As a dedicated gardener, the last thing you should do is slow down once fall comes into the picture. Of course, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate, but in any case, you shouldn’t let the season take the wind out of your sails. Now is a better time than ever to extend your vegetable and flower garden. Some even say that the best crops are grown during the warm days and cold nights. A touch of frost can add sugary sweetness to collards, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, Brussels sprouts and sweet corn.
Fall gardening does require some adjustments on your part, but as long as you have the right equipment and an open frame of mind for learning tips and tricks, it can be a fun and rewarding time of year.
The Right Tools for Green Thumbs
Before you even consider which plants you’re going to grow, you need to get on the right path with some essential garden tools and equipment. Every gardener needs trowels, forks and a two-handed weeder, so if you have those you’re already on you’re way! But if you don’t, you can always pick up low priced gift sets from Outdora.
In addition to handheld tools that you will use to till, plant and weed, it’s also wise to have several types of planters. Large decorative planters are convenient for bringing those vulnerable plants indoors. Plus, you can transplant several different herbs and have them all in one pot. There are also wide rectangular and square planter boxes, and these are nice to add in a backyard shed or greenhouse. Because the planter is off of the ground and is made of wood, it keeps the plants’ roots comfortably warm. But another way to keep crops warm without transplanting them into pots is to use a garden cloche and cover them when they’re in the ground.
Maybe the most helpful piece of equipment for every gardener during any season is a greenhouse. Outdora has Poly-Tex Snap and Grow Greenhouses, which are incredibly easy to assemble because of their SmartLock connector system that allows you to literally slide and lock the parts together. These greenhouses come in various sizes to fit your backyard space, and they have an aluminum frame and are made from polycarbonate panels. With the double door or split door design and adjustable roof vent (preassembled, by the way), you will be able to control the airflow, and your plants will receive maximum sun exposure to thrive. Remember, with a greenhouse, you can grow crops all the way into the winter.
Once you have these garden essentials, it’s time to get dirty!
Hardy Plants for the Frosty Fall
As always, it’s a good idea to consult local nurseries to ensure that you’re going to be able to grow certain plants in your region. But to get you started in the right direction, here are some vegetable and flower ideas that will keep you sustained and your yard looking bright and cheery.
- Plant carrot seeds in place of the residual pea vines from the summer.
- Grow lettuce and salad greens where broccoli grew.
- Sow a crop of kale where you harvested the beets.
- Dig up the old tomatoes and plant garlic or shallots.
- Put in radishes, scallions or leeks in place of the bitter lettuce.
- Add color with late bloomers like the bronzy-red Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed), purple Aster spp., orange Physalis alkekengi (Chinese Lantern), white Anemone hupehensis or rose Sedum spectabile (Autumn Joy).
- Protect any remaining soil with crimson clover.
Fallscaping does require more planning ahead, because you have to be able to implement a new plan of action at any moment. Jack Frost is a trick fellow, so you never know when he will sneak up on you and your garden. It definitely doesn’t hurt if you’re an instinctive weather forecaster. However, don’t fret because you can always consult your outdoor weathervane, thermometer and rain gauge. Take these autumn months as a learning experience so you can forge ahead with an even more successful harvest next year.