Best Tips For Fall Vegetable Gardening

Well, here we are again, time to talk about fall vegetable gardening. I ran across this short article by Danielle Carroll writing for the Anniston Star that has some really good tips and tricks to get some more life out of your late summer garden.

Best Tips For Fall Vegetable Gardening

As hot as it is, it seems pretty silly to start thinking about cool season vegetables right now. But guess what? It’s time!

fall vegetable gardening

Fall vegetable gardening extends the productivity of your garden.

Just a couple of weekends ago, I started a second planting of tomatoes. Last weekend, it was squash and beans for a fall harvest. This weekend, I’m making room for some of the “other,” oft-forgotten vegetables. I’m thinking broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrots, turnips, spinach and a few more.

These cool-season veggies are grown a lot in the spring. But depending on the weather, they will often grow and produce better in the fall.

A blast of quick, hot temperatures in the spring can bring cool-season vegetables to a screaming halt. When those hot temperatures come in early and decide to stay, vegetable plants like turnips and cauliflower will bolt. “Bolting” is when the plant starts sending up flowers and going to seed; the plant can also become woody and unfit to eat.

When planted in the fall, however, there is plenty of time for harvesting before inclement weather. Last year, the mild winter meant year-round gardening, without having to offer protection for any plants. If you like collards, they are better with a little “frostbite.”

Read the entire post here at annistonstar.com:

Well, some more advice for fall vegetable gardening in your backyard plot. Go ahead and try something new and different to help extend the life of your vegetable garden. You’d be surprised at the amount of produce you can get out of it, probably right up to Thanksgiving.

Please share your thoughts and any late summer, early fall vegetable gardening experiences with us by leaving a comment below. You can also click on the like button to share this with a gardener friend.

Pray for peace and grace and spiritual food.  For wisdom and guidance, for all these are good. But don’t forget the potatoes.
                                                                                                                             —  John Tyler Pettee

Step Forward Into Fall Vegetable Gardening

When it comes to fall vegetable gardening gives many gardeners the opportunity to extend their growing season. They also have the opportunity to try some new crops that do well later in the year. Here. author Robert Hoffman, writing for the Your Houston News.Com has some tips on what to do to give your garden that second wind later on in the growing season.

Step Forward Into Fall Vegetable Gardening

After a long hot summer, residents look forward to planting their fall gardens full of vegetables. In the Houston area, the fall season is one of best times to garden, with mild days and cool nights. Gardeners can grow many delicious vegetables, and the cooler weather makes gardening more enjoyable.

fall vegetable gardening

Fall vegetable gardening brings more variety.

The best time to plant fall garden vegetables is around Labor Day. If planted the first week of September, all tomatoes should ripen by mid-November to avoid frost damage. However, some cold hardy vegetables, such as carrots and radishes perform well when planted in October and November.

 Many vegetables can handle a mild frost during the fall season, remaining sturdy and strong. As the end of November approaches, growers experience cooler nights and even freezing temperatures. As long as a frost is not severe, most fall vegetables will not die.
There are plenty of things you can grow later in the season that will result from your efforts at fall vegetable gardening. Why not try some later plantings and see what comes up.  Your garden has plenty of life left in it to provide you and your family with plenty of nutritious crops well into November. Whether it’s late lettuce, cauliflower, late broccoli, carrots, pumpkins or squash, there’s plenty of life left in the soil. Go ahead and plant around Labor Day and see how much you can still get out of your garden.
Please share with us your own late planting experiences to encourage more people to plant that later crop. You can click on the like button and share this idea with your fellow gardeners.
To create a garden is to search for a better world. In our effort to improve on nature, we are guided by a vision of paradise. Whether the result is a horticultural masterpiece or only a modest vegetable patch, it is based on the expectation of a glorious future. This hope for the future is at the heart of all gardening.

                                                                                                               —   Vegetable Quote by Marina Schinz

A Vegetable Garden in 30 Minutes!

Garden socks! No, you don’t wear them in the backyard. These are tubes of fabric you can buy that are filled with compost. They are about 2 feet long and 6 inches wide. This idea is perfect for raised bed gardens and is guaranteed to be weed free.

Simply pack the garden socks into your empty raised bed frame by laying them snugly next to one another. Don’t worry about any sort of pattern. The next thing you should do is lay out your plants where you want to plant them. Take a pair of scissors and make a cut in the garden sock just big enough to get the plant and its root ball into the interior of the garden sock. Obviously, remove the plant from any container it’s in before doing this.

Repeat this for all of your vegetable plantings. Next, all you have to do is mulch over the top and water them all in. That’s it! A vegetable garden in just 30 minutes! Pretty amazing. Look at the video and see for yourself.

Frost Protecting Your Vegetable Crops

Sometimes there can appear the dreaded specter of an unusually late frost in spring or a similarly early frost in the fall. What can you do? Your vegetable plants are just sitting there, all alone in your backyard garden, screaming for help (well, it might actually seem that way).

Fear not! There is a simple and effective solution. The fabric is called by the letters “AG” and comes in grades 15 through 70. AG-&) is much thicker and heavier and protects against frost very well, while the much thinner AG-15 lets in a lot more light and is also very effective at keeping out insects that don’t belong. It’s a polymer fabric that holds in trapped air, but still lets air circulate through.

You apply this material over rows of crops by furrowing two shallow trenches on either side, placing the fabric down in the furrows, then placing some soil on the end and into the trench to hold it down. For sturdy plants you can place the fabric directly on them, but with more delicate plants there are hoops that will prevent them being damaged from the weight of the fabric on top. This is really cool stuff to keep your plants warm on a frosty night. Look at the video to see how it’s done.

Fencing in Your Vegetable Garden

Let’s face it, trying to keep some of the small animals like rabbits out of out vegetable gardens can really be challenging, unless you use some kind of barrier fencing. If you take a little extra time you can even make it look like a very nice additional feature and at the same time it will also protect your garden vegetables.

It’s best, especially if you are in an area that has termites, to use steel posts that resist rot and insects, instead of wood. On my own garden I used 1/2 inch steel pipe, but angle post will also do. You can buy steel fence posts at the hardware store. There are several kinds of wire fencing mesh that you can buy, some with a rectangular pattern which often come with a denser grid pattern lower down to the ground so mice and smaller rodents can’t slip through as easily. There is also the ubiquitous chicken wire, which can be bought with a plastic coating to resist corrosion and deterioration.

Once you have your fence posts pounded into the ground about 12-15 inches deep (you’ll need a sledgehammer or a fist maul hammer to pound them in), start winding the fence wire around the bed. It comes in a roll, so begin unraveling it and as you go around attach the fencing to the posts with plastic cable ties (also known as zip ties) at about 4 or 5 points along the post. Use any color that suits your taste.

One feature you’ll really want to have is a gate to get i and out of easily, otherwise you’ll just have to climb over the top. Make sure you secure the bottom of the fence to the ground with ground stakes to keep it secure. See this video for some pointers on setting up vegetable garden fencing.

Micro-Climates and Your Garden

Just what are micro-climates? They are local, small variations in your general area’s environmental conditions that can profoundly influence what vegetable plants will thrive and which ones won’t.

Buildings with concrete foundations can retain heat due to the large thermal mass and create a very local area that’s generally much more evenly warmer than the surrounding climate. Any structure such as buildings, natural rock formations, or even stands of trees can shelter small areas from prevailing winds so that small area will remain warmer than the general surroundings.

When setting up your vegetable garden, if your vegetable plants are marginal for the general climate in your area, locate your garden in a slightly warmer or colder micro-climate on your property that will give your vegetable plants a better chance to survive and thrive. Watch this video for some more information.

Starting Your Backyard Garden

Let’s face it. Lawns can be nice to look at, but they’re an awful lot of work to maintain, what with all of the mowing, weeding, fertilizing and chemicals you have to throw at them just so your neighbors won’t think less of you. But there’s a better way. Convert some of that resource demanding space into something that gives you back something for all of your blood, sweat, and tears. That’s right! Why not plant a vegetable garden!

To get started, you’ll need to get a gardening fork which you’ll use to plunge into the earth well beneath your lawn and flip the divot grass-side down. Don’t worry that you’ll have to convert your whole yard to a garden. Start out very conservatively, say, 3′ by 3′. Get comfortable with a very small garden plot and grow 3 or 4 vegetable crops only for a season or two.

Once you feel more confident, as time goes by you can gradually expand it to a size you can comfortably work.  Over time, your neighbors may even start to envy you follow your lead by converting some of their lawns to gardens.

Gardening for Sustainability and Savings

More and more families are starting vegetable gardens. There seems to be a growing trend towards vegetable gardening for food in order to save money. There is more retail demand for seeds and plants at local nurseries. Many beginning gardeners are looking for advice on how to grow vegetable crops in their home gardens.

Local gardening experts seem to be very popular among first time growers for advice on what to grow, how to grow it, and how to make their garden soil more fertile. With clay in the soil, it takes a bit of work to get it suitable for planting. Manure and peat, along with gypsum (the stuff that makes up your home’s drywall) go a long way toward breaking up clay soils.

Planting a vegetable garden, while good for the soul and the soil, is also good for your pocketbook, since the savings in money for food otherwise bought at the store can be very substantial. Watch the video to learn more.

Tired of Mowing Your Lawn?

Why not trade in that mower for a garden rake! Many people are replacing their labor and resource demanding lawns with vegetable gardens. It’s called edible landscaping. Four neighbors in Columbus, Ohio have opted to convert their front lawns into these culinary garden scapes.

When you listen to what they are growing, the list of what they aren’t growing is shorter! Controlling what goes into their food was part of their motivation for doing this. They really weren’t into mowing anyway (I can certainly relate to that sentiment).

What’s really shocking (in a good way) is finding out that $100 in materials invested in a garden this way will yield $1500 in produce if you price it as purchased in the grocery store. Sales of seeds are up 40%. Americans are going back to what they did 50-100 years ago by being more self-reliant and growing their own food. See the video here.

Benefits of Square Foot Gardening

Square foot gardening is a tremendously efficient way to get the most produce out of your vegetable garden in terms of your labor and resource inputs. If you want to get the most from your vegetable gardening efforts, this is definitely THE way to go. What makes it so easy is that everything fits into a 4′ by 4′ box! Even if you live in an apartment, condo, or retirement home, there is quite probably a 4′ by 4′ area with enough sun to set up a square foot garden for yourself. It’s in a raised bed, it’s easy to get access to all parts of it, and any weeds will find it difficult to get much of a foothold to be a problem. Your plants will be in small 1 foot sections and they’ll be easy to divide up later and move to different sections of your garden if needed. Put a different vegetable in each square to start with, and watch what happens. Watch the video to get more information.