If you’re ready to take the organic gardening plunge, we have some great tips for you from the experts at Bonnie Plants, a green-gardening wholesaler in Union Springs, AL:
- Don’t be intimidated. With a little attention and effort, growing fall vegetables in a backyard garden and in planters has advantages over spring and summer plantings. Cooler weather means plants require less care, as increased rainfall reduces the need for watering. Plants will grow rapidly at first and gradually slow as the days become shorter and colder. You’ll also find fewer destructive insects, and weeds will germinate less often.
- Shine it on. Most vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, as well as a steady supply of moisture and nutrients from soil. Mix a 2-inch layer of compost into soil, or spread an organic fertilizer according to package directions. Plants will need an inch of moisture per week, either through rain or supplemental watering.
- Start with transplants. Transplants buy you time, as plants are at least 6 weeks older when you put them in the ground. This means you’ll begin harvesting much sooner than if you start from seed. Your local garden center should offer optimum fall varieties for your geographic region.
- Don’t fear frost. When frost threatens, cover plants with a floating row cover, cold frame or cloche. Or, you can grow fall veggies in a container and move the pot to a protected location on frosty nights. Make sure your soil is well drained and doesn’t get soggy.
- Make room for new plants. Before planting fall crops, clear the area of summer and spring crops you have previously planted, as they may decay and encourage bacterial infection.
Photo courtesy of ARA