If you are growing a home garden you are probably starting to bring in harvests, with summer vegetables starting to ripen thick and fast.
When the garden is filled with the abundance of high summer it is easy to just sit back and enjoy the harvests, but believe it or not, there is still lots of time to plant seeds in the soil and keep harvesting garden fresh veggies well into the autumn.
Farmers Jo and Jo eat fresh greens 100% of the year, and with a couple of simple tricks you can too!
Fall Garden Planting & Planning
Keep Planting: If you planted most of your garden in May you are probably already starting to clear space as you harvest. Don’t let that space sit empty! There are lots of vegetables that don’t like the heat and now is a great time to get those seeds in the ground.
Frost Protection: As the night time temperatures begin to drop you want to start giving your tender summer plants a bit of protection. Even before the frosts of late September and early October begin, you want to offer a little protection to plants like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, which don’t like temperatures much below 10c. If you place a layer of frost protection fabric over these plants around 3pm on a sunny day and earlier on a cloudy day you trap in some of the warmth of the day, keeping the plants toasty all night long.
Once the chilly temperatures of late fall begin this same frost protection material can be used to keep your hardy, more frost tolerant plants warm and protected from the elements. Greens like spinach, arugula, mustard greens, and kale can very happily live under this cover well into the fall and early winter. You can even double up the fabric to provide more protection. Make sure to keep the fleece off of the plants themselves though - leaves touching the fleece are susceptible to frost bite.
Garden Maintenance: As your garden begins to wind down for the season, your thoughts should turn to preparing for the spring. Future you will be thankful for the time you spend now preparing the garden for future planting.
- Garden clean up: Clear out spent plants, remove all weeds, and clean up dropped fruit.
- Fall forking: Take some time to fluff up compacted soil. Don’t till, just use a pitch fork to lightly loosen the soil to let more water and nutrients in.
- Add amendments: Fall is a good time to do a soil test and add any amendments that might be needed. Lots of nutrients take time to be made available to plants by the soil microbiology so the fall is a good time to get the process started. Top dress with organic compost now too.
- Mulching/Tarping: Nature abhors naked soil, especially over the winter. Fallen leaves make a great garden mulch, giving protection to bare soil and providing food for your friendly soil microbiology. If you are starting a new garden or have one that has been taken over by weeds (don’t worry, it happens to the best of us) consider tarping the area over winter.
Fall Gardening Webinar with Farmer Jo
Learn even more about fall gardening and the techniques we use here at the Farm to keep growing fresh food well into the winter. In this FREE webinar Farmer Jo will discuss summer planting for fall harvests, how to prepare your fall garden for spring success, and how to use cover crops in your home garden to build soil health and grow your best veggies ever!
Wednesday, August 24 at 7pm
Click here to register on Calendly and get garden planning!
Don't worry if you can't make it in person, a link to the recording will be sent to all registered people after the presentation.