Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Time to plant fall vegetables


There are a number of reasons to plant a vegetable garden in the fall. Vegetables grown this time of year are primarily root crops and greens, which means you can grow them in the ground or in containers. There are fewer weeds and bugs to contend with in the fall. None of these crops require special attention, such as staking or caging. Most of these crops don’t need a full 8 hours of sun, which means you can grow spinach or lettuce in pots on your patio even if it starts to get shady in the late afternoon.
There is a wide variety of vegetables to grow now, including beets, carrots, kale, chard, radishes, spinach, cabbage and broccoli.
When you’re selecting seeds or starts look at the days to maturity information or days to harvest on the package or label. This is roughly the amount of time from planting seeds to picking your crops. The shorter the days to maturity, the faster you’re harvesting. Radishes mature in about 25 days, so if you plant them now, you’ll be picking radishes in less than four weeks.  
Planting starts reduces the amount of time to harvest. Getting ready for planting cool weather crops is much the same as it is in spring. As always, soil quality is one of the key factors to your success.
Even if you amended your soil in spring, vegetables can be heavy feeders so replenish your soil with compost and peat moss. 
Add a granular fertilizer such as Happy Frog Tomato and Vegetable or
Fertilome Tomato and Vegetable. If you’re using a container, use a good potting soil and work some fertilizer into the mix. In addition to seeds and starts,
you’ll need markers
and some frost protection for later in the season. N-sulate, a frost blanket or a sheet will be enough to keep your plants safe though any cold nights we might get. As a final note, there’s nothing like being able to pick fresh greens for tonight’s salad and knowing where they came from and how they were grown.

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