Grow a fall vegetable garden | Living the Country Life
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Grow a fall vegetable garden

The end of summer doesn't have to mean the end of gardening season!
  • Enjoy late-season treats

    Maybe you never got around to planting a garden last spring. Or perhaps your garden is just about finished for the season. Either way, you don't have to give up on gardening for the year. There are several vegetables you can plant in late summer and early fall, so don't put those garden gloves away just yet!

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Count backwards

    When planting in the spring, gardeners must wait until after the last frost. When planting in the fall, it's the first frost that's important. To determine when to plant, start with the average first frost date (see map). Then look at the seed packet to see how many days the plant requires until harvest. Count backwards from the frost date, and add a couple of weeks, since some plants grow more slowly as the days become shorter. That's the date you should plant.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Clean house

    Get your garden ready for fall planting by removing any plants that aren't doing well, or that you have already harvested. Also, pull weeds. If your garden soil contains a high percentage of clay, it's also a good idea to work in some compost or other organic matter.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Starting seeds

    Planting a fall garden is usually less expensive than planting in the spring. You can either use leftover seeds from spring, or buy new ones. By mid-summer, most garden centers have dramatically reduced the prices of seed, so you can get a lot for your money. If it's very hot where you live, you may want to start the seeds indoors in the air conditioning, or plant the seeds a little deeper than called for.<br>Just like in the spring, use a good seed-starting mix. If you're replanting containers, replace the soil and wash the containers with a mixture of one part bleach to 10 parts water to kill any disease organisms left behind.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Water, water, water

    When you plant seeds in the spring, the weather is cooler and the rain is more frequent than in late summer. That means seeds planted in late summer or early fall need regular watering. Most vegetables need an inch of water a week. Once the plants are established, it's better to give them a good soaking once a week than more frequent, lighter waterings.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
  • Extend your season

    By protecting your plants from frost, you can extend your growing season into late fall and early winter. Individual small plants can be protected with a cloche, which is a bell-shaped glass that covers the plant. You can also cover larger areas with an old sheet or blanket on nights when a frost is expected. Cold frames are another great way to protect plants, since they can easily be opened during the day and closed at night.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 31, 2012
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