you didn’t plant seeds in time for them to fully mature, purchase small plants at your local garden center. I planted broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage from transplants.
Prepare the soil and add fertilizer using the same methods used when planting seeds.
Don’t miss out on the third season of vegetable gardening – garden with me!