Planning Your Fall Garden

by April Reinhardt
(last updated September 19, 2014)

If you already garden in the spring and summer, it's easy to transition in to fall gardening. But some of the questions you need to ask before you delve into fall gardening are: • What growing zone do I live in? The easiest way to determine your growing zone is to look it up on a hardiness zone map. You can visit this link to find your zone: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html. • How do I decide what to plant? Visit online nurseries or go to your nearest magazine rack and look for vegetables you'd like to plant in your garden. Take a look for products that will thrive in your hardiness zone and choose those varieties. Visit your local home improvement store, hardware store, department store, and nursery—anywhere live plants are sold. Choose the species of plants that will grow in your hardiness zone, and plant them according to the instructions that accompany the plants. Consider the first frost date of the year when deciding upon what to plant. When planning a fall garden, remember that most plants need to be at least 80% mature when cold weather sets in, for them to endure the cold. Other variables to consider are sun exposure, wind, altitude, and wind chill factors. • What plants will thrive in cold weather? Some hardy varieties of vegetables that can grow into early winter are kale, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, lettuce, turnips, and broccoli. It is known among fall gardeners that kale and collards taste better after having had frost. Some plants, even after having reached maturity before frost sets in, will grow better in fall if you provide them cover at night. Plants such as lettuce and spinach, because their leaves tend to be frail, will do better if they are covered at night. One of the best aspects of fall gardening is that your plants can serve as fodder and mulch for your next spring and summer garden. When the temperatures get so cold that your plants succumb to the elements, simply leave the remains of your garden standing. Just till their remains into your soil next spring, providing needed nutrients and cellular material into your garden plot. Another great way to plan a fall garden is to take pencil and paper and sketch your garden plot, referencing the successes and failures of any previous fall gardens. Decide which hardy vegetables to plant with other less hardy vegetables, so that they may help provide warmth and shelter from cold temperatures. Keep track of frost dates from previous fall gardens and learn from your mistakes the year before.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Cleaning Your Driveway

While you can use dangerous chemicals to clean your driveway, first try simple household chemicals, one at a time. You might ...

Discover More

Treating an Infected Ear Piercing

Needing to treat an infected ear piercing? You don't want the hole to close, and going to the doctor may be too expensive. ...

Discover More

Chicken Noodle Casserole with Glazed Carrots

This dinner menu is well balanced since it contains meat, starch, and plenty of vegetables. You could easily adjust the ...

Discover More
More Gardening Tips

Designing a Low Maintenance Garden

Do you have a dream of having a great looking garden, but don't really want to spend a whole lot of time working for it? ...

Discover More

What is a Rain Garden?

If you are interested in low impact, or fairly low maintenance gardening, then you may want to consider a rain garden. These ...

Discover More

Kitchen Garden

Once you've mastered the art of container gardening, and if you've enough yard for a garden plot, consider creating a kitchen ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)