What You Should Be Doing in Your Garden Now, to Get a Bountiful Fall Harvest
Posted on August 07 2018
Whether you're a beginner gardener or someone with a seasoned green thumb, it's important to recognize that gardening season doesn't end once summertime is over. In fact, with the right water-soluble nutrients and some TLC, you can enjoy increased yields and a bountiful fall harvest from your backyard plot or container planters.
Some vegetables that you should be planting right now include beets, broccoli, cabbage, radishes, and carrots since these all tend to develop better flavor in cooler fall temperatures. Fall is also a great time to fill your garden with leafy greens like kale, spinach, chard, and lettuces because the lower temps reduce the chances that these plants will bolt prematurely as often happens during the summertime.
Also consider planting peas, but remember, peas tend to germinate slowly - if you don't see signs of sprouts right away, don't give up!
Take Advantage of the Warm Fall Soil and Lower Water Requirements
One of the biggest perks of planting a fall-harvest garden is the fact that the soil is well-warmed from the summertime sun, creating the ideal growing environment for a wide range of plants.
Another notable reason why beginning gardeners should plant vegetables now is the fact that the shorter, cooler autumn days mean plants lose less water through their leaves than they do at other times in the year, making fall gardening an environmentally-responsible way to help conserve water.
Enjoy Increased Yields by Adding Water-Soluble Fertilizers
Some beginner gardeners are reluctant to plant in the fall simply because many cool-weather crops are slow growers which is mainly due to the fact that there are fewer sunlight hours in the fall than there are during the spring and summer.
Adding the right food-safe, water-soluble fertilizers to your soil both before planting and during the plant growth cycle is an easy, highly efficient way to increase yields. Better yet, applying water-soluble fertilizers for vegetable gardens is simple and safe, even for the beginning gardener.
Watch for Diseases and Pests
While there are fewer plant diseases to worry about in the fall and the risk of fungus and root-rot is reduced because less watering is needed, it's always important to keep an eye out for signs of mites, whiteflies, thrips, and other insects that can impact fall vegetable gardens.
Remember, one of the best ways to combat disease and pests in your backyard crops is by applying an all-natural, water-soluble fertilizer to boost the health of your plants since our relatively warm temperatures here in Southern California allow insects to thrive year-round. The healthier your plants are, the more resistant they will be to insects.
Don't Forget to Tidy Up
While composted materials play a critical role in soil health, leaving rotten fruit and vegetables, dead plants, and other organics in your garden over the winter can attract rodents and lead to an infestation that impacts your home and neighboring properties.
Take the time to clean up your garden each fall by pulling up any weeds to remove the roots and significantly cutting back any vines. Be sure to prune off dead leaves, and remember to remove any annual plants that are no longer producing.
It's also a good idea to invest some time and energy into repairing any fences or raised garden beds now so that your garden will be ready for your next crop. As a beginner gardener, nothing is more frustrating than planning on planting your garden in the spring only to be faced with a big mess of rotten plants, damaged beds, and unwelcome guests!
Following these steps will help ensure that your garden makes a successful transition into the new season.