Four Tips for Fall Vegetable Gardening

comments (0) July 1st, 2014

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jgthegardener jgthegardener, member
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While the sun is said to bring out happy vibes during summer months, some people simply cannot stand the heat. If you fall into the latter category and also have a penchant for harvesting vegetables, you might think you're in a pickle. There's good news for those who'd rather spend the calendar's hottest months inside, though: You can save the bulk of your vegetable gardening for the fall. Below are four tips to help you reap the tastiest rewards from a garden that you can till amidst the year's most comfortable temperatures.

Do Some Summertime Prep if You See Early Frost

You might have to do some light preparation for your fall garden to take root at the right time if you live within a climate with early frost dates. Gardening pros suggest starting anywhere from late July to mid-August, because these months bring cooler nighttime temperatures. Meanwhile, those whose hometowns experience hot and dry summers can wait until fall to plant everything.

Clean Your Confines

If you haven't harvested your garden since last summer or fall - and haven't kept the soil in rotation with enriching cover crops - you'll probably have to clean up your garden before you can plant. First, be sure to take out any weeds that might have popped up while you were out of the garden. You might also find the remains of vegetables past, and you should remove those as well. Scan the area for fallen fruits and other debris that can get in the way of planting, and, try to brush last year's mulch to the side in favor of a new layer for this season.

Replenish the Soil

In a similar vein, it's important to keep your soil full of nutrients so your plants grow strong. After last year's harvest, a cold winter and a hot summer, it's easy to assume your soil might be a bit worse for wear. To make sure your plants will get the nutrition they need, till up the ground, and fold in some compost or other nutrient-rich additive.

At this time, you can also start keeping a log of which type of vegetable you plant where. This is known as crop rotation, and it's a trick to help the soil naturally restore its nutrient supplies. You can adjust the crops that you'll sub in and out for one another, depending on what grows best in your hometown's climate.

Prepare for Next Season

Just as you protect your outdoor furniture with fitted patio covers, you should protect your vegetable gardens for a cover at the end of fall so they're just as fruitful for years to come. The fall is the perfect time to set up the bones of these structures, although you obviously won't cover your plants with plastic or any other cover until it's actually cold out.


This and all of the above tips prove that, with a little bit of preparation, fall can be the most fruitful time for your vegetable garden. Take that, falling leaves and bare trees. 

posted in: fall garden, gardening in the fall, how to protect your plants in winter