The summer days are winding down and it's time to start conditioning your garden for a new season. While summer is certainly a high season for gardening a variety of crops, the mild temperatures of Autumn can be great environments for some vegetables to absolutely thrive. Here are some things to do (and not do) to be successful during this season.
What should I grow?
Growing vegetables in the fall under cold climate conditions does come with a gamble but if you do things right it can be worth the effort. The following are vegetables that are suitable for gardening during Fall months:
You can make room for new fall crops taking out any of the low-performing vegetables in your garden. Some common vegetables are tomatoes, potatoes, onions and corn. These are vegetables that are mostly likely going stop growing at the same rate very soon. If you still have unripe tomatoes with the season approaching you can rip out the vines and hang them upside down in a cool spot to finish the ripening. How cool is that? After you clean up any remaining vegetables, if you can, it's helpful to add some organic fuel to your garden that will give the new crops a boost.
To get the best results in Autumn, use high-quality seed mix to start your crops. Make sure to wash containers thoroughly if you plan to reuse them. To eliminate any chance of organisms surviving in the containers, use a solution that is one part bleach to ten parts water.
Adding fresh new grass can be a great supplement to your garden too. The best time to seed new grass is in the Autumn months. The combination of cool nights and warm days and somewhat regular rain make conditions for growing optimal. Make sure to check your lawn for any weeds and use treatment where necessary.
Protecting from Frost
You'll want to be prepared for when frost hits. Plant and harvest your sensitive crops soon so that they have mature enough to withstand frost. Use cloches to cover your smaller plants for protection. Cloches are transparent plant covers specifically used outdoors for protection against coldness.
For any large areas you can use old materials you may have around the house. For example, blankets, sheets, and tarps are all suitable covers for your plants. You can also use plastic sheeting, hay or straw mulch in larger quantities for protection. For more severe frosts, cold frames and cloches are ideal.
Ice on plants has to be melting or kept wet at all times to prevent the plants from dying. The key is to continue irrigation until temperatures return to above freezing and the ice has melted. The sun will provide enough heat during the day to keep ice melting following any frosts overnight.