Remember helping your mom in the garden on those crisp, cool fall days? With the excitement of spring and busyness of summer, it is easy to forget about fall gardening, but it is still very much a thing. In today’s post, we’ll review why you should plant a fall garden, some things to consider before you start planting, and the types of herbs and veggies that grow well in cool, moist weather. Let’s get started!
Why Plant a Fall Garden?
If you spent a lot of time and effort on your garden over the spring and summer, you might want nothing more than to clear it out and prep it for next spring. So why should you plant a fall garden?
Growing your own herbs and veggies into autumn allows you to continuous access to fresh, healthy, homegrown foods that you had during the spring and summer. Not only is this good for your family’s health, but it is also easy on your wallet. Beyond that, you’ll have access to all of the fresh ingredients you need to make your favorite fall comfort food when the weather turns chilly, which means no last-minute trips to the store when you get a hankering for your famous homemade vegetable soup.
Other benefits of fall gardening include:
- Less watering: cooler, wetter weather means a lower water bill and less work for you
- Cooler temps: no more breaking a sweat just to go out and gather herbs and veggies
- Fewer pests: many pests die off in cooler weather giving your garden a respite
- Increased shade: fall offers less direct sunlight, which many fall herbs and veggies love
- Enhanced flavor: frost can actually sweeten many fall crops, increasing the depth of flavor
- Enhanced soil health for spring planting: Although it might be tempting to clear out your garden at the end of the summer, planting a fall garden can actually do wonders for soil health and future plant nutrition. How? By helping to build up a diverse population of microbes. These tiny microbes in the dirt feed off of a substance that roots give off, helping to create nutrient-rich soil that plants thrive in. Planting a wide variety of fall-hardy plants will go a long way towards enhancing your spring garden’s soil health.
Considerations for a Great Fall Garden
Before you begin planting your fall garden, there are a few important factors to consider. As with your spring and summer gardens, you want to make sure that your garden has the right amount of sunlight, that its soil is healthy, and that the plants have access to the water and nutrition that they need to thrive.
Fall days are shorter and that means that your fall garden will have fewer hours of daylight than it did in the summer. While many fall herbs and veggies do well with increased amounts of shade, they all need some sunlight to aid in photosynthesis and growth. Choose a day to monitor how many hours of sunlight your garden gets and keep this in mind as you are getting ready to choose the herbs and veggies you want to plant.
Plants thrive in rich, well-drained soil. Whether you are planting in the ground or a raised bed, starting with high-quality soil is essential because it will provide your plants with a boost of nutrition from the very start. This will increase their overall health and hardiness. Excessive moisture during the fall can rob the soil of valuable nutrients. Finding a good liquid calcium and prebiotic supplement will further enhance soil health in your fall garden.
Do you live in an area where temperatures can fluctuate as much as 30 or 40 degrees between day and night in the fall? If so, it might be a good idea to invest in some type of heat protection for your fall garden. Row covers are inexpensive and they can be bought online, providing much-needed protection from unexpected hot spells. If you need a row cover in a pinch, you can always make your own out of any type of see-through white fabric. Tulle and lightweight polyester interfacing work perfectly for the job.
Fall can be a tricky time of year to plant, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain in the fall months. Watering your plants too little or too much can affect their growth and health and sometimes it can be hard to know how much additional water your garden needs beyond that which Mother Nature provides. Using a rain gauge can be a great way to determine how much water your plants have already received before you water them, preventing dehydration or too much water.
Plants need food just like people do — you take care to feed your spring and summer garden, and your fall garden is no different. Finding a quality, plant nutrition product will add life to your garden, enhancing the plants’ water efficiency and the soil’s nutrients to improve plant growth, yield, and vigor.
- Choose plants over seeds. They mature sooner to beat the cold.
- Set a watering schedule. Water regularly to keep the soil hydrated.
- Mulch. Protect your plant’s roots from unexpected heat on hot fall days.
- Consider a cold frame. Build your own or buy one to protect plants and extend harvest durations in colder climates.
- Consider a raised bed. This will promote proper drainage and prevent rot as the season gets wetter.
Ideal Herbs for Your Fall Garden
There is nothing quite like the aromatic herbs of fall. Some of the easiest ones to grow in your home garden include:
Vegetables — When and What to Plant in Your Fall Garden
To get the most out of your fall garden, you want to make sure you plant your veggies at the right time. The following planting guide offers some good guidelines on when to plant some of the more popular fall vegetables:
Ready to Get Planting?
Has all of this fall gardening talk gotten you jazzed about planting? If so, it is never too early to start planning which herbs and vegetables you’ll plant in your garden this fall, along with the type of soil health and plant nutrition products you need to make your garden thrive. Shop AgriGro’s entire Home and Garden line today to find innovative products designed especially for the home gardener and have fun this fall. Happy planting!