As I sit down to write this, we are right in the middle of summer. So why on earth would I start talking about a fall garden? Because planning ahead, that’s why. It is best to be as prepared as you can be before the time comes to plant a garden.
In fact, I think that’s true with everything in life. The more prep work you do up front, the easier the task will be to perform when the time comes.
What is a fall garden?
Often times, they are extensions of the things you grow during spring and summer.
Tomato and squash plants will continue to produce until the temperatures start to fall below 50 F. Bell peppers will actually start producing more when the temperature starts to fall in late summer.
Leafy greens like lettuce, kale and Swiss chard will thrive in the cooler weather when the sun is not as strong. In fact some plants, such as kale, will actually taste better after the first frost.
This means that, for my area (Zone 7), I can keep producing my tomatoes, zucchini squash and bell peppers until late October. I will also be able to mix in a ton of leafy greens!
So what am I planting?
As mentioned above I will continue tomato, squash, and pepper production but I will be adding in the following:
- Dazzling Blue Kale
- Red Russian Kale
- Solar Flare Lettuce
- Triumpheter Lettuce
- Japanese Giant Red Mustard
- Dragons Tongue Beans
- Mammoth Melting Sugar Peas
- Black Spanish Radish
- French Breakfast Radish
- Rainbow Carrots
While a lot of these crops, such as the greens, can be planted rather intensively (close together) I am still going to run out of room fairly quickly.
Realizing that, I have built another little raised bed for growing the garlic in. Measuring in at 6ft x 3ft x 6in, it will provide enough square footage and volume to grow a nice crop of garlic.
I am also going to try to overwinter some potatoes in the 5 gallon buckets that I currently have tomatoes growing in. This is a bit of an experiment for me because I am not sure how the potatoes will react if the buckets freeze, but I don’t have anything else to do with the buckets over the coming winter. I feel that this little experiment will be worth the try, especially since it is only coming at the cost of a few seed potatoes.
Have you ever overwintered potatoes like this? If so, tell me below!
I am taking great measures to make sure that I plan the fall garden out a little more than I did my little summer garden.
When I first built my garden I was so excited to just start growing things that I planted things rather randomly.
I used small bits of knowledge like planting taller crops towards the northern side of the bed so that they did not shade out the shorter ones, but other than that I just planted whatever I had wherever seemed good. While this has (sort of) worked out for me, I’m seeing a lot of unused space in the gardens current state.
This time around I thought about what I wanted to plant (see above) and then drew out my garden bed and labeled how I want to plant everything.
The plan is that this will be a much more efficient use of space and turn out to be quite the harvest when the time comes.