How to Plan a Fall Garden

Fall peas

Peas Round #2

In the southern states a fall garden means starting tomatoes and such indoors, as the fall is the best growing time for them.

To our neighbors far north, planning for the fall would involve at least low tunnels and cold frames.

This post is for everyone in between.

Succession planting, or following one plant with another, is a great way to make the most of the space you have.

At this time of year, your peas have probably started to die off. You cold weather crops are either in or beginning to bolt. And anything over-wintered is likely going to seed.

This means some space will be available for crops that can take cooler temperatures.

Here in the zone 5/6 Jones’ garden we have already sown our second crop of peas. Early maturing garlic was followed by plantings of winter squash.

fall squash

Squash catching up.

In between the rows of onions, which are starting to show signs they are ready to harvest, we have direct sown seeds of cabbage for a fall crock of sauerkraut.

As the potatoes are harvested, turnips and rutabaga seeds will go in. Where the spinach bolted, more carrot seeds were planted.

These are all veggies that can take the cold; and that is the main piece of information you need to know about following one crop with another.

The other things are what ‘days to maturity‘ actually means, and when your first frost in the fall is expected.

That way you can better time what you are planting to mature in the fall or even into winter.

When we first started gardening we used to think we could only grow food from the end of May until the frost in the fall.

Now we know we can garden pretty much all year ’round.
Experience really is the best teacher.

July 19, 2014  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: Extending the Season, Gardening

3 Responses

  1. Tena Kropp - July 20, 2014

    Are there any Fall crops in which seeds need cooler soil in order to germinate? I recently planted lettuce, spinach, carrots and beets where spinach came out. Only the lettuce grew.

  2. gj - July 21, 2014

    Most crops can take the cooler temperatures, but only a few and rather unusual ones prefer it. My guess would be that they didn’t get the constant moisture they need to germinate. Carrots are especially notorious for that.

  3. Kim - July 23, 2014

    Thank you! I found this information very helpful. Now I know why my carrots look like they want to cry. More water :)

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