Keep Your Garden Growing!

Many people see the fall and winter as a time to close down the garden and wait until the spring to start up gardening activities again. However, there are plenty of things you can be doing through the fall and winter months to continue enjoying the pleasures of gardening.

Winter is an important period in the gardening season, more so than you’d think. While winter is in full swing, compost is continuing to decompose and get ready for use for the spring. Additionally, winter is a great time to grow cover crops which will help improve the soil for the next season.

There are also plenty of plants that you can grow during the fall and winter, both indoors and out. Also, you can strategically plan a winter garden so that you can enjoy color and attractive plants all year long.

The secret is in the picking

The key to successful fall gardening hinges on planting the right types of fall vegetable varieties at the proper time for your region. Many vegetables prefer the cool growing conditions of autumn, and will even withstand and benefit from exposure to the cold and frosts. Some favorite winter vegetables include: leafy kale, collards, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, rutabagas, beets, carrots, Swiss chard, leeks, oriental greens, endive, and lettuce.

Think about Spring

Fall gardening can also help you get a jump on spring by planting crops that will germinate in the fall, survive the winter under a light mulch of straw or shredded leaves, and then resume growth at the first sign of spring arriving. Vegetables that will thrive under this treatment include: garlic, shallots, kale, collards, spinach, mache, and certain varieties of lettuce.

Quick Tips
•    September’s cooler weather and moist soils offer ideal conditions for fall planting

•    Late summer into early autumn is the best time to divide perennials that bloom in spring and summer.

•    Plant trees and shrubs, allowing enough time for roots to develop before ground freezes.

•    Prepare for first frost. Dig tender perennials such as cannas, begonias, gladiolus. Discard tops and store bulbs, corms, and rhizomes in dry peat moss or vermiculite.

•    Bring house plants back indoors before night temperatures drop below 55F.

•    Deadhead perennials, and discard dead and diseased foliage to reduce infection next year.

•    Planting bulbs is almost synonymous with fall gardening tasks, but don’t let your eyes get bigger than your fingers. Count the bulbs in each package so you know what you’ll be up against.

•    Begin planting spring flowering bulbs in mid-to-late September.

•    Fertilize Trees and Shrubs after mid-September.

•    Apply broadleaf weed killers to lawn.

•    Restock bird feeders and put out fresh water to help birds migrating south.

Of course, people in warmer states such as California and Florida have more opportunities for fall and winter gardening. However, no matter where you live you can enjoy working with plants all year round.


One Response to “Keep Your Garden Growing!”
  1. Hai Nguyen says:

    It is definitely a good thing to learn from the past!

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