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Prepping and Planting Your Fall Garden

Posted Sep 13 2013 7:00am

Boys Playing in the Leaves

Nothing is better than fresh veggies.

I’m not talking about the kind that travel 12 hrs, after being sprayed with stuff. I’m talking fresh – as in: “walk to your backyard, snip, wash, eat”-kind of fresh.

Fall gardens are amazing things. Depending on where you live, you can still plant a garden that will harvest lots of color and flavor. Now is the time to be getting it ready — wait too much longer, and it will be too late.

How Do I Prep?

Having your own garden is not too difficult, especially if you already have a garden plot from the summer. If you live in a warmer climate, you are probably still getting fresh veggies from your garden. Right now, we still have tons of fresh tomatoes growing on our plants. There’s no need to pull them all out to make room for your fall veggies, but it may require you to make a couple of choices, if space is at a premium.

To start prepping, clear out weeds and debris, as well as old plants. This will make it easier in the long run, and result in a healthier crop. Add a layer of good quality organic compost, to help add nutrients to the soil, and rake thru the soil to mix it, and remove any weeds from below the surface.

What Can I Grow?

Lettuce, cabbage, beets, radishes, broccoli, spinach, mustard greens, onions – any plant that can tolerate cooler temps (even snow!) and less sunshine.

When Do I Get Started?

As soon as possible. Check with your local Extension Offices to find out recommended planting times for your specific area/region.

How Do I Tend It?

-You know all of those leaves that will be falling from the trees soon? A nice layer of those will help prep your garden for spring, while also creating a bit of a protective layer on the ground. A layer of mulch is helpful as well.

-Don’t forget to water. Don’t let the cooler temps fool you: water is still important.

-Watch for pests. Your garden will still have bugs (and bunnies and deer) checking it out, so know what to look for.

Whether you plant anything in the fall or not, prepping your garden is important. Even a bit of prep can give you a jump start on your spring planting. Take the time to pull out dead plants, remove weeds, and mix in some good quality compost.

Be like the ant, in the well-known Ant and the Grasshopper Aesop fable: Do the prep work now, and relax more later.

Do you keep a fall garden? What tips do you have? Does it save you money?


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