You may still be enjoying the late summer harvest, but this is also a great time to get started on planting a fall vegetable garden! They need to be managed a bit differently from a spring garden and our team at Yard2Kitchen Organic Gardens has some tips for you. Learn more in our latest blog!
Out With the Old
If you already have a garden, space may be limited. Harvest your current crops to make room for the new fall plantings.
Vegetables You Can Plant in the Fall
Northern New Jersey is in USDA Hardiness Zone 6, and plants must be in before the first frost, which often happen between mid-October and early November. At the time of this blog post (late September), there is still time to plant a few fast-growing fall crops. Consider planting spinach, mustard greens, lettuce and radishes which do very well. These hardy vegetables can tolerate cold temperatures as low as 25 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, cool weather allows crops to hold longer in the garden once mature. And crops like spinach, cilantro, and lettuce will hold their quality for much longer when planted for fall harvest. Plant properly and you can harvest right into early spring.
Ensure Proper Sunlight
Be sure to enough daylight! Your vegetable garden will need at least six hours of unobstructed direct sunlight so be sure to plant them in areas that receive the most sunlight. Some plants, like leafy greens, can get by with a little less sunlight, if portions of your garden are partly shaded.
Soil Quality & Drainage Matters
Check your soil quality and drainage. Soil quality is another important factor when planning for a strong vegetable garden. Amend the soil with a high-quality compost. Compost is comprised of organic matter that has decomposed into a soil-like substance. And if your soil has poor drainage, create raised beds to help plants to thrive even during periods of excessive rainfall.
Extend the Fall Season with Winter Gardening
Winter gardening is also helpful to extend the life of your garden. At Yard2Kitchen Organic Gardens we have a wonderful hoop system to allow sun and water in but keeps the temperature a little warmer inside. Please see our video on this topic.
We hope these tips are useful and that you can enjoy some homegrown produce into the colder months! And as usual, please feel free to contact us with questions or let us know if you would like us to help you with your fall garden.