Want Fresh Veggies this Fall? Plant a Cool Season Garden!

If you planted a vegetable garden this spring, you’ve most likely been enjoying the tasty fruits of your labors these past few months! fall-harvest-basketHave you ever considered planting a fall garden? Just because the weather will soon start to cool down doesn’t mean your crop of delicious homegrown veggies has to cease! In fact, fall is the ideal time to plant nutrition packed broccoli, luscious kale, flavor-enhancing leeks, crisp radishes, and so much more. There is a wide variety of fall vegetable seeds as well as starter plants.  Starter plants are generally easier to grow but typically there is a wider selection of seeds.  These veggies require cool soil to germinate and flourish, so here are 4 steps to help you plan your planting times so that you can enjoy delicious veggies all autumn long.

  1. Determine the average first fall frost date and mark it on your calendar.
  2. Look on your seed packet for ‘Days to Maturity’ and from your average first frost date, count backwards the number of days to maturity, which will bring you to the ideal planting date. It’s usually a good idea to add an extra week or two to that time to take into account the shorter days, which may slow growth.
  3. Once you’ve determined the ideal planting date, it’s time to decide which seeds can be sown directly into the ground and which will need to be started indoors. Soil can still be hot in the summer when you’re planting and certain cool season crops, like lettuce or spinach, will not germinate in soils over 80 degrees; crops like these will need to be started indoors and then transplanted. However, root crops such as radishes can be sown directly into your garden.
  4.  Because vegetable plants need lots of nutrients to produce delicious results, you should add fertilizer or compost to the soil before you plant. This is especially important if you had a summer garden; the soil needs to be replenished for your cool season garden to flourish!

fall saladThe Family Tree has just stocked cool season seeds and starter plants, so hurry in soon for the best selection for your garden! Our knowledgeable associates are always happy to help you find the perfect seeds for your needs.