Spring is the time when many people think about gardening. But actually, fall is a better time for a number of activities including planting and transplanting a variety of plants and trees. It’s also a great time to save yourself some money.
Because the soil is warmer in the fall than it is in the spring, trees, shrubs and other perennial plants will do better when planted or transplanted in the fall.
With the root systems of these trees and plants being stimulated by the warm soil, root establishment will be stronger than in the spring.
Depending on your climate, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, collards and much more can be planted in the fall and harvested through the late fall and winter.
Among the springtime flowering bulbs that are good to plant in the fall are tulips, daffodils, crocuses and irises. The above-ground portion will die when it gets cold, but the root system will continuing growing.
Give your garden some help
Aiding in the process of retaining ground moisture and protecting plants is mulch. Use wood chips, compost, fertilizer or other organic matter to mulch your garden bed. Mulching with pine straw provides a blanket of insulation over the root system.
So, how do you save money in the fall? By purchasing needed gardening equipment from nurseries that are anxious to get rid of items they did not sell in the spring or summer.
You might be able to negotiate an even lower price if the nursery is trying to make room for pumpkins in the fall and Christmas trees in the winter.
Now, if you would still like to plant some vegetables during the late summer or early fall that you can harvest later in the fall or during winter, I have some ideas for you.
First things first
First of all, unless you have a huge garden in which space is no issue, make sure you do your harvesting for spring and summer crops first to make room.
If you’re planting fast-growing fall crops including lettuce and radishes, you’re still fine on time. But if you want to get broccoli and carrots going, plant them immediately.
Regardless of which plants you put into the ground now during late summer, check out what their lifespan is. It might be listed on the seed packet as “days to maturity.”
If you live in an area of the country where it will be too cold before those plants can reach maturity, hold off on those seeds until next year.
Anything short-lived, frost-tender, or that molds in the rain is best planted after frost in spring, so the plant has time to develop a healthy root system before being asked to tolerate uncomfortable conditions.
For example some of the worst plants you can plant in the fall (especially in the Pacific Northwest where its rainy and cold), are: citrus trees, sage, or any sort of delicate flower.
Some crops don’t mind the cold
On the other hand, some crops that reach maturity before it gets cold may not need to be harvested right away. Cool weather can actually allow some crops to hold longer in the garden once they’ve matured.
Broccoli, cabbage and kale are examples of crops that can live for months after they’ve reached maturity. Everything is dependent on how cold it gets where you live, but crops such as spinach, lettuce and cilantro are among others that can hold their quality after maturity.
There are different opinions on this, but following are 23 vegetables that most people believe are among the best to plant in your garden in late summer or early fall:
- Brussels sprouts
- Salad greens
- Swiss chard
You might be starting to notice a little nip in the air, but that doesn’t mean the planting season is over. Think about what you can plant now for harvests in late fall or winter.
Year-round self-sufficient gardening?
If you’re like me, you’re always trying to find ways to become more self-sufficient.
So it might perk your ears if I told you there was a method for growing your own food and becoming more self-sustainable that was: year round, super energy-efficient, water-efficient, and can produce food anywhere year-round.
What is it? Aquaponics.
With aquaponics, you can grow vegetables indoors and keep them contained in as small as a 5-gallon fish tank or as large as your area allows. And you can keep it just about anywhere without it taking up much space or looking out of place.
But the main question everyone asks is: how do you start?
Well, here at 4Patriots, we created a step by step video guide with aquaponics expert Chad Hudspeth called Aquaponics4Patriots.
Featured on DoomsDay Preppers, Chad provides unparalleled, professional instructions on building your own self-contained “fish-powered food factory” that you can have up and running in no time flat.