Hey Gardeners - Start Thinking About Fall Gardening
Next time you are basking in the sun, start thinking about what seeds you want to plant in fall. Summer is considered peak season for a vegetable garden; but Fall is my favorite season to have an organic garden.
There are many reasons to plant for fall such as the temperatures are milder (more enjoyable than 90 degrees) and the insects are going away to shield themselves from winter. However, gardeners will need to start planing in the morning to avoid early frosts this fall.
According to Gene Fox, a horticulture agent for Beaufort County Cooperative Extension, you will need to have all plants, fruits and vegetables planted by August 15th for autumn gardening.
Fox's advice: Plan ahead! "If you plant broccoli in the middle of August, you should be harvesting broccoli by mid-October"
Garden maintenance in the fall is required for an enjoyable season of gardening. Here are things you will need to do around the gardening to survive winter:
- Pick up smaller plants - sometimes less is more.
- Clean the garden and perform lawn care.
- Consider compost. You can make your own fertilizer and re-use it throughout the season.
- Improve soil by digging 10 inches of old soil and applying 4-6 inches of new compost.
- Dig out roots and weeds!
- Pick up fallen fruit (apples)
- Prune leaves and remove leaves with pest damage;
- Install a deer fence for added garden protection;
- Apply deer repellents and other pest sprays to the garden;
Mid-Fall, gardeners will want to start thinking about covering crops with blankets or protective cloths to keep plants warm. Plants may need to be transferred to cold frames for springtime budding.