Vegetable Gardening

Plant Fall Vegetables

Fall Vegetables

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

Loosen soil and remove old roots and plant debris from earlier plantings.
Loosen the garden soil or potting mix in containers and remove old roots and plant debris from earlier plantings.
Add an organic fertilizer and work it down into the soil.
Add organic fertilizer and work it down into the soil or potting mix.
Moisten the soil to water in fertilizer and so seeds sit on moist soil.
Moisten the soil or potting mix to water in fertilizer.
Choose seeds. I chose varieties of radishes and lettuce that were left from spring plantings.
Choose your seeds. Cool-season veggie seeds are available at your local garden center or use seeds left from spring plantings.
You can plant seeds in rows, but I am doing a mixed, intensive planting. Because the seeds are are all to be planted at the same depth, I dumped all the seeds in a mug.
You can plant seeds in rows, but I am doing a mixed, intensive planting. Because my seeds are are all to be planted at the same depth, I dumped all the seeds in a mug.
If you are planting in rows, space seeds according to the directions on the seed packet. If you are doing an intensive planting, scatter seeds evenly across the soil.
If you are planting in rows, space seeds according to the directions on the seed packet. If you are doing an intensive planting, scatter seeds evenly across the soil or potting mix.
Sprinkle a thin layer of potting mix and press it firmly against the seeds.
Sprinkle a thin layer of soil or potting mix over seeds and press it down firmly so there is good seed to soil contact.
Water so that the soil is evenly moist. Continue to water every day to keep the soil or potting mix slightly moist until seeds germinate.
Water so that the soil is evenly moist. Continue to water every day to keep the soil or potting mix slightly moist until seeds germinate.
And now the hardest part...the waiting. Both lettuce and radishes germinate and grow to maturity quickly.
And now the hardest part…the waiting. Luckily, both lettuce and radishes germinate and grow to maturity quickly.

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.

When planting transplants, loosen the roots before planting.
When planting transplants, loosen the roots before planting.
After transplants are planted, water in thoroughly and continue
After transplants are planted, water them in thoroughly. Transplants should be kept slightly moist for a week or so while their roots establish in the garden or containers.
In a few weeks, begin harvesting fresh and delicious veggies!
In a few weeks, begin harvesting fresh and delicious veggies!

Don’t miss out on the third season of vegetable gardening – garden with me!

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