Fall Vegetable Gardening Basics

If you’re dreaming of having fresh vegetables throughout the winter but don’t have a lot left from the summer planting, don’t despair. There are actually many vegetables which can be planted in the early fall, and still have time to ripen before the worst of the winter weather season kicks in.

Plants which grow roots and tubers can survive underground even after frost kills the tops of the plants. If you add plenty of mulch to these types of vegetable plantings, you’ll have the best success.

It’s not always easy to find vegetables seeds or starter plants in the fall though, so you may need to buy your seeds earlier in the year and put them away for fall planting, or buy them online if your local stores are no longer selling them later in the season. You’ll also need to check the seed packages or plant growing instructions to see what the harvest times are, and plant accordingly.

If your area tends to get its first frost around October 30th for instance, then you’ll need to plant vegetables now which have harvest times of less than 50 days or so. If the first frost doesn’t hit your area until late November however, you can plant almost any vegetable which needs less than 70 days till harvest – and many fall into this category.

It’s best to clean and clear your vegetable garden areas of anything left from the spring and summer plantings first. This will help reduce the chances of spreading diseases or pests to your new plants. You may also want to mix in some fresh compost to help renew the soil with additional vitamins and minerals.

Your fall vegetable patch can be as small or as large as you’d like, and just like the spring and summer plantings you can put them directly into the ground or you can create raised vegetable gardening beds instead. You can also plant the fall vegetables into containers instead, and this is particularly useful to do in areas where you’re not quite sure if the vegetables will have enough time to ripen before the first frost. If you end up with an earlier than expected frost, you can simply move your containers into a more protected area such as inside your home, in a garden shed, or in the garage.

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