Growing a fall garden is easy and can provide many delicious leafy green vegetables. Learn more about what types of vegetables you can grow in cooler weather, and how to get your fall garden started.
Fall Gardening: Your Guide for Growing Leafy Greens
Are you a beginner at gardening or want an easy garden project? If so, growing leafy greens is the perfect type of gardening for you. Grown in cooler temperatures, leafy greens do not require intense labor.
Vegetables you can plant this fall include lettuce, cabbage, spinach, chard, arugula, beets, broccoli, and cauliflower.
When to Plant
Leafy greens tend to grow best when the daytime temperature is in the 70s and the nighttime temperature is in the 40s or 50s. They cannot handle hot or frosty weather. So, you should plant your vegetables in late summer, but well ahead of the first frost.
If you are purchasing your plants from a garden center, find out how many days each plant takes to grow to maturity. Many seed packets will also tell you this. Then, use a farmer’s almanac or other weather resource to find out when the first frost is. Make sure you plant your vegetables so they reach maturity before the first frost.
Ensuring your garden has a successful start is easy. You can either plant seeds for each of your vegetables or buy seedlings from your local garden shop. The advantage to buying seedlings is that you will know what the plant looks like. This way, if weeds pop up in your garden, you will not mistake your vegetables for weeds and vice versa.
Leafy green vegetables need a small, partially shaded area when they are first planted. They can start in a window box or small pot on your front porch, or be placed directly into the ground where they will continue to grow. They need shade in the beginning, so use a shade cloth if you start them in your garden. If you start your plants in a window box or small pot, transfer them to your garden once they have a couple of large leaves or when their roots begin to take up the entire space.
Leafy vegetables can grow in most soils. You should use soil that is around 8 inches deep, and prepare it so it is free of rocks and twigs. Add a 3-inch layer of compost or garden soil to the top and then mix it well with your soil, so that they are one blended soil combination. Then, you are ready to plant. Space your vegetables about a foot apart.
Maintaining your fall vegetable garden is also easy. Make sure your garden bed is evenly moist (but not waterlogged) every day for the first three weeks. As your plants begin to sprout, you won’t need to keep water on them every day.
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