Do I dare say it? …Yes, fall is coming! And it’ll creep up on us sooner than we think, so now is the perfect time to take a moment to plan for fall harvest so we can utilize all the fresh goodness we get out of our gardens. The key to maximizing your garden output? Succession planting!
Planting with the season and changing varieties as the weather turns allows you to elongate the growing season and harvest even more produce, and it keeps your garden soil happy!
Here are seven tips for setting you up for a bountiful fall season:
1. Purchase your cool season seeds like lettuce, radishes, bok choy, arugula, spinach, beets, carrots, green onions, and order garlic for fall planting. A few favorite places to purchase seeds online are Eden Brothers and True Leaf Market; they’ve got a huge selection and the seeds are top-quality.
2. As you start to remove warm season plants that won’t survive through fall, you can plug cool season plants right into those vacant spots.
3.You can direct sow and start some fall varieties ahead of time in a flat, no greenhouse required. I start many seedlings right on my patio table – you don’t need a fancy set-up!
Lettuce is a great option for transplanting, so you can start seedlings ahead of time in a seed starting tray and transplant as openings in your garden become available.
4. I’m always hoping for a warm autumn season. If temps are projected to stay high, you can try to get another crop of broccoli, cauliflower, and fennel in before the weather dips. The trick is to start your seedlings in July and look for short-day varieties.
5. If you plan on trying out cold frames, purchase them now so you are ready if cool weather comes in quicker than you expected.
6. Purchase fresh compost for new planting.
7. Document when you plant or start seeds so you have a better idea for the next year if you need to adjust the timing in your areas. Gardening is all about trial and error, and it helps to have a written record of successes and failures so you can tweak for next season.
Remember, the garden doesn’t always have to be serious business. Get your hands dirty, have fun with it, and try new things!