Fall Vegetable Gardening
Most growing zones allow for some type of fall garden. If your lucky enough to be in the growing zones of North and Central Florida, Texas, and Louisiana, your fall planting options allow for plants that are usually considered "warm season" vegetables.
You should, however, go for the fast maturing varieties to avoid early frost losses. Have frost protection ready. Greenhouses will extend growing seasons even further.
Transition From Summer Garden to Fall Garden
Generally, here are steps to consider as you transition from summer gardening to fall gardening:
- Choose cold tolerant vegetables for your fall garden planting.
Some vegetables actually improve in flavor with cooler temperatures. These vegetables include:
- Choose fast-maturing varieties and plant seedlings.
This strategy is more important in colder climates.
Clean up all the old, dying plants from your summer garden. This step is very important for disease prevention and pest control.
- Plant cover crops in bare, unused areas.
Oats, barley, rye grass, and field peas are excellent cover crops.
Fall is the time to plant them. Turn them under in the spring to enrich your garden soil.
- Gather garden mulch and composting materials.
Rather than haul off those valuable falling leaves, collect them for next season's garden mulch or add them to your compost heap.
- Make notes about your summer garden's success and failures.
Do it now before you forget.
These notes will help you make plans about what TO and what NOT plant next year.Add a garden map.Along with your notes, a map of your garden helps you with crop rotation decisions.
The time to start your fall garden is when the summer garden winds down. Get started now and keep enjoying home-grown vegetables even when the temperatures start to tumble.