Sunday, July 17, 2011

Thinking Forward to Fall

     Fall isn't in the air, but it is in my mind when it comes to the garden.  Originally,  I had just planned just on planting some pretty fall flowers, because they are much lower maintenance that anything that produces food.  Through researching what to do to prepare for next spring, I have convinced myself to plant one or two things just to see what happens. Most people think of summer as being the only time you can grow your own food, but if you plan properly you can extend your growing season through most of the year.
     What you can grow, and when you need to plant it depends on where you live.  I suggest your state or county extension if you need help with finding your zone and plants that work well with your climate.  Here in TN the UT Extension has a free publication on fall vegetable gardens you can download.   Make sure you research what you want to plant because not all cool weather plants are created equal.  Many crops planted in the spring prefer cool and moist conditions, and if you have been outside lately you know that's not what goes on this time of year.  There are other precautions you must take as well, like keeping the seeds moist. One tip in improving your germination success, is planting the seeds 1/4 inch deeper than you would in the spring.  Compared to spring and summer crops you may also need to give your fall garden a little more TLC.  This is the one thing that seems daunting to me.  I spent  A LOT of time this spring hand picking insects off my tomatoes and I'm not sure I am up to the work this fall.
    I have been thinking about what I might want to plant for my fall garden. I have been thinking something simple like greens or lettuce and a few flowers.  I really need to think about it some more and see what seeds are available. SO as your summer garden starts to wind down, will you be thinking about a fall garden?  What will you plant?  Do you have any tips?  Happy gardening!

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