Take advantage of the cooler weather to grow a beautiful garden with fall vegetables. In warmer parts of the country, broccoli, kale, collards, spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard, and a number of wonderful herbs like rosemary and cilantro grow just as well in fall as they do in spring. Besides keeping fresh produce on the table beyond the summer months, there are other benefits to gardening in preparation for fall vegetables, such as fewer insects and diseases to battle, less watering to be done, and less sweat to contend with.
Preparation is Key
One challenge to starting a fall garden is spells of extremely hot weather in August and September when it is time to plant. Water regularly and mulch with compost or a good, rich organic material such as leaf mold or bagged soil conditioner. Daytime temperatures in the mid-80s threaten broccoli and spinach, which are quick to bolt. Throwing a length of see-through white fabric over the plants during a hot spell may cool them down just enough. You can usually order row covers from mail-order companies, but if you’re in a hurry, buy lightweight polyester interfacing, white toile, or a white sheet at your local fabric store.
Fall Vegetables to Plant
- Broccoli – Broccoli seedlings should be planted 10 weeks before the first frost date in your area. This means planting them during the last hot summer days so it’s important to mulch around them to help keep the ground cool and moist. Feed the plants 3 weeks after transplanting into the garden. Use a low nitrogen fertilizer. 70 days to maturity.
- Brussels Sprouts – Brussels sprouts are fantastic for fall gardens because of the improvement in taste when they’re allowed to sit in cool weather. Set the plants out in mid-summer. It will take about 3 months before the sprouts appear. They are ready for harvest when they are firm and green. 90 days to maturity.
- Cabbage – Make sure these get planted 6-8 weeks before the first frost. If it’s still too hot at that time, you can still plant them- just give the young plants protection from the sun. Cabbages are heavy feeders that require fertile soil and consistent moisture. 70 days to maturity.
CALL IN THE PROFESSIONALS FOR YOUR SUMMER LANDSCAPING NEEDS
Evergreen Gene’s offers professional landscaping and maintenance services through the state of Maryland. We are here to make sure your gardens and grounds look as beautiful as possible year-round. Interested in how we can help your garden look its best? Give us a call at (410) 766-6877 or visit us online. To see examples of our work and get more helpful gardening tips, follow us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Houzz, and Twitter.