It’s a sure sign that fall is here with all the back to school sales, football practices and early morning schedules. Need some relaxing quiet time to rejuvenate and prepare for the next big thing? Your garden feels your pain. The summer heat and lack of water have turned your lush garden into a withered mess. Revive the area by planting a fall garden! There are many plants that thrive in cooler temperatures, and you will enjoy tending your garden in the cooler air. There is a challenge of keeping your plants in schedule, however if you follow these tips you can have a productive garden before the first frost.
1. Prepare your soil. Restore micronutrients by adding Natural Guard Compost Maker.
2. Timing is everything.
Count back 12 – 14 weeks from your average first frost date to plant snap beans, cucumbers, summer squash, parsnips, rutabagas, cilantro, lettuce and radishes.
Count back 12 – 14 weeks from your average first frost date to plan when to start seeds of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale indoors. By starting them indoors you are sure to have strong seedlings before planting in the garden. Once the seedlings are 3 weeks old you can plant them, preferably during a period of cloudy weather.
Count back 10 – 12 weeks from your average first frost date to plant beets, carrots, collards, leeks and scallions.
Count back 8 – 10 weeks from your average first frost date to plant arugula, Chinese cabbage, turnips, spinach, mustard and Asian greens.
The key is to have your plants spouted and growing in time to catch the last of the summer heat.
3. Pour on the water. Moist soil is a must since fall crops can be easily stressed by lack of water. Depending on your shade watering more than once a day may be required. For this reason a soaker hose would be the best for your plants to ensure they are taking in the nutrients needed to produce a plentiful crop.
4. Protect with mulch. Whether it’s packaged mulch or grass clippings, leaves and newspaper – your plants need to be protected. Mulch aids in blocking light (preventing weed growth) and keeping the soil moist.
5. Guard against pests. Protect your plants against damaging insects with Hi-Yield Vegetable & Ornamental Insect Control Granules.
Enjoy your cool-season crops!