Summer is quickly coming to an end and it’s time to start thinking about extending the season by planning your Fall vegetable gardens. Many shy away from trying to continue to grow crops when the cold comes in, but with some simple tips and prep, you can harvest a whole new bounty of fresh fruits and veggies late in the season.
Plan Your Fall Vegetable Gardens:
Late Summer into early Fall is the perfect time to start planting veggies that do well for the late season. Chose hardy varieties such as kale, spinach, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, kohlrabi, turnips, cabbages, oriental greens, rutabagas, and some varieties of lettuce.
Sounds simple right. When the cold comes in, you will need to offer a little protection for your plants in order for them to thrive. Try one or a combination of these easy methods to cover, protect and heat your veggies when the cold and frost hit.
- Row Covers: laying down row covers traps in the heat of the ground raising the temperature around your plants. Select a heavier grade for maximum protection
- Utilize things from the home: Get creative and use cardboard boxes, old sheets, blankets, tarps, baskets or planters to help protect plants overnight. In the morning be sure to remove the covers to allow the sunlight to work it’s magic.
- Cloches: A more traditional method would be using a cloche to cover your plants. You can find these on Amazon.
- Cold Frames: You can construct a cold frame to cover a larger area to protect plants overnight as well acting like a greenhouse. Again, be sure to remove the cover during the daytime hours.
- Water is your friend: Water actually will collect heat during the day and release that heat overnight in the cool hours. Fill up some gallon jugs and place under your cold covers and let the water heat up the area naturally.
- Know your crops: Some veggies seem to do well in Fall and Winter without much protection at all. Don’t exhaust yourself trying to help if it’s not needed. Vegetables such as collards, leeks and kale tend to do pretty well on their own.
- Go organic: Some root veggies will thrive when simply covered with organic materials like cut up leaves or straw. Try this method with vegetables such as beets, carrots, turnips, rutabagas, and parsnips.
Don’t be intimidated by extending your vegetable garden into Fall and Winter. With a little planning and a little bit of love, you can be harvesting vegetables all year long!
What are YOUR Fall Vegetable Gardens Tips?