Monday, August 8, 2016

Fall Gardening Tips

It is August,and though the heat may be blazing, it is time to start thinking about your Fall Garden activities. Here are some tips to keep you busy over the next few months:

Grow a Fall Garden. In many places across the country, August through mid-September is the time to plant your Fall Garden. Crops to consider for the Fall include lettuce, radishes, carrots, beets, cabbage, kohlrabi, turnips, and various greens, including mustard, spinach, and kale. I've already planted beets, carrots, spinach, lettuce, and mixed greens (turnip & mustard) in my garden, and will be planting cabbage this coming weekend.

Plant Garlic Bulbs. September is the time to plant garlic bulbs for next year. Consider planting a couple of interesting varieties from the Seed Savers Exchange. Garlic is wonderful for flavoring food, is loaded with nutrients, and may have numerous health benefits, including improving the immune system, reducing blood pressure, protecting against heart disease, and improving cholesterol levels.

Harvest Apples. Many areas have u-pick apple orchards. A visit to one would make for a fun and useful way to spend a Saturday afternoon. You can also visit your local farmers' market or attend one of the many small town apple festivals that are typically held in September or early October.

Pick Nuts. September through November is the time to harvest pecans and black walnuts.

Plant Trees and Shrubs. Fall is the perfect time to plant most trees and shrubs, which means it is a great time to start your own Forest Garden featuring fruit and nut trees.

Start Composting and Improving Your Soil. See the article Build Better Garden Soil on the Mother Earth News website. You may also want to check out my article on Composting and Vermiculture.

Start Making Your Lasagna Garden. Now is a great time to mark off your lasagna-garden beds for next year, lay down the newspaper, and use the falling leaves and yard waste in the layers.

Grow Indoor Herbs. Many herbs, such as chives, cilantro, oregano, basil, mint, and rosemary, can be grown in pots indoors during the fall and winter. I am experimenting with several types of herbs this winter, to see what exactly grows well. Look for a future article giving my results.

Transplant Perennials. Fall is the best time to divide and transplant most perennials.

Order Seed Catalogs. Don't forget to request seed catalogs for next year from your favorite companies. You can spend the winter months thumbing through the catalogs and dreaming big dreams.

Start Researching Greenhouses. Greenhouses are a great way to extend the gardening season even more. Some books you may want to check out: 1) Greenhouse Gardener's Companion, and 2) The Complete Guide to Building Your Own Greenhouse

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